The world would never be the same

without Wangari Maathai

1940–2011

On 1 April 1940, Maathai was born in the village of Ihithe, Nyeri District, in the central highlands of the colony of Kenya. Her family was Kikuyu, the most populous ethnic group in Kenya, and had lived in the area for several generations.
Wangari Maathai Tribute Film

Wangari Muta Maathai – Unbowed, p. 47.

Nothing is more beautiful than cultivating the land at dusk. Earth and water, air and waning fire of the sun combine to form the essential elements of life and reveal to me my kinship with the soil. When I was a child I sometimes became so absorbed working in the fields with my machete that I didn’t notice the end of the day until it got so dark that I could no longer differentiate between the weeds and crops. At that point I knew it was time to go home, on the narrow paths that criss crossed the fields and rivers and woodlots.

Activity

On 5 June 1977, marking World Environment Day, the NCWK marched in a procession from Kenyatta International Conference Centre in downtown Nairobi to Kamukunji Park on the outskirts of the city where they planted seven trees in honor of historical community leaders. This was the first "Green Belt" which was first known as the "Save the Land Harambee" and then became the Green Belt Movement.

Unbowed, p. 182–183

I knew that we could not live with a political system that killed creativity, nurtured corruption, and produced people who were afraid of their own leaders. It would be only a matter of time before the government and I came in to further conflict…