The purple violet of Oshaantu by Neshani Andreas

the purple violet

notes-This is another one of Heinemanns wonderful african writer series ,it is the debut novel from Neshani Andreas a Namibian ,she is trained as a teacher and currently works in the education field in Namibia ,she is working on her second novel .she was born in Wavis bay but her family originates from the northern area of Namibia that this novel is set.she also worked for five years as a teacher in this rural area of Namibia .

The book-The book is about a young married girl Kauna and told in the whole from the perspective of her best friend and confidant Mee Ali a slightly older married girl in the village they live .The book starts with Kauna seeing the one of the elder ladies in the village and telling her about her abusive relationship with her husband Shange ,she is told in no uncertain terms this is the way things are and to grin and bare it ,this discussion was meant to be private but soon becomes common knowledge in the village ,shortly after this Shange unexpectionally dies .At first people are reassuring to Mee kanua but over a period of time she becomes suspect of being a witch and causing Shanges death ,she ends up with nothing as all Shanges property reverts to his family ,Mee Ali tries to help her friend the best she can as she sees her world fall apart .

It is that time of year again .The season when our village Oshaantu ,camouflage its self in a rich green carpet and provides a breathtaking sight ,especially from our homestead,which is built on an incline .I wish time would stand still .We had goo rains this year and are promised plenty to eat .

the opening lines of the purple violet of Oshaantu .

My view – I really wanted to read this book when i saw it at the library ,as i sometime work with a relief member of staff at work that originally comes from Namibia , this book has a number of levels it a story of a close friendship between to women ,an insight into village life ,an example of how females fit into Namibian society ,which is quite low by the novel .It slotted in nicely after reading Damon Galgut book set in Namibia ,that was about city life were as this book is about rural life .


An interview with Neshani Andreas


Have you read any other Namibian writers ?

February 2023


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