“Democracy does not solve problems. It does not automatically combat poverty or stop deforestation. However, without it, the ability for people to solve problems or become less poor or respect their environment is, I believe, impossible.”
Corruption, public land grabbing, deforestation, environmental degradation, gender inequality, human rights abuse, divorce, mass protests, religion influence into politics, dictatorship, ethnic clashes I could go on and on but all this did not start yesterday. A woman faced it all, stood rooted to the ground and never gave up. Maybe this was the reason she continued to appear before courts and making jail her second home: No matter how dark the cloud, there is always a thin, silver lining, and that is what we must look for. The silver lining will come, if not to us then to next generation or the generation after that. And maybe with that generation the lining will no longer be thin. She knew that her effortless works in ensuring that Karura forest was not grabbed by greedy individuals the government had given parcels of land to would not build mansions into it. Uhuru gardens a park was not left out as a skyscraper building would replace it but not when she was still alive. Deforestation at the Mau forest was slowly wiping it away and Wangari was not pleased. A cry of the people made her run for the parliamentarian seat where the government made sure to see her fall by spreading malice. However, she won. The government considered her mad, disrespectful towards the president but they could yap day and night, throw all kinds of shade to her and she would not give a damn about it.
Looking at today’s society logging still deforests forests, women have become empowered so inequality now becomes an issue to the male child, corruption is the air we breathe, public land grabbing happens under our watch, violence due to politics burns like hell, cancer is now deadly than ever, we rarely plant trees thus people confuse hailstorms for snow-climate change and we so done with dictatorship. It is during her time that she joined hands with famous politicians to outdo the retired President’s Moi regime. That was the first uniting of a kind where tribe did not matter and together change happened (why can’t we be this united?) Change where one’s voice mattered. Her memoir is one to be borrowed into society and we can learn a thing or two. No a lot! She shall forever be remembered and more so for been the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
In her words I will conclude her summary in this intriguing words of wisdom that I captured in between pages:
“Trees are living symbols of peace and hope. A tree has roots in the soil yet reaches to the sky. It tells us that in order to aspire we need to be grounded, and that no matter how high we go it is from our roots that we draw sustenance. It is a reminder to all of us who have had success that we cannot forget where we came from. It signifies that no matter how powerful we become in government or how many awards we receive, our power and strength and our ability to reach our goals depend on the people, those whose work remains unseen, who are the soil out of which we grow, the shoulders on which we stand.”