Ever since I was a young girl, the single motivation for women in my wider circle rang with a single two vowel name, Wangari. I knew then that this woman was the one who stopped the grabbing of Uhuru Park, who was beaten at Karura Forest and who was so well read and outspoken, that the Establishment of the time saw fit to call her names in public and humiliate her to no end. I knew she was my preferred woman candidate in 1997. At that time when I, like other Kenyans was inundated by the usual mudslinging and dirty politicking that is so prevalent in Kenya, she ran on a Green platform pledging then as she does now, to commit to preserving resources and good governance.
I was overjoyed when she won her prize in 2004 for her over 30 years’ work with the Greenbelt Movement. As an admirer and budding activist I attended her lecture this past Monday at the University of Pennsylvania’s Green City Symposium organised by UPenn’s Institute for Urban Research. There, for the first time, I heard her speak and I gained a better perspective of the issues that challenged her early on to fight for the better use of resources as a tool for democracy and good governance. I also picked up a copy of her book ‘Unbowed’. I was wowed!
Professor Wangari Muta Maathai’s name is mentioned in the same breath as Mahatma Gandhi and other luminaries as a pillar of change for her generation. In her book ... Read Full Review