Namibians Research in Finland
Namibian scholar Frieda Nela-Williams received her PhD under Seppo Rytkönen from the University of Joensuu in 1991 for her study Precolonial Communities of Southwestern Africa: A History of Owambo Kingdoms, 1600-1920.9 She focuses heavily on precolonial political issues, and gives in-depth royal genealogies.
Importantly, several Namibians were offered scholarships to universities in Finland during this period, one in particular necessitates mention. Perhaps the most well-known is Ellen Namhila, the director of the University of Namibia Libraries. Her dissertation, on native estate records and post-colonial archival practices, was recently completed at the University of Tampere and will be published by the Basler Afrika Bibliographien.11 A large degree of library science cooperation between Namibia and Finland is large due to her efforts. Her memoir, The Price of Freedom, is a sober, yet inspiring account of the Namibian liberation struggle and life as an exile in Finland.12
11 Ellen Ndeshi Namhila, Recordkeeping and Missing “Native Estate” Records in Namibia: An Investigation of Colonial Gaps in a Post-colonial National Archive (Tampere: Acta Universitatis Tamperensis, 2015). [LINK]
12 Ellen Ndeshi Namhila, The Price of Freedom (Windhoek: New Namibia Books, 1995).