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Maria Victoria Pereira PDF Print E-mail

Maria Victoria Pereira (1939 - ) was born in Moçambique, and emigrated to South Africa in 1976, with her husband and three children. In 1981 she divorced and in 1983 she lost a son in a car accident. A spiritual experience thereafter was the trigger in 1996 for 'The Rainbow Butterfly', a story created to help her grand-child come to terms with the concept of dying. 'The Rainbow Butterfly', proved its healing power when read at an orphanage and in 2004 was given a grant for its publication, by the KZN Department of Education and Culture. The story, adapted for stage by Clara Maharaj, was performed at various schools, and in 2005 at the Portuguese Church of S José in Durban - under the direction of Peter Court who kindly coached amateur children. It was part of a multi-cultural show offered by the Portuguese Women's League in Durban which included Zulu dancing and Indian dancing. Together with Whispers in the Wind, it was recorded by Tape Aids for the Blind.

A poet and a writer, Pereira has poems, articles and stories in publications in South Africa and overseas. In the 90’s , she was involved in the Poetry for Peace project with Nise Malange and the late poet Shaun de Vaal – one of the founders of LIPS (Live Poets Society). In 1993 published Whispers in the Wind, poems of an emigrant. Her poem "The Messenger", in honour of the late Dean of the Faculty of Theology at UDW, Prof Mazibuko, was inserted in Mission, a book in his memory by the late Dr. Roswith Geerloff of the University of Leeds. Actively participating in national and international conferences, in 1998 she read a paper in Chicago, on the “Portuguese in South Africa during the Rise and Fall of Apartheid” at a conference of the African Studies Association. Pereira has also been involved in exhibitions, including the ‘Poetry Visualized’ at the NSA Gallery in 1997, when her poems were interpreted through collage, painting and textile works. In 2000 Pereira completed an MA in Religious Studies with a thesis on The Link Between Identity, Religion and Community - a study of Portuguese Women in Durban.

Member of the Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians, she was editor and coordinator of Tempo de Mudar, Tempo de Agir (Time to Act, Time to Change) a collection of stories written by African women from Moçambique and Angola , launched in the Cameroons by the Centre for Constructive Theology (University of Durban-Westville). In 2008 Pereira completed the collection and coordination of Pathways of Feeling, (‘Caminhos do Sentir’), sponsored by Bank Millennium and published by the Portuguese Women’s League . This is a collection of real stories gathered during creative writing workshops - in Durban, Pretoria and Cape Town –facilitated by her, for Portuguese Women in South Africa. The proceeds of sales were offered to the Portuguese Welfare in Johannesburg. It was launched in Durban at Durban High School.

In 2010 she completed the historical booklet, with coloured photos, 'Church of San José – Greyville, Durban – 1980-2010', which includes a photo of the late Archbishop Dennis Hurley – interview in the Berea Mail in March 2011. Her poems ‘A Walk through the Woods’ and ‘T.V. and the Rest’, were chosen for the 2011-2013 Syllabus for Grade 7.

Her first ‘metafiction’ novel, Under a Swirling Sun, based on her life experiences, was launched at the end of 2012 by Adams Bookshop. (see: It is also available on and Kindle. She is working on her new collection of poetry and short stories.

Answering machines
Cell phones and computers
TVs, videos and now DVDs…
What next?

This is knowledge and technology
But …where is happiness gone
Conversation, communication,
Respect and understanding?

O… they hide behind closed doors
Waiting for the messianic moment
When they will be allowed in…

Tradition… no more
We have to learn old things
Through new means

Elders out!
We look for
retreats and workshops
to recreate our somehow
drooping spirits…

But when we return
There they are!
The little Brats! Our machines!
And like sailors lured by mermaids
We sink - hook and handle ….
In a sea of "presto":
instant, quick,
'right now' pleasure
and possible madness
or schizophrenia
if not at least
a pain in the neck!

And the Sun in the sky rolls up high
From East to West
Slowly…. Since times gone by
Slowly… from East to West
Since millions of years ago

For how long will we
'rock n' roll'?