Jane Katjavivi praised for her nobleness

Martin Endjala

The National Assembly Speaker Peter Katjavivi’s late wife, Jane Katjavivi who died yesterday morning at the age of 70, has been praised for her nobleness and for her willingness to assist those in need and for having contributed greatly to the development of the country.

“Jane will be sorely missed by many of us for her gentle demeanour and willingness to offer assistance to those in need,” these were the sentiments of President Hage Geingob in his condolence message yesterday.

Geingob sympathized with the family saying that he has learned with sadness of the death of Madam Jane Katjavivi, saying she was a dependable family friend and the wife of his dear brother, Comrade Peter Katjavivi.

He pointed out that the late Jane played a pivotal role in helping out at the Swapo Office in London and became a steadfast supporter of freedom fighters during the liberation struggle.

Jane, he said, became one of them in advancing the fight for freedom and independence.

After independence in 1990, as an accomplished author and passionate editor, Jane was instrumental in building Namibian literature and assisted many with editing manuscripts and documents.

“We will cherish the outstanding role she played in the development of language and the preservation of Namibian literature,” the President expressed.

He said that during this difficult hour of grief for the Katjavivi family, he extends on behalf of the Namibian people and Government, his wife Monica Geingos and his family, sincere condolences to his dear brother, Peter Katjavivi, the children and the entire bereaved family.

“May the soul of Madam Jane Katjavivi rest in eternal peace”, Geingob comforted.

A former colleague of the late Jane Katjavivi, who is a PHD holder in Political Science, Ndumba Kamwenyah, described her work as very essential and important in publishing research done and community engagements and teachings that is archived for future references.

Kamwenyah said Jane should be celebrated for what she stood for and carry on her legacy by telling historic stories that she started in making sure that academics have a platform to publish their knowledge for future generations.

Leader of the Popular Democratic Movement McHenry Venaani also made his tribute as he expressed his deepest condolences to the bereaved family as well as the friends, former colleagues and associates of Jane Katjavivi.

Venaani said that as an author and editor, Katjavivi naturally had a way with words, freely expressing

herself with eloquence. However, it is not just her fluency which will be remembered, but her versatility as well, further pointing out that she left a legacy of what a great public servant should be – dedicated, sincere, honest and committed to excellence and service.

Venaani highlighted that she proved that one does not need to be in a position of power to make a difference, saying that the Katjavivi family lost a matriarch and pillar of support.

“This was unforgiving work. A task not readily rewarded, yet she did this with remarkable distinction during a repressive period. On this day, we proclaim – death be not proud. We thank the Katjavivi family for sharing Jane with us and allowing her to make a difference in history of this great nation.’’

The late Katjavivi began her academic career at the University of Sussex, were she obtained a B.A honours in English literature and later earned her Master’s degree from the University of Birmingham.

Paramount chief of the Ovaherero Prof. Mutjinde Katjiua also expressed his condolences saying that she was a great mother to Perivi, Isabelle, Uanaingi and many others as well as a loving grandmother, adding that she will be dearly missed.

“In this hour of their loss, I wish to extend sincere condolences on behalf of myself, Ngurii and the OvaHerero people to Prof. Peter Katjavivi, the children and the entire family. Ovati vetu ngavejakure omuinjo ue and May the good Lord comfort you all,” Katjiua sympathised.

The paramount chief stated that she contributed significantly to Namibia’s development. A humble soul who in conduct and disposition transcended race and thus radiated humanity at its best.

She later went on to become a writer, editor and publisher and was the founding chairperson of the Association of Namibian Publishers, Namibia Book Development Council and the Southern African Representative on the African Publishers Network (APNET). She also founded the Publisher of the University of Namibia Press from 2011 to 2016.

By Observer