Wangari Maathai, a life out of ordinary of a Earth’s citizen


I want to share the story of a person remaining anonymous in France: Wangari MAATHAI, an exceptional African woman who deserves to be better known for her fight against deforestation in Africa and who is an example of courage and self-denial to be followed!


Wangari Maathai Tribute Film (


Wangari Maathai was born on April 1, 1940 in Kenya, British colony at that time, into a peasant family. She became the first woman in Central and East Africa to earn a doctorate degree. By fighting major deforestation impacting several Kenyan resources of the time as a matter of priority, she became a figure of Kenyan environmental struggle.

Green Belt Movement



In 1977, she decided to replant trees and founded the Green Belt Movement, which will then be extended to other African countries. Thanks to the Green Belt Movement, tens of millions of trees are replanted. The goal is to build “green belts” run by women around towns and villages. Tens of millions of replanted trees have facilitated access to wood and water and limited erosion.


From the 1990s, her fight took a political turn. Wangari Maathai fought against the authoritarian policies of Kenyan President Daniel Arap Moi and several clearing projects in Nairobi. She was wounded several times and imprisoned because of her activism. In 2002, Wangari Maathai entered the Kenyan parliament after an election where she was elected with 98% of the votes. She became Minister of the Environment the following year.


Two years later, at the age of 64, she became the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for “her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace”. In her speech she recalls the philosophy of her struggle: “We must help the Earth to heal its wounds and at the same time to heal ours”.


Wangari Maathai, Kenyan ecologist fighting figure, died of cancer on December 25, 2011. She was a wonderful, brilliant, brave, avant-garde woman who fought for Earth and its people! A proof that we can change the course of things without violence, with determination and intelligence. The change is sustainable because it results from conscientization and fair activism!


Her fight continues to resonate today against deforestation. It is necessary to plant trees, it is necessary for life, it would reduce ecological disasters. We must also value those people we rarely talk about but who have contributed to the wonder of our world. This woman is really extraordinary. We should all be inspired by her courage and her fight that makes believe in a stronger and more feminine Africa…


Wangari Maathai (1940-2011), Kenya


A propos de Sonia BOLI

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