Women of Wonder

Fasiha Hassan is paving the path for youth in politics

05 August 2020 - 06:00 By Busang Senne
#FeesMustFall movement. Fasiha Hassan won the Student Peace Prize for her “nonviolent efforts towards gaining equal access to higher education”.
#FeesMustFall movement. Fasiha Hassan won the Student Peace Prize for her “nonviolent efforts towards gaining equal access to higher education”.
Image: Via Instagram/Fasiha Hassan


Fasiha Hassan became the youngest ever member of the provincial legislature in 2019 at the tender age of 25 and is now the whip of the ANC Gauteng political education and development caucus executive.


Hassan has already established herself as one of the distinguished voices in contemporary SA politics due to her involvement in student leadership, becoming the first woman chairperson of the Muslim Students’ Association (MSA) at Wits University in 2013.

She has occupied various political spaces, including as deputy president of the SA Union of Students (SAUS) and secretary-general of the Wits SRC during the 2014-2015 Fees Must Fall campaign, helping to organise and led the student body to protest against exclusionary fees, outsourcing and discriminatory barriers to access at tertiary institutions.


Hassan received both a BCom degree and an LLB from Wits University and was awarded the 2019 Student Peace Prize, a Norwegian prize awarded to student activists dedicated to non-violent social justice. She was awarded the prize for her exemplary work towards creating a decolonised, equal and accessible framework for SA universities.

Hassan is fast becoming an important figure for reflecting the importance of intergenerational leadership and inclusion of emerging voices of young women of colour in positions of higher decision-making power. In the provincial legislature, Hassan is tackling issues surrounding youth unemployment and entrepreneurship.


Hassan is a Muslim woman at the forefront of a new political era in SA history, often connecting her faith with her activism as both are built on a foundation that deliberately advocates for social justice.

She took her oath of public office under her own sentimental Holy Koran, gifted to her by her parents from their Hajj pilgrimage, when she was sworn in as a member of the Gauteng legislature.

PODCAST | The ‘hijacking’ of #FeesMustFall: Fasiha Hassan’s story

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