There might be quite a few of you who know of Jokes Of The Cape on Instagram. I’ve followed their account for 2+ years, and last year I saw a post called 1 like = 1 rand. Basically, Mogamad, the founder of JOTC, posts the 1 like = 1 rand picture on his Instagram. With every ‘like’ the picture gets, he gives R1 to a person in need. The post goes up a week before Ramadaan (fast) and ends on the 1st day of Ramadaan. This year, Mogamad has set a goal to raise R24 000, to help 12 families (R2000 per family) who are really, truly in need.
Whilst some of us are fortunate enough to have yummy treats and different dishes every night for Iftaar, there are others who only has water and dry bread. Some has even less than that. Imagine what that must feel like. It absolutely breaks my heart. I think this project is amazing, because it gives us all a chance to help out. Since Ramadaan is the time to increase in Sadaqah (giving of charity) it is the perfect opportunity for all contribute.
I wanted to help get the word out, and so I spoke to Mogamad, and he kindly allowed me to interview him. The questions are highlighted in bold font, and the answers are just below.
What / Who Inspired You To Start This Initiative?
I started the 1 Like = R1 initiative because I have not seen anyone do it before. There are many People who are collecting blankets and non-perishables for the less fortunate, but nobody (that I knew of) were raising funds to help financially struggling families who could barely put food on the table. Each household has different tastes when it comes to food. If I would have collected non-perishables for them, there is a huge chance the items that I would have collected would not be the necessities they would need and some of the items would end up sitting in a cupboard for a few weeks most likely. For that reason, I wanted to give the families the freedom to go to a shopping mall and actually purchase the food they need. This is not to say that People collecting non-perishables should not do it, I am just saying that giving these families funds would help them tremendously more. Yes, as saying goes, “beggars can’t be choosers” but the families I choose are not beggars, they are People who are working their asses off but are not earning enough money to get by as a result of various reasons that are out of their control. The sad truth is that during Ramadaan, the food consumption in a household goes up (an ironic truth) and I believe everyone deserves to eat a meal they enjoy after a hard day of Fasting, especially children.
I started this initiative at the beginning of Ramadaan in 2015. It started out as just an appeal to my followers to like a special post I made and the amount of likes I would receive on that post, was the amount that I would donate to 1 family in need from my own pocket. For 2015, I think the amount of likes received was 1300, ie R1300 was donated.
In 2016, that number more than doubled and the likes received was a total of 2800 (R2800). This amount also came out of my own pocket. While the post was active in 2016, some of my followers began Direct messaging me on Instagram to ask me whether they could help me with the amount that was to be donated as it was a lot of money for one person to give out. I refused their help as I already made the promise to myself that not matter what amount of likes the post got, I would donate that amount.
For 2017, my initial plan was to set a goal of 5000 likes and donate R2500 each to two families in need instead of just 1 family from my own pocket (As I did the previous two years). But then I realised that I could actually make a bigger impact if I involved other People. That was when I sent out a request to my followers to ask them to recommend to me Families they knew of who were struggling. Once I could verify their stories, I chose 5 families from the emails that I received. A day later, more people began direct messaging me, telling me they would like to sponsor an entire family and others also started asking if they could make donations. At that moment, I knew I could actually help more than 5 families. I then decided that the minimum amount of families that I would like to help would still be 5, but that the total amount I would now like to help would be 12 families. That is how the goal of R24000 came about. I can happily say that at the time of typing this, R15000 has been raised, and we are now R9000 away from reaching the total goal.
Do You Have Any Hopes/Aspirations For Future Projects?
I have always loved helping People who are less fortunate than me. I come from a humble upbringing so I know what it feels like to not have much. (If you are interested, you can read my story here: http://www.jotc.co.za/mystory ). My plan is to always help as much people as I can. When I am able to, I would like to start a Charity foundation. That will not be any time soon though as at the moment, JOTC is ran by me alone so it would be difficult to run a NPO properly in addition to a business. However, there are projects I am working on for the near future that might involve charities. It all comes down to how much free time I have to help.
What Is The Greatest Lesson(s) You’ve Learnt Since Starting This Project?
The biggest lesson I have learnt is that there are many People who very keen to help others who expect nothing but a prayer in return and that all you need to do is actually take the time to ask them for help. Of the few people I have messaged and asked to donate to this initiative, 90% of them did. That same 90% also asked me to not mention their names. This shows me that they are contributing for the right reasons and not to be praised by others.
Another lesson I have learnt is that sometimes People break their promises. This is something I am still trying to get used to but I am learning every day. I’ve also learnt that People will always question your intentions no matter how pure they may be. If anyone reading this has gone through a situation where your integrity comes into question, the best advice I can give you is this; if you know your heart is in the right place, do NOT let other Peoples’ opinion of what you are doing, influence your decision on whether you should help another person in need or not.
There Might Be A Few Of My Readers Who Would Like To Know This – Do You Gain Anything From This Project? Materially/Financially Or Spiritually?
From a Material/Financial stand point, If anyone who is reading this has been a follower of mine for more than a year, they would know my intention with anything I do is always pure. JOTC is a registered business and my livelihood. I grew it from the ground up and I would NEVER do ANYTHING to jeopardize that. Financially speaking, I do not gain anything at all. If anything, I lose funds when I run this initiative. 100% of all the funds raised are distributed, and I pay the bank fees when I withdraw the amount. I also pay all the bank fees every time someone deposits their donation. You may be asking why I do this… I’ll tell you the answer; There is nothing more satisfying to me than knowing I helped put a smile on someone else’s face and made a difference in their life. As I grow in followers, so will the size of my projects. I look at it like this; the more people I help the more support I get in the long term. I might not gain anything financially, but I get to meet so many people who most likely will support my business in the future. I look at charity as an investment. Giving to charity will never make you poor.
From a spiritual stand point, I most definitely benefit. Having someone say a good prayer on you is a ALWAYS nice thing to receive. Helping others makes me happy. We live in a time where People are out for themselves. I try my best to change that mindset. It all starts with a prayer.
Not everyone will be financially successful during their lifetime on Earth, However, if you are satisfied mentally and spiritually with the amount you earn and you can sustain your family, aren’t you already wealthy?
I’ll end off with that. Think about it.
Thank you for asking me to do this interview. I enjoyed answering your questions.
If there is anyone reading this who would like to help me reach that goal of helping 12 families by giving a donation, please feel free to email me at Mogamad(at)jotc.co.za
– Mogamad Salie (@jokesofthecape Founder)
I must commend Mogamad on this amazing project. There are so many people in need, and it is beautiful to see those who are trying to make a difference, and expecting absolutely nothing in return.
May Allah reward you, Mogamad. Whether the money is from your own pocket/donated, may Allah reward you ten fold for each cent, Ameen.
If any of you would like to donate – even if you are not Muslim, please contact Mogamad and he will respond with banking details etc. I also need to mention that there is no set amount to donate. Whether you give R10, R20 or R500, every little will help the families tremendously. I know all of my readers love makeup, but that lipstick and highlighter can wait. Let’s, instead of have our highlight poppin’ , help out those in need, so their smiles can be poppin’. Now wouldn’t that be worth it?
Please spread the word about the JOTC project, and let’s all help raise the goal of R24000.
I want to end of with beautiful Ayaat (verses from the Qur’aan):
“You shall not attain righteousness until you spend out of what you love (in the way of Allah). Allah knows whatever you spend. ” – Surah Al-‘Imraan
“And whatever wealth you will spend on helping them, Allah will know of it” – Surahtul Baqarah
Thank you for reading. I hope you will all contribute toward this project.