Shabbir Banoobhai’s poetry is spiritual, political and personal with the three themes interwoven, the personal poems often having a political dimension and the political, a spiritual. A child of parents who came to South Africa from India, he was born in Durban in 1949, where he lived for most of his life until he moved to Cape Town in 1995. He Of necessity he shared the fate of the larger black community of South Africans, his poetry reflecting that struggle. He qualified as a teacher in 1970, as a Chartered Accountant in 1978, and as a Chartered Management Accountant in 1983. Lectured at the University of Durban-Westville from mid 1977 to the end of 1982; ran a management consultancy practice in Durban from 1983 to 1995; and joined Old Mutual in Cape Town in January 1996.
Retired in November 2005; and is now a full-time writer. Some of his works, in full, include: echoes of my other self; shadows of a sun-darkened land; inward moon outward sun; if i could write: Ramadan letters that can be read at Christmas or on any other day; and lyrics in paradise. He is the recipient of the Thomas Pringle Award for Poetry. What is particularly striking about his poetry is its complete sincerity, described as, “a luminous work of the heart containing profound reflections on the nature of the Divine, Prophetic and human consciousness, love, justice, peace and war. A genuine and original Sufi primer for the 21st-century seeker, reflecting an important development in contemporary ‘South African spiritual thought'”.