Undisciplined Heart


Jane Katjavivi

When Jane Katjavivi becomes involved in London in support of change in Southern Africa, she meets and marries a Namibian activist in exile. Moving with him to Namibia at the time of Independence in 1990, she faces a new life in a starkly beautiful country.


She starts to publish Namibian writing and opens a bookshop. In Windhoek she develops friendships with a group of independent women, also from other countries, and engage in different ways to overcome the divisions of the past. Over coffee and food, they support each other through times of happiness and sadness, through juggling careers and family, and through illness and death. When her husband is made Ambassador to the Benelux countries and the European Union, and later Berlin, Jane has to build a new identity as the wife of an ambassador, and come to terms with her own ill-health without her friends around her to support her. Set against the backdrop of the historical, political and social development of newly independent Namibia, Undisciplined Heart tells the story of Jane’s love for her family, friends and her adopted country, in a gentle and honest way that reflects the joys and tragedies of life.

Jane Katjavivi

Jane Katjavivi

Jane Katjavivi is a writer, publisher and influential book development activist. She was born in the UK, now a naturalised Namibian. She lives in Windhoek with her husband.

“Jane Katjavivi’s frank and intimate memoir of love and politics, of survival and finding a way to make a home, shows that history is also what heals when it is filtered through a loving heart and an open mind.”
Margie Orford

“Undisciplined Heart is an uplifting and fascinating read. And while it is a detailed memoir of the birth of a nation on one hand, it is also a tender exploration of one woman’s personal journey towards enlightenment and wisdom.”
Janet van Eeden, Litnet