' 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 also screened at several international film festivals and is distributed internationally by 'Off the Fence', an Amsterdam- based film distribution company - see 'Film' above
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 Screenwriting, Zarina also subsequently gained admission to a week-long live 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 for the UK's Independent Newspaper Group's South African subsidiary on gender issues and their impact on South Africa's women and on our country's social and economic development. At this time she was a member of the international editing collective of the global journal 'Feminist Review' - see 'Publications'.
A dual South African/British national of mixed race, she had, prior to becoming passionate about creative writing and gender issues, worked in Europe and Africa as an applied Mathematician in industry, academia, the UN and the British government, and clandestinely for the exiiled ANC in Zambia during its struggle against apartheid, having initially gained Masters degrees in Mathematics and the Sociology of Gender at the UK's Universities of Nottingham and Sussex respectively.
Only when her then-husband was granted indemnity from prosecution in 1990 by the apartheid government was Zarina able to return with their 2 young children to South Africa from Zambia. In post-apartheid SA she was made a trustee of the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund, whilst 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'.
For President Mandela's views on the abuse of political power relating to the false allegations of corruption to which Zarina's then-husband Mac, and her - caught in the cross-fire - were subjected by Mac's political enemies in the ANC, allegations which remain unproven from the time they were first made in a smear campaign through unlawful leaks to the press and for which the Maharaj's were never charged in a court of law, nor paid legal costs - see 'Shades of Difference' and 'Abuse of Power' above , as well as acclaimed historian Professor Padraig O'Malley's 'Heart of Hope' website, maintained by the Centre for Memory of the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
And see also the article in the Mail and Guardian 'Mac supersizes conflict in the ANC', which recounts Mac's side of the story and refers also to Zarina's fierce 'pulling no punches' in her response to those intent on bringing her family down, as well as the memoir 'Dancing to a Different Rhythm' that clarifies the background to this abuse of power.