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Hloni Magadla
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'I was scared I would die' - student recalls Durban storm horror

11 October 2017, 12:10  - Hloni Magadla

Nkosazana Dambuza tells us about her ordeal in yesterday’s devastating Durban storm. 

I’m a second-year journalism student at Durban University of Technology and this is my story of how I survived the scary storm in Durban.

In the morning, on my way to school, the weather was clear and I had a dress on. Around 10am the storm started while I was on campus. In an attempt to get home I walked to the taxi rank. There I was told that the taxis weren’t operating because it was too dangerous, and there were no buses too. Not knowing what to do – and with my umbrella broken and the wind pushing me back and forth – I just stood there and cried.

A taxi then drove past and everyone ran towards it. It was each man for himself as everyone was worried about their own safety. I wanted to run towards the taxi too but more than 50 people were trying to get into one taxi so I was scared I would get hurt or stomped upon if I also tried to squeeze in. Everyone was trying to get to a place of safety because the wind was unbearable and the rain was pouring down.

Eventually I ran back to campus – only for the campus to get drenched too. A few students and I found a safe elevated area to wait in. As we were waiting everyone was panicking and making phone calls. We were hungry too and a few of decided to brave the weather to get food. I was on campus until 8pm because my mother’s car got stuck in the storm around Umlazi, she was trying to get to me. I called a friend who stays in Pinetown instead and I eventually got home at midnight.

Looking at the devastation after the storm on my way to campus, it all seems so crazy. When I was in the storm I was so scared I would die. I was crying and thinking of my family and their safety, I just wanted to be with them. I was so sad when I realised no one was thinking of the next person and that the spirit of Ubuntu is only a thought. I never thought something like this would happen in our country. We always see such things happening in America and overseas via social media.

I’m very grateful I’m safe. This experience taught me that there are a few good people and I also learnt to always be prepared for anything. I’m still trying to process everything, but the message in my heart is that everyone should lend a helping hand.

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