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VICTORIA PEREIRA (article first published : 2001-11-14)

On November 17, the Portuguese Women's League and Umsini Press will launch The Rainbow Butterfly by Durban author Victoria Pereira.

Maria Victoria Pereira was born in Lourenco Marques, now Maputo, in Mocambique and emigrated to South Africa in 1975 with her family. In 1983 she suffered the traumatic experience of losing her son Paulo in a car accident. The spiritual experience she underwent after his death is, she thinks, the background of this story.

The Rainbow Butterfly is the result of a sudden inspiration, fuelled by her concern for her grandchild, then five years old, who was struggling to come to terms with the reality of death. Realising the positive impact it had on him and on other children, Victoria decided to publish her observations and experiences.

This second improved version includes a parallel Zulu text. Victoria believes, through their simple images, fables and fairy tales can convey to children concepts that will enable them to face life's challenges with confidence, courage, kindness and hope. She strongly encourages parents to foster in their children the love of reading as one of the best treasures they will ever offer to them.

Victoria Pereira is amongst other things a poet and a writer and has lectured at the University of Durban-Westville's Centre for Constructive Theology. She recently was awarded her MA in Religious Studies, a study of religion, community and identity in Portuguese women immigrants in Durban. In 1993 she published Whispers in the Wind, a book of poems based on her own experience as an immigrant.




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