' 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/eNCA, a South African TV channel with a global reach. With multiple cinema and TV screenings in South Africa, the film has also been acclaimed at international film festivals; and is distributed internationally by 'Off the Fence' an Amsterdam, Netherlands- based film distribution company(see Film). .
A graduate of the online Screenwriting course at UCLA's School of Theater, Film and Television (TFT), and nominated there for the Nate Wilson Award for Screenwritnig, Zarina is also a graduate of a bootcamp at the UKs prestigious National Film and Television School (NFTS), as indicated in 'Film' above.
Having earlier authored the award-winning book 'Dancing to a Different Rhythm', reviewed, by, among others, the South African Nobel Laureate of Literature, Nadine Gordimer - see Memoir - Zarina has also written nationally syndicated newspaper opinion columns on gender issues in relation to South Africa's social and economic development, for the UK's Independent Newspaper Group's subsidiary in South Africa - see Publications -   while at this time also a member of the international editing collective of the worldwide-distributed journal 'Feminist Review'.
A dual South African/British citizen of mixed race, Zarina had, prior to obtaining her Masters in Gender and Development from the University of Sussex, UK, obtained a Masters in Mathematics from the University of Nottingham UK, which she'd applied in her work in Geneva, Switzerland at the United Nations (UNCTAD), and also at the London Headquarters of Xerox International.
Thence back to Africa, first to newly independent Mozambique, where she successfully computerised the information system in the office of President Samora Machel - while on secondment from the University Eduardo Mondlane in Maputo , where she was a lecturer in Mathematics. Next on to Zambia as a UK government employee with diplomatic status, liaising with the UK's University of Cambridge to 'localise' the Cambridge Examinations System for the Zambian government. On completion of this, on to the United Nations (UN) as a Technical Co-Operation Officer with added diplomatic status, during which she continued to work clandestinely at night in 'Operation Vula', a secret operation charged by then ANC President Oliver Tambo, while President Mandela was still in prison on Robben Island, to infiltrate the exiled ANC leadership back into SA.
Only when her family were granted indemnity from prosecution in 1990 by the apartheid government did Zarina return with them to SA
In post-apartheid South Africa, Zarina, a mother of two young children, worked as a trustee of the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund, while simultaneously a writer and consultant to business on women's economic empowerment.
For the late President Mandela's views on the role of wives and mothers in the struggle for freedom, including Zarina's role, see Struggle Days .
And for President Mandela's approach to the abuse of political power relating to the false allegations of corruption to which Zarina and her ex-husband Mac were subjected by their political enemies - allegations which remain unproven to this day in 2020, 18 years since they were first made with the co-operation of some in the sensationalist media - see Shades of Difference and Abuse of Power
For more on this see also both the Mail and Guardian article by Sam Sole 'Mac supersizes conflict in the ANC' in which Sole describes Zarina as unapologetically 'pulling no punches' in responding to the accusers of her family, as well as Zarina's own twice sold-out memoir ‘Dancing to a Different Rhythm’..
One wonders if the allegations against Pravin Gordhan, Minister of Public Enterprises, will also continue for 18 years.