Ouma Katrina Esau
was born in 1933 on a farm near Olifantshoek in the Southern Kalahari. She had eleven children with her late husband Dirk Tities. Ouma Katrina identifies as a ǂKhomani San woman and is the last fluent speaker of the endangered N|uu language. Growing up, she was not allowed to speak her native language but through perseverance and dedication, continued to keep her identity. Ouma Katrina still advocates for the language and culture of the ǂKhomani San people and takes the work of linguists and academics out across the globe. She is a national treasure who in 2012 received the PanSALB Khoe and San Unsung Heroes Award. She received the Baobab Presidential Order in silver along with the Heritage Education Award from the National Heritage Council in 2017, as well as an honorary doctorate from the University of Cape Town in 2023. Dr Katrina Esau lives in Upington with her granddaughter Claudia Snyman where she continues to advocate for and promote the N|uu language one syllable and one click at a time.