Long before the new constitution established both
Kiswahili and English as the two national languages in the country,
a veteran journalist has been championing the cause of Kiswahili
through prose, journals, profiles as and poetry, writes ABDULSAMAD
Faraj Dumila who has been a journalist
for the past 60 years, is also an eminent author with several titles
under his belt, and arguably the most prolific contribution history
to publications around the country.
An assessment of his literary style
noted that the writer transcends mediocrity and is an example of
literary finesse unmatched by his contemporaries.
But even as his contributions into the
field of journalism stamp his authority as the absolute expert on
letters, his most enduring work as a writer has been his crowning
publication, ‘The Collection’.
This magazine is a tapestry of
articles and photographs that narrate the story of Coast. It extols
the virtues of the Coastal culture as well as honoring luminaries of
With the predominant Islamic culture
which is deeply rooted in the region, The Collection has highlighted
Islamic qualities while at the same time portraying prophetic
And to always sustain the integrity of
topical issues, Faraj has utilized the expertise of professionals,
always ensuring that a brief bio of the master introduces them to
his readers, complete with a photo to boot.
The magazine has also over the years
honored long forgotten eminent scholars, journalist’s authors and
other professionals whose contributions have impacted the lives of
people in the region by profiling their achievements.
Faraj is also known for going out of
his way to track their students and even close friends to chronicle
the memories of the departed.
Those who have had the privilege of
breaking the glass ceiling have been featured in the magazine as
Women and other minorities who have
made it besides the odds have graced the pages of the magazine as an
inspiration that anybody can make it.
Also featuring in the pages of the
magazine are residents whose achievements are outside the scope of
the Coastal sphere.
These include those who have had
success overseas as well as people who have been nominated for
Businesspeople who have established
conglomerates that transcended the coastal demographic have found a
place in the pages of the magazine, institutions that have set up
shop in the region and organizations supporting livelihoods have all
been featured in ‘The Collection.’
Articles championing press freedom and
speaking against persecution of journalists have been published in
the magazine: topics that have been known to be very dear to Mr.
History of the region is another topic
that hardly missed in the publication, especially those who steered
the administrative agenda of the region.
Besides the tributes and profiles,
pictorials of heroes of the community in various fields also feature
But the magazine always set aside
analysis of the political situation of the region often advocating
for peace during tense situations and patience whenever there are
issues that have threatened to cleave Coastal harmony asunder.
The magazine also published photos of
alumni of some of the most iconic schools in the coast.
The Arab Secondary School, later
renamed Khamisi High School featured in the last issue of The
Collection, showing class photo of the 1954 alumnus of which Faraj
was a member.
Also featured is the Australian
Broadcasting College class of 1968 where the writer further
sharpened his journalistic skills.
And even as ‘The Collection’ closes
its pages for the last time, readers at the Coast will admit that
they were represented in a most extensively enduring magazine the
Coast has ever produced.