' 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 September 2017 at the National Film and Television School (NFTS) in Beaconsfield, UK, she was one of those selected to 'Meet the Experts', a group of established British film producers and directors, at the mid-September 2017 London Screenwriters Festival.
The author of the award-winning book 'Dancing to a Different Rhythm', reviewed by Nadine Gordimer, SA's first Nobel Laureate of Literature, among others - see Memoir - Zarina also wrote nationally syndicated newspaper columns/opinion pieces on gender issues pertaining to SA, and contributed to debates in academic journals and conferences on issues of gender and development (see Publications), having obtained a Masters in Gender and Development from the school of International Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex (UK) in the 1990's.
Following her original training as a mathematician (M.Sc) at the University of Nottingham (UK) , Zarina had 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 (which had earlier patented the idea of the compact digital fax machine, the original prototype of which she worked on improving as part of the international team assigned to do this), in the office of President Samora Machel of Mozambique, as a maths lecturer at the University of Maputo, as a representative of the University of Cambridge employed by the UK government to lead the team at Zambia's University of Lusaka tasked with setting up the Cambridge Examinations System for the Zambian government; and, during this period in exile from South Africa, working in the Anti-Apartheid underground movement as part of the communications team of the top secret 'Operation Vula' charged in the late 1980's with infiltrating the exiled anti-apartheid leadership back into SA.
In post-apartheid SA of the late 1990's, when Zarina became a writer, she did this jointly as a consultant on women's economic empowerment and as a trustee of the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund.
For 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 power and the personal rivalries and 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 .