Wynberg teen to serve on Junior City Council

Aqeelah Karriem, 16, has been appointed to serve on the Junior City Council.

A 16-year-old Wynberg girl, Aqeelah Karriem, has been appointed to serve on the Junior City Council (JCC).

The Islamia College pupil says she is committed to having her community’s voice heard.

From the start of August, Aqeelah will be representing Sub-council 20 encompassing Hout Bay, Constantia, Wynberg, Plumstead and Kirstenhof.

The JCC is a non-political programme that mirrors the city council to broaden high school pupils’ knowledge of local government and encourage active citizenry among the youth. It is a City of Cape Town initiative that has been running since the 1970s.

In addition to six formal council meetings, pupils have to be active in their community.

Aqeelah’s passions lie in nature conservation and the preservation of heritage. She is a member of her school’s eco club and takes part in community clean-ups.

“Just like heritage, some people take the environment and the world we live in for granted,” she said. “People do as they please and don’t care about themselves or the next person. It is really sad to see how people throw stuff away without thinking of the consequences.”

Aqeelah follows in the footsteps of her father, Yunus Karriem, the chairman of the Wynberg East Civic Association. She said that hearing her parents talk about their childhood had inspired her to champion the preservation of heritage.

“The importance of history and heritage is lacking in our communities,” she said.

Aqeelah Karriem joined Islamia College’s eco club members and teachers for a Muizenberg Beach clean-up