' You can cut the flowers, but you can't stop Spring from coming.' - Pablo Neruda
Zarina Maharaj is the writer/producer/director of the TV docudrama 'Flat 13' written for ETV (now eNCA), a South African TV channel with a global reach. Following multiple screenings in South Africa and award nominations at international film festivals, 'Flat 13' was then sought by the USA's PBS TV channel for screening to US audiences (see Film)
A graduate of the online Professional Program in Screenwriting at UCLA's School of Theater, Film and Television (TFT), and of the Screenwriting bootcamp held in 2017 at the National Film and Television School (NFTS) in the UK, she had earlier authored the award-winning book 'Dancing to a Different Rhythm', reviewed, among others, by Nadine Gordimer, a South African Nobel Laureate of Literature - see Memoir - and written nationally syndicated opinion columns on gender issues pertaining to SA for the Independent Newspaper Group.
And having obtained an M.A in Gender and Development from the School of International Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex (UK) she contributed as well to debates in academic journals and conferences on issues of gender and socio-economic development (see Publications), following which she was invited to join the international editing collective of the widely circulated journal 'Feminist Review'.
A dual South African/British citizen of mixed race, Zarina's education had initially been in Mathematics (M.Sc) at the University of Nottingham (UK). She then worked in this capacity in industry and academia in the UK, Europe and Africa, including in Geneva at the United Nations (UNCTAD), in London at Xerox International as part of a team of mathematicians and engineers, and then in the office of President Samora Machel of Mozambique, on secondment there from the University of Maputo, where she was a Maths lecturer Next , employed by the UK government as a liaison with the University of Cambridge , she headed the team based at Zambia's University of Lusaka tasked with 'localising' the Cambridge Examinations System at national level for the Zambian government.
During that period in exile from South Africa she worked at night in the anti-apartheid ANC's underground movement, in the communications team of the top secret 'Operation Vula', an operation charged by then President Oliver Tambo - when apartheid was as its brutal height - with infiltrating the exiled ANC leadership back into SA.
In post-apartheid South Africa, Zarina was a trustee of the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund while working as a consultant to business on women's economic empowerment and as a writer.
For his views on the role of wives and mothers in the struggle for freedom, see President Nelson Mandela's views in Struggle Days .
And for his views on the abuse of political power and the factional fights as well as the personal vendettas to which Zarina's family, among others, was subjected following President Mandela's term as the first democratically-elected and black president of SA, see Shades of Difference and Abuse of Power .