A rebel for change in Apartheid South Africa and Colonial Namibia


Author: Gerhard Totemeyer

Published: 2017

ISBN:  9780620754439

Format: Portrait; 220mm x 170mm; Paperback

Pages: 267

Category: Autobiography


In this autobiography, the reader is told of a closed, oppressive racism and a corrosive system of super- and sub-ordination that denied those who grew up under it an engagement with the ‘Other’ and with alternative norms and values… This autobiography is as much about writing as it is about thinking a life and locating that life within a fast-changing socio-economic and political context… It testifies to the dedicated hard work and selfless service that the writer rendered over several decades to many Namibians and South Africans of all walks of life, as a friend, father, academic, researcher, sage, politician, believer, and conversationalist… The author delivers a moving, enlightening, and in parts, provocative, read and in this he makes a significant contribution to the genre of autobiography and to Namibian literature… It deserves to be widely read and discussed, even if it generates controversy.

 André du Pisani, Professor emeritus. Namibia


The author illustrates each period of his life, with vignettes of the environment he grew up in. He repeatedly returns to his basic desire to be a bridge-builder, catalyst and mediator. He feels driven to facilitate tolerance in a complex society marked by cultural, language and racial differences and to defuse irrational resentments. As a “rebel” he deliberately distances himself from dominant daily politics … This autobiography is an important contribution to a better understanding of the contemporary history of Namibia and also of characteristic aspects of German-Namibian origin and linkages.”

 Eberhard Hofmann. Allgemeine Zeitung. Windhoek.   


Gerhard Tötemeyer made a name as rebel and at the same time as a bridge builder. He is greatly admired by many Namibians for his commitment to justice.  In this book he successfully  integrates own experiences within a precise analysis of political and societal developments not only in Namibia but also in South Africa… An intelligent and enriching read.

 Frank Kürschner.  “In die Welt für die Welt”, Germany