Johanna Wilkie

Johanna Wilkie (Breaking the Wall of Silence in Windhoek): Johanna lived and worked in Rome, Italy for two years teaching English as a Second Language (ESL). After her return to hometown of Boston, she taught immigrants and college students ESL for two years before moving to Los Angeles to work as a program manager at a California non-profit. At the time of her fellowship, Johanna was studying for a Masters degree in international affairs and development at Georgetown University, and working toward a Certificate in Refugees and Humanitarian Emergencies. She also interned at the International Rescue Committee as an Africa Advocacy Intern.

Remembering Rudolfine Gorases

29 Jul

Today I spoke with a woman aptly named Memory.  She agreed to tell me about her cousin Rudolfine, who was shot and killed by her boyfriend in September 2004.  Rudolfine was only 24 and had a 9-year-old daughter who is now without a mother.

Rudolfine’s boyfriend was a member of the Namibian Defense Force (the Namibian military), which is how he had obtained the gun that killed Rudolfine.  Her family does not know whether he abused her previously, or whether he had ever threatened her with the gun.  All they know is that one day the couple had an argument.  The boyfriend left the house briefly, came back with the gun, and shot and killed Rudolfine.  He then shot himself, but he survived.

Rudolfine’s killer was taken into custody later but Memory did not know whether he had been convicted or even on trial.  She said that the family had chosen not to follow what happened to him.  When I asked her about the relationship between her and Rudolfine, she said that they had actually only met a few years before her death, “so it was such a short time and it was really bad losing her.”

When I looked up Rudolfine’s death online to see if any news stories had been written about it, I found just one very short item, apparently without follow-up, in The Namibian.  Discussing the suspected murderer, its closing line reads: “The reasons for his actions are not yet known.”  I doubt they will ever be known, or can ever be comprehended.

Posted By Johanna Wilkie

Posted Jul 29th, 2009

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