' You can cut the flowers, but you can't stop Spring from coming.' - Pablo Neruda
Zarina Maharaj is the writer/producer/director/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 gained admission to a short 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 - click on 'Memoir above - Zarina had also written nationally-syndicated newspaper opinion columns for the UK's Independent Newspaper Group's South African daily, Business Report, on the impact of gender issues on our country's social and economic development. At this time she was a member of the international editing collective of the globally distributed academic journal Feminist Review, when she also contributed to local public debates on these issues, including in South Africa's own academic journal Transformation and in Kwazulu Natal's Professional Women’s League, which invited her to make a keynote speech in KZN on the sociology of gender and thereafter introduced her as a consultant to business on women's economic empowerment – click on the 'Publications' page above.
Prior to this she had worked in Europe and Africa as a mathematician in industry and at higher- education institutions, including the UK's General Electric and Rank Xerox, and Mozambique's Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, where she lectured in Mathematics, and from which she was seconded to work for a semester in the Office of President Samora Machel of Mozambique, thereafter being employed by the British Overseas Development's Technical Aid Program in Zambia (ODA), and later the UN's Preferential Trade Agreement Project (PTA) also based in Zambia - while simultaneously working clandestinely after office hours for the exiled ANC - having originally graduated with Masters degrees in Mathematics and the Sociology of Gender from the UK's Universities of Nottingham and Sussex respectively.
Only when her then-husband Mac Maharaj was granted indemnity from political prosecution in 1990 by the apartheid government was Zarina finally able to return with their 2 young children to South Africa, working in post-apartheid South Africa as a newspaper columnist, a consultant to business on women's economic empowerment and a trustee of the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund - having maliciously been barred from serving in the post-Mandela government because of the ruthless political infighting against non-hacks mentioned below, despite her fully meeting all the professional requirements for such public service.
For late President Mandela's views on the political infighting and false allegations to which Zarina's then-husband Mac - and she too, caught in the cross-fire - were subjected by Mac's political enemies in the ANC, allegations of corruption which remain unproven from the time they were first made in a smear campaign through false leaks to the press and for which the Maharaj's have never been charged in a court of law nor made to pay any legal costs, click on 'Shades of Difference; and 'Abuse of Power' above, and see also the University of Massachusetts' historian Professor Padraig O'Malley's Heart of Hope website, maintained by the Centre for Memory of the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
And for President Mandela's view on the commitment of wives and mothers in the struggle for freedom, including Zarina's, see ‘Struggle Days'
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. Her memoir 'Dancing to a Different Rhythm' also throws light on the historical background to this abuse of power, which today the ANC continues to inflict, in its egregious in-fighting for the spoils of power, on itself and on South Africa's people - ripping the country apart as witnessed in SA's devastating July 2021 riots - which Mac Maharaj was interviewed about by several TV stations and newspapers once his name had been cleared, including an interview by eNCA at https://youtu.be/Hi4POOuPvR4
Indeed, you can cut the flowers but you can't stop Spring from coming.