' You can cut the flowers, but you can't stop Spring from coming.' - Pablo Neruda
Zarina Maharaj is the writer/producer/co-editor/narrator of the TV historical docudrama 'Flat 13' about the struggle against apartheid that preceded the 1964 Rivonia Trial, a film made for eNCA, an English-speaking South African TV channel with a global reach. With cinema and TV screenings in SA and across the world , the film was originally shown at several international film festivals, including the joint Berlinale/Durban Film Festival and China's Sechuan International Film Festival, where it was nominated for Best Director, then distributed internationally by Off the Fence, an Amsterdam- based film company - click on Film above
A graduate of the online Screenwriting course at UCLA's School of Theater, Film and Television (TFT), and nominated there for the prestigious Nate Wilson Student Award for Screenwriting, Zarina also successfully gained admission to a summer stint at the UKs National Film and Television School (NFTS).
Having earlier authored her award-winning memoir 'Dancing to a Different Rhythm' reviewed, by, among others, the South African Nobel Laureate of Literature, Nadine Gordimer, and the esteemed feminist sociologist Professor Fatima Meer, as well as several newspaper journalists, including those from The Sowetan and other dailies - see Memoir - Zarina had also written, (having gained her Master's degree in Gender and Development from Sussex University), newspaper opinion columns for the UK's Independent Newspaper Group's South African daily, Business Report, on the impact of gender issues on SA's social and economic development. At this time she was a member of the international editing collective of the global academic journal 'Feminist Review', when she also contributed to local public debates on these issues, including in one of SA's socio-political journals 'Transformation' and at Kwazulu Natal's Professional Women’s League - see Publications above - before taking up a consultancy to business on women's economic empowerment.
This experience notwithstanding - including her previous work as a mathematician at the UK's General Electric and Xerox International companies (having previously gained her Masters in Mathematics from Nottingham University) and as a Maths lecturer at Mozambique's Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (from which she was seconded to work for a semester in the Office of President Samora Machel of Mozambique while simultaneously working clandestinely for the exiled ANC) - Zarina was viciously blocked from any public service employment in post-apartheid SA , caught in the crossfire of the false allegations of corruption unscrupulously leaked to the press against her then-husband Mac Maharaj by his enemies within the ANC government of the time. This 'Jobs for Pals Only' cronyism was blocking many others of merit from public service too. Fortunately, however, Zarina's newspaper columns on gender issues, her consultancy to business on women's economic empowerment, her trusteeship of the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund and her passion for writing provided her with an excellent creative work alternative.
For late President Mandela's views on Mac's persecution through those false allegations of corruption to which the Maharaj's were subjected by Mac's political enemies in the ANC government, see Shades of Difference. See also the Mail and Guardian's 'Mac supersizes conflict in the ANC', which includes a reference to Zarina's 'fiercely pulling no punches' in her response to those intent on bringing her family down. Such interviews as at https://www.news24.com/amp/news24/southafrica/news/anc-out-of-touch-with-the-people-says-mac-maharaj-as-he-warns-that-corruption-threatens-sas-democracy-20220427 and the eNCA interview at https://youtu.be/Hi4POOuPvR4 by some of the very media that had tried us in the court of public opinion and that took place after the family's name was cleared after those long years of vilification - when the real criminals, including those of State Capture, had and still continue in 2022 to live large - are noteworthy.
As for President Mandela's view on the role played by wives and mothers in the struggle for freedom, including Zarina’s, see Struggle Days.
Indeed you can cut the flowers but you can't stop Spring from coming!