Katjivena, Uazuvara Ewald Kapombo (2020): Mama Penee: Transcending the Genocide

Book cover Uazuvara Ewald Kapombo Katjivena 2020 Mama Penee Transcending Genocide Windhoek Namibia

Katjivena, Uazuvara Ewald Kapombo: Mama Penee: Transcending the Genocide, Windhoek 2020

Text from the online catalogue of the publisher UNAM Press (checked in February 2024):

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.


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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