I remember as a kid watching TV and seeing a woman who was the head of the greenbelt movement being chased around by armed policemen. All I knew was that she was fighting to protect Karura forest and freedom corner in Nairobi from land grabbers. This woman was Wangari Maathai, the first woman in eastern Africa to receive a PhD. She would go on to win the Nobel Peace Prize and do all Kenyans proud.
For many Kenyans Prof. Maathai was the face of activism against environmental degradation and misuse of natural resources. Her organization, the Greenbelt Movement has planted more than 20 million trees across Africa.
According to her family Prof. Maathai died “after a long and bravely borne struggle with cancer.”
She will be forever remembered as a key part of Kenya’s Second Liberation.