The Empty Armchair debuts
12 December 2019 | Art and Entertainment
When Deputy Prime Minister Dr Libertina Amathila retired in 2010, after 40 years of service to Namibia, she was given a reclining armchair by a friend. However, her drive and activism kept her so busy that she had no time to sit in it. Instead, she focussed on developing her farm in the Kalahari sandveld, clearing the bush and breeding Brahman cattle. She also continued to be active on a national level, leading the Wage Commissions for Domestic Workers and initiating projects in support of communities in the far northwest of Namibia.
In The Empty Armchair, Amathila offers advice to weekend and emerging farmers – advice based on her own experience about cattle, other animals, land use, water, farm workers, etc. She offers her management style – hands-on and hard working.
She also takes the reader on her journeys to northern Kunene, where she has engaged with communities in need and built school halls, hostels and clinics. Much of the cost of these projects has been borne by Dr Amathila herself.
Practical, funny, modest and wise, The Empty Armchair embraces a range of themes and issues that are relevant to us all. It provides a fascinating insight into the life and philosophy of one of Namibia’s great leaders. Dr Amathila’s contribution to Namibia’s liberation struggle and development since Independence has been immense, and she continues to serve the nation.
Dr Amathila’s autobiography, Making a Difference, was published in 2012 by UNAM Press. The Empty Armchair is a sequel to her autobiography. The book is available from bookshops and is distributed by Namibia Book Market (061 236 938).