Namibian-born educator, Selma Shejavali contributes her strong sense of community with her childhood, having been taught in Namibian girls' schools and finishing her training in education in 1966 at the Teachers Training College for women in Okahao. A year and a half after her husband had moved to the United States to study, Mrs. Shejavali and their young daughter followed in 1972. During the six years they lived in the United States, the Shejavalis, after hearing of several atrocities, became concerned with the liberation of their home country. In 1978, they returned to Namibia, only to be arrested by South African forces. Fortunately, they were released the following day. In 1986, Mrs. Shejavali joined the community initiatives of Katutura and Khomasdal to establish the People's Primary School. The school helped to educate the children of exiled Namibians during the repatriation of 1989.
During her life, Mrs. Shejavali experienced her home country during apartheid and its independence in 1990. Working on an oral history of her own when this interview was conducted on 20 March 1999, Mrs. Shejavali shares her personal experiences here, from her childhood to after Namibian independence, and touches upon the United Nations role and presence in Namibia.