Book Launch UNAM Press Taming My Elephant
UNAM Press launched the autobiography of Ambassador Tshiwa Trudie Amulungu, Taming My Elephant, late last week at the Peter Katjavivi Lecture Hall at the Main Campus, with special guest the Presdient, HE Dr Hage Geingob.
In her autobiography Amulungu recounts the cultural shocks and huge discoveries she made along her journey, with honesty, emotion and humour. She draws the reader into her experiences in exile and after Independence, reflecting on the socio-historical-cultural context, and portraying life, friends and community in the different places she lived.
She reminisces on the vast differences in life experiences over three generations in her family and compares her childhood and that of her children and their youthful experiences and those of her parents.
In Oshiwambo, the elephant is likened to the most challenging situation that people can face, therefore if an elephant appears in the morning, all planned activities are put on hold and the villagers join forces to deal with it. For Amulungu, the elephant showed up on many occasions and she had no choice but to tame it
Growing up in a traditional household in Owamboland under South African rule, Amulungu’s life started within an ordered framework. Then one night in 1997 she crossed the border into Angola with her schoolmates and joined the liberation movement.
Four months later she was studying at the UN Institute for Namibia in Lusaka, Zambia, then went on to study at Clermont-Ferrand University in France before returning after 12 years to take part in the elections that led to Independence.
Taming My Elephant is a compelling story of survival, longing for home, fear of the return and overcoming adversity in strange environments. It is also a love story that brought two families and cultures together. Ambassador Amulungu has served as Ambassador of Namibia to Senegal since 2014.
“A remarkable and important book which should be widely read in Namibia and by other general and academic readers interested in Namibia,” said Heike Becker, Professor of Anthropology, University of the Western Cape.