Trying to Understand Legend Conservationist, Professor Wangari Maathai

Trying to Understand Legend Conservationist, Professor Wangari Maathai

So I have been wondering how not to give up in the fight against climate change and species extinction. This pointed me to dig deeper about the legend conservationist, Professor Wangari Maathai. With the hope in trying to understand her strategy and zeal.

When you keep losing the battle and getting misunderstood, you start to get weary and discouraged. You start wondering if the battle is worth the time and energy. And if it will ever be fruitful. All these thoughts, slow you down and your conscious start its own fight within you.

Professor Wangari Maathai

She was a renowned Kenyan social, environmental and political activist and the first African woman to win the Nobel Prize. She was educated in the United States at Mount St. Scholastica (Benedictine College), the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Nairobi in Kenya.

She lived between 1st of April 1940 to 25th September 2011. Seventy-one years that saved the most attractive forest in Kenya’s Capital city. Enabling Kenya to enjoy a green city. She was referred to as a mad woman by one of our former presidents, beaten up and even given death threats. That made her hide for some time for her dear life.

She is well known for planting trees in Africa and fighting for the forests. She dedicated her everything in ensuring that we have these forests today. With no much help from anyone, hence solely fought these fights for our good.

What she did, not many can do the same today. Nothing seemed to intimidate her, or any power to big to confront. She just did what was right and ensured no one did anything wrong without speaking up about it.

This made her loss friends, her husband, among other things in life. But she did not allow these, to show her down. She kept fighting for our environment. Her passion for nature gave her the strength to fight for our environment until her last minute. Always wearing a smile despite all the negative energy surrounding her.

What I tried to get from her story

How did she manage to continue fighting with no help from anyone? She didn’t have government or any organizations support. Instead, they were all against her noble actions.

How did she not give up fighting for people who were against her? Her fights were not geared only to benefit her. But also those people who were busy pulling her down. The same forests that they wanted to grab and divide amongst themselves, is what is still holding Nairobi’s great weather together.

She was doing it for the future generation, not herself.

She worked with the public, the common mwananchi

I think this is what helped her have a good fight. By spreading awareness among the public. She helped them understand the importance of protecting the forest and seeing it as their natural resource. That needed to be protected.

The public embraced her campaign and acted upon it. They rallied behind her and planted more trees.

Sadly, this good public was not in good numbers compared to the bad guys. Who were paid to ensure Professor Wangari Maathai failed in whatever she was doing. But, this didn’t bother this amazing woman.

Then while researching on our nature legend, I met a conservationist who has given up on humanity

This guy thinks that we are beyond saving. And that, there’s nothing we can do about climate change.

Before judging him harshly, I decided to listen to his side of the story. He is tired of humans ignoring reality, and selfishly doing actions that only benefit themselves.

He points out samples on how governments have been making wrong decisions against the public will, despite being a democratic nation. How people with influence and power endanger public health and never held accountable for their actions.

So he decided to disconnect from the outside world and create his own little healthier planet where he lives.


Conservation of our nature and wildlife can be a tough battle. Which will drain everything from you. You will mostly fight against governments and big institutions. So be prepared to lose a good number of battles, before you get the point out there.

Public/ people are the best warriors to have in your team. Help them understand what you are fighting for and how it affects them. They are the best shot in succeeding. Let them know what needs to be done to make things right.

A well-informed people will have a better position in electing good leaders and putting them into tasks. Nature and wildlife need all of us, but not all of us are ready to let go of our selfish acts.

When you feel as if you are losing too much, just know that, you will eventually get there. As good always win the evil, in the long run.

7 thoughts on “Trying to Understand Legend Conservationist, Professor Wangari Maathai”

  1. I believe in your posts, all of them. Your voice is the voice of reason and the call to protect the very thing we depend on for all life, our planet, Mother Earth. There are many things we can do to help people live a life more conservative of our environment. The first is to be a good example and to live the life we wish others would live along with us. It can take longer than our lives to bring a positive change but that should not stop us from making the changes so desparately needed. In the end, Mother Nature will punish us severely for our indescretions and then most will know too late what it was they should have done. We don’t have to be that person full of fear and regret.


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