Ellen Ndeshi Namhila was born in the remotest rural village of Northern Namibia on 11 November 1963. Born at the beginning of Namibia’s liberation struggle period, Namhila’s birth, childhood and young adult was surrounded by colonial wars and apartheid repression displaced her at age 12 making her a refugee for nearly 15 years. Namhila schooled in Angola, Zambia, The Gambia and finally Finland where she obtained a M.Sc. in Library and Information Science at the University of Tampere. Namhila has held positions of Researcher/Librarian at the Social Sciences Division of the University of Namibia (1993-1995), Deputy Director: Research, Information and Library Services at the Namibian Parliament (1995-1999), Director of Namibia Library and Archives Service in the Ministry of Education (1999-2007). She is currently the University Librarian of the University of Namibia.
Namhila is the author of The Price of Freedom, her autobiography which was published in Windhoek: 1997; Kahumba Kandola Man and Myth: the Biography of a Barefoot Soldier published in Basel:2005; and Tears of Courage: Five Mothers Five Stories One Victory published in Windhoek: 2009. Ellen is a mother, wife and a professional woman. She is the Chairperson of the National Heritage Council of Namibia (2005-2009) and Vice President of the UNESCO International Advisory Committee on Memory of the World 2007.