N E W S    R E L E A S E

For immediate release

June 4, 2014

CONTACT: Andrea Capere []


What is the value of a college education to nine Namibians, to their country, to the world?

A group of documentary filmmakers from Tacoma, Washington USA are in Windhoek, Namibia during the month of June to uncover what higher education meant to a group of Namibians who studied in the U.S nearly 20 years ago. The filmmakers, made up of alumni, faculty, staff and students from Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) in Tacoma, will unearth the stories of nine Namibians who left their homes to obtain degrees in higher education in the U.S. and the profound impact this experience has had on their lives, careers, and nation.

“Namibia Nine” will be narrated by Edwin Tjiramba, Director for Communications and Marketing for the University of Namibia, who as part of a select group of 100 Namibians was awarded the opportunity of a lifetime in the late 1980’s–to study at various universities in the United States of America.  They left Namibia as part of a post-apartheid strategy by the Namibian Lutheran Churches in collaboration with their American and German counterparts to give promising young leaders the opportunity to obtain college degrees that were not previously available to them in their home country.  Tjiramba began his journey in higher education, along with eight colleagues, at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington.  

“I was born in Namibia,” Tjiramba said. “But my future began at PLU.”

Over the years, a total of nine have graduated from PLU and returned to their homeland. Now, almost 20 years later, Tjiramba graduated from the University of Namibia this year with a degree in law. His PLU alumni colleagues have been equally successful in their careers, from forensics to foreign relations, education to environmental policy making. The US filmmakers are exploring the deep relationship these Namibians have with each other and the university they call their “home away from home.”

“Namibia Nine” is sponsored by the Wang Center for Global Education at Pacific Lutheran University. The project is being supervised by Professor Joanne M. Lisosky, Ph.d. and Melannie Denise Cunningham, M.B.A. and Director of Multicultural Recruitment at PLU.

The project has a broad focus with a presence on Facebook (Namibia Nine), WordPress ( and Instagram. Most unique for PLU, the project has developed a crowdfunding site (

The filmmakers:

Andrea Capere: PLU graduate (2014)

Princess Reese: PLU graduate (2014)

Shunying Wang: PLU student

Maurice Byrd: PLU student


Visuals attached

President Reike with the Namibian Students in the 1980s.

President Reike with the Namibian Students in the 1980s. (Courtesy Doug Page)


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