ISBN 9789991642512
Pages 130
Dimensions 210 x 140 mm
Illustrations B/W Illustrations
Published 2020
Publisher University of Namibia Press, Namibia
Format Paperback

Mama Penee

Transcending the Genocide

by Uazuvara Katjivena

Jahohora Petronella Inaavinuise, who came to be known as Mama Penee, was a young girl of eleven when her parents were shot in cold blood before her during the 1904–1908 genocidal war in Namibia. Waved away from the scene by a German soldier, she realised that it was her destiny to live. Finding water and food for herself and learning to avoid danger, she spent several months in hiding. Courageous and self-sufficient, she learned lessons in wisdom, calm, and what is truly important in life, lessons which she later imparted to her grandchildren in ways both ingenious and challenging. Her extraordinary personal qualities and influence shine from this story, told by one of her grandsons with the insight and understanding gained over a lifetime of reflecting on his grandmother.

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"A living example of an indigenous form of storytelling, of passing along history from generation to generation – suspenseful, pedagogical, moving."

Professor Elizabeth Baer, Gustavus Adolphus College, Minnesota

About the Author

Uazuvara Katjivena

Uazuvara Katjivena, linguist, broadcaster, filmmaker and senior office-bearer in SWAPO was in exile from 1964 to 1989. He returned to Namibia for National Independence in 1990, and is currently in retirement with his wife in Norway. He writes about his cultural roots in historical context to preserve this oral history for his family and future Ovaherero generations.

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