' 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 eNCA, a South African TV channel with a global reach. With multiple cinema and TV screenings in South Africa, the film was screened at several international film festivals (see Film); and is distributed internationally by 'Off the Fence' an Amsterdam- based film distribution company . .
A graduate of the online Screenwriting course at UCLA's School of Theater, Film and Television (TFT), and nominated there for the Nate Wilson Student Award for Screenwritnig, Zarina is also a graduate of a bootcamp at the UKs National Film and Television School (NFTS).
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 and their impact on 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 global 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, 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 diplomat liaising with the UK's University of Cambridge to 'localise' the Cambridge Examinations System for the Zambian government. Then employed by the United Nations (UN) to work with the Preferential Trade Area of Southern Africa (PTA) during which she continued her clandestine work at night in 'Operation Vula', a secret operation charged by then ANC President Oliver Tambo (while President Mandela was still in prison) to infiltrate the exiled ANC leadership back into SA.
Only when her then-husband was granted indemnity from prosecution in 1990 by the apartheid government did Zarina return with their 2 children to South Africa.
In post-apartheid SA Zarina was a trustee of the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund, while a newspaper columnist 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's then-husband Mac and her were subjected by his political enemies - allegations which remain unproven as at 2020, 18 years since they were first made through false leaks to some sensationalist media, and for which the Maharaj's were never charged in a court of law - 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 fiercely 'pulling no punches' in responding to their enemies intent on bringing their family down, as well as Zarina's own twice sold-out memoir ‘Dancing to a Different Rhythm’.
One wonders if the current false allegations by the corrupt themselves against Pravin Gordhan, Minister of Public Enterprises, will also continue unchecked for 18 years and more. It's as if the court of public opinion makes a court of law unnecessary when the objective is simply to destroy good reputations.