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35 years later — father, son unite

Shayal Devi
Sunday, January 28, 2018

FOR 35 years, Ajay Shaheed longed for the love of his father.

Raised by a single mother, who fell pregnant at an early age, he did not know the identity of his father until his mother was on her deathbed.

Yesterday, the Ba man was able to put a face to the name he had only heard about.

Mr Shaheed met his father Mohammed Shaheed at the Nadi International Airport after he arrived from Auckland, New Zealand.

Originally from Waiyavi, Lautoka, Mr Shaheed said he had no idea he had a son until he was contacted by relatives. A well-known soccer player and a former national rep, Mr Shaheed was in a relationship with his son's mother for a short time before she left him.

He was puzzled and all attempts to find her failed. It wasn't long after that he migrated to New Zealand, where he met his wife of 22 years, Amina Shaheed.

It was in December last year that Ajay's aunt Shri and her cousin Jay visited Ba for a short break.

Both women managed to track down Mr Shaheed's sister, who then passed on the contacts of her brothers, all of whom live in New Zealand.

One of the ladies then contacted Mr Shaheed to inform him of the news.

He said both, he and his wife were emotional and happy when they learnt about Ajay.

"It was emotional and that is why I have come to Fiji for one week, to see my son," the 58-year-old said.

He said he would spend the time to get to know his son better and give him all the love and support he could.

For his son, finally meeting his father was a momentous occasion.

"I've thought about him a lot when I was younger. Which child wouldn't want to know about their father?" he said.

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