Sunday, September 25, 2011

A tribute to a true heroine

The night was long for her and more so for her family members after she succumbed to the long battle with cancer.

Very few people speak of her fight with cancer perhaps because she always wanted to keep that part of her life secret, perhaps because we all wanted to know her as the brave woman soldier who did more than fight for what she believed in.

Her life has always been about struggles cancer was not the only battle she ever fought. The greatest battle for me would be her achievement of bring the first woman in east Africa to receive a PHD in 1971 a time when very few people considered the education of women as important.

More intriguing is her doctorate specialization in that time teaching nursing and agriculture was the engineering law and medicine of today. Why did she choose to go the anatomy way?

Perhaps because she was different set apart to go against the grain.

Her book Unbowed captures most of her other struggles in politics, activism and environmental conservation.

So strong were her opinions that her husband filed for a divorce in 1979 on the grounds that she was too strong willed and opinionated for him to control her.

Most memorable would be the spirited fight she put against the plans to set up a mighty complex in Uhuru gardens.

Yes or for the times she cried and begged for the conservation of Karura forest. She mobilized women in Kenya not to think ‘traditional’ bowing to the every command of the men. No wander former president dedicated a speech for her to shut up and behave like other women.

Much will be said following her demise but it is best for us to keep the memory of the true heroine alive.

I salute you Prof. Wangari Muta Mathai

1 comment:

  1. She was truly an icon. Citizenry should try not to make her efforts on matters conservation , at whatever reason go to waste.