The Voice Beyond the Veil

A One Woman Show written and performed by Jazmine Pippa Dyer

This is the true story of two lovers JESSICA and SAMEER, a gentile woman of British/Irish descent, and Muslim man of Indian/Malaysian descent, who meet, marry and bear fruit in Apartheid South Africa. Thrown together by fate, circumstance, and a committed resistance to Apartheid they struggle to come to terms with their two colliding worlds. JESSICA needs to reconcile that her name was changed to ZAHIRA and she was converted to Islam on her wedding day without her prior knowledge or consent. She feels her life has been hijacked and struggles to reach that place inside her where, in her previous life, she was an actor and jazz and blues singer, albeit struggling. SAMEER, a brilliant, cerebral man, needs to redefine the pressures of his new life, a child, fledgling relationship, wife who is resistant to his heritage, and the debilitating effect that Apartheid had on his life. Both are trapped. ZAHIRA cannot leave him easily because of the terms of Islamic Law, so she focuses on the child that she always wanted, SHAMINA, whom she loves. SAMEER succumbs to one of the backlashes of Apartheid, Drugs. A whole sub-culture of people, anaesthetized themselves from the horrific images of brutality that were part of the Apartheid daily reality with mandrax, cocaine, dope, and in SAMEER's case, finally heroin. SAMEER eventually acknowledges his addiction and subsequently rehabilitates himself, she never does … until 9/11.

Set in a transformational time in South African political history the healing of their relationship is reflected almost in the healing of the country. The two families only meet for the first time, one year after liberation when the child is turning 3 years old! Later, Afghanistan and Iraq, reflective of their war-torn relationship evoke further challenges to them. ZAHIRA questions the silence of the women and realizes that she has become one of them. Through her own renaissance she finds the strength to make peace with her past. 'Reclaiming self' becomes her mission and her reclaimed voice.

Living between two worlds, she inhabits a place that is both her captor and her lucky charm, her repressor and finally her salvation. It is a story of fear and prejudice, forgiveness and humility. Ultimately there is retribution but not without the cost of time, pain, and deep resources of understanding.

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    © Greg Marinovich, 1990
This pic was taking during Apartheid, in the final push for liberation when the whole country was burning up, people suspected of being informants were set alight and burnt alive. This man is not only alive and on fire, but he is being bludgeoned on the head by an onlooker bearing a panga. (Roughly made axe). Liberation eventually came in 1994