Nazeer Jamal

Assistant director: Strategic administrative enforcement, department of environmental affairs

Nazeer Jamal is a crime-fighter. He may not bust down doors but he does bust South African companies that violate environmental laws. Jamal is a control officer with the department of environmental affairs or, as some like to call them, the Green Scorpions. Companies that think they can dump sewage into rivers or destroy natural habitats to increase their bottom line can expect a call from him. When they, predictably, plead ignorance, he proves their negligence. Much of the 25-year-old's inspiration for helping the environment comes from his Islamic faith. "Every day that I take care of the environment,� he says, "I am taking care of God's creations.� He was president of the Muslim Student Association at the University of KwaZulu- Natal when he first became active in ecosystem conservation. Following the gruesome killing of Nkululeko the hippo in 2008 Jamal co-founded the animal rights and environmental protection group, Pact (People Acting Caring Thinking). His outstanding work earned him the title Muslim Leader of Tomorrow from the American Society of Muslim Advancement after he represented South Africa at the society's annual conference in 2009. Like many crime-fighters Jamal has a second identity. To the followers of his popular show on Radio Al Ansaar and the fans of Waahid, the music group he founded in 2006, he is known as Nazjam. At age 13 his first job at the radio station was cleaning the bins but several years later he became the presenter and DJ of his own show, The Nasheed Jam, which played Islamic music from around the world and was on air every Saturday and Sunday for the four years of his university career. He is the rapper in Waahid, the only Nasheed band in South Africa, spitting rhymes in English, Arabic and Urdu. The group is currently making its fourth album.�Eric Axelrod

Twitter: @nazjam