SA family back home after cruise ordeal
Gabisile Ngcobo, The Witness
Pietermaritzburg - There were tears of joy and relief when the Agjee family landed at King Shaka International Airport on Saturday, happy to be home from Italy 10 days after surviving the Costa Concordia shipwreck.
The Pietermaritzburg family will be back at work at their hardware business in Howick on Monday morning.
Faizal and Nafeesa Agjee, and their children, Zahra, 22, and Zaheer, 18, were reminded of their ordeal on their way home.
“The flight was a bit turbulent. That was frightening,” said Nafeesa.
Emotional and tiring day
“It was quite an emotional and tiring day [Saturday] but it’s good to be home,” the family said.
They most looked forward to being reunited with the rest of their family.
When they arrived home from the airport, all they wanted to do was to sleep.
The Agjees flew from Rome to Dubai for a six-hour layover, then boarded another plane to Durban.
They were treated to lunch by their extended family on Sunday.
“It was actually a nice lunch. We had a chance to talk about the incident,” said Nafeesa.
“I think it was more emotional for our family because, even though we spoke to them and told them that we were fine, they needed to find out for themselves if we were really okay,” she added.
Shopping and sightseeing
While they were still in Rome, the cruiser liner company gave them a “fair amount” to go on a shopping spree and for sightseeing and travelling.
“Everything that we lost is material. We were glad we were safe. Staying a bit longer was therapeutic as well.”
Daughter Zahra said she most feared losing a family member, but felt the worst was over when they were on dry land.
“This experience has brought us together as a family. Rome is beautiful, except the cold, and I took lots of pictures,” she added.
Zaheer received two distinctions, in accounting and life orientation, when he wrote matric at Carter High School last year, and will be following in his sister’s footsteps when he studies accounting.
“After the incident we went on a boat in Venice. But I don’t know if I’ll go on cruise ship again. It’s too soon. But my children and husband told me that they’re not getting on a cruise ship ever again,” said Nafeesa.