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Valentina: The Exile Child: An autobiography by Rachel Valentina Nghiwete Paperback – May 6, 2010
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In her just-released autobiography, Valentina: The Exile Child, Rachel Valentina Nghiwete attempts to provide a window into the world of Namibia's `exile children', who grew up in the refugee camps across the world under the banner of the SWAPO movement. Born to exiled SWAPO combatants in Kwanza-Sul, Angola, and raised in various refugee camps in Angola, Nghiwete provides a historical account of the struggle for Namibia's independence from her perspective as an `exile child' as she details her life story from her parents' `exodus into exile' to her repatriation to Namibia in 1989 on the eve of independence.
In her debut literary work, Nghiwete also describes her coming of age as the daughter of an ambassador after Namibia's attainment of independence, in the United Kingdom and the United States, and provides an in-depth look into her personal and spiritual life journey. Filled with several wonderful vignettes from her life as a flamboyant child in exile, a culture-shocked pre-teen in independent Namibia, a teenager experiencing an intellectual awakening in London, and an aspiring international businesswoman in the US, Valentina: The Exile Child is an inspiring tale of a Namibian exile child's painful and joyful journey to finding and living a life of meaning and purpose.
With its distinct focus (particularly in the first two and last chapter of the book ) on the experiences of Namibia's "children of the liberation struggle" and the challenges they continue to face in establishing a Namibian identity, this book is a must-read for anyone interested in Namibian history and the varied experiences that make up Namibia's past and present.
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