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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.

ISBN 9789991642512 | 130 pages | 210 x 140 mm | B/W Illustrations | 2020 | University of Namibia Press, Namibia | Paperback



"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



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