A Journey to Exile. The Story of a Namibian Freedom Fighter, by Keshii Pelao Nathanel
The author of 'A Journey to Exile. The Story of a Namibian Freedom Fighter', Keshii Pelao Nathanel, was a founder of the Swapo Youth League (SYL) and struggled for the liberation of Namibia before being forced into exile in Sweden.
It took me many years to regain the strength required to be able to tell the story that I present here. I found it difficult to understand that people whom we had trusted as our leaders could take the lives of so many of their own people: in fact more, I believe, than had met their death at the hands of the enemy in battle. It took such a long time to accept that persons like Johannes Kadhila and Negonga Nangutuwala had really been killed by their own people, men about whose courage and love for their own people I was intimately aware; men who would never betray the cause of their country's liberation. For so many years I kept on denying to myself that they were gone. If anyone had come along to tell me that they had died at the frontline, I should have had no difficulty accepting their deaths because I knew they were prepared to give whatever was required to liberate their country. It was like a bad dream to hear the leaders of Swapo, now in power in Namibia, distorting the story of how my comrades had come to grief- while the facts were known by all of the survivors. For many years I remained confused, lacking the strength and the courage to pursue the case. I must admit that I have had to go to counselling - to help me regain my sense of dignity, the balance of outlook and the distance required to be able to continue putting down this story on paper. Swedish society has supported me by showing acceptance of me as a human being, by showing trust in me: for example, by electing me as Chairman of a trade union (as the postal workers of Stockholm did), and as a member of parent-teacher associations in my neighbourhood. My friends in Re-Evaluation Counselling, led by Jenny Ronne, have also supported me with their reassurance that what had happened to me had nothing to do with me as a person, but that those who had acted in the ways I describe, are to be held responsible for their actions. By telling me that they lifted a burden off my shoulders and gave me the courage to go on. My story begins some 120 years ago - when Germans invaded the Namibia in which I grew up, to colonise the land and join together the fate of the various groups of people who inhabited its space. As happened throughout the colonial world, the colonial power set out to destroy the ways of living and of government of the native people - to widen the space for living of its own kind. They first undermined the peoples of the Southern and Central regions of the territory: the Namas, the Damaras and the Hereros. Then, in 1904, when those peoples finally realised the dangers they had let themselves in for by welcoming the strangers into their midst, and rose up in rebellion, the might of Imperial Germany's military forces was unleashed against them. When the resulting genocidal war finally came to an end in 1907, only some 15,000 Hereros and some 10,000 Namas - out of populations estimated to have numbered nearly 100,000 and 20,000, respectively - were left as refugees in neighbouring territories. [...]
This is an excerpt from A Journey to Exile. The Story of a Namibian Freedom Fighter, by Keshii Pelao Nathanel.
Title: A Journey to Exile
Subtitle: The Story of a Namibian Freedom Fighter
Author: Keshii Pelao Nathanael
Publisher: Martial Publishing
Windhoek, Namibia 2017
ISBN 9789991681696 / ISBN 978-99916-816-9-6
Nathanael, Keshii Pelao im Namibiana-Buchangebot
A Journey to Exile: The Story of a Namibian Freedom Fighter is a story of intrigue and deception, of wholly unexpected alliances, and the brutal power of international politics as well as in Namibia.