Archive | September, 2011

ODE TO A MODERN SAINT: PROF WANGARI MAATHAI IN HER TIME & OURS

27 Sep

A True Leader

BY: JAVAS BIGAMBO

Kind heavens, as you open the dazzling doors of glory for her, please grant her the pleasure of coming with trees. Prof. Wangari Maathai is dead, and gone, far from the noise of land grabbers, imposters of reforms, far from the violence of the KANU regime and the horrors of political intolerance that haunted her timeless efforts to save the environment. The biggest misfortune is that Wangari has left no contact address. Zilch.
I entwine wreathes of graces upon her brow. The figure of Wangari Maathai is universally revered; she remains a rather uncomfortable figure in the group of contemporary world changers. She ever strongly rejected pretentious reforms. Until the world beat the path to our door in honour of her dignifying efforts to save humanity, every successive government in Kenya treated her with the contempt of filthy rags.

Up until she won the Nobel Peace Prize, few ardently desired the counsels of her peculiar wit and charm. Wangari Maathai bore an anecdotal aura of humility, the kind that swiftly took her to the presence of royals, presidents and admitted her to the crest of the world’s greatest honours. You would find in her a simplicity that would never incommode the meekest of humans in the slightest. I know that even in her death, she understands the pretense of Kenyan leaders of all ranks.

As to why the heavenly dwellers had to pluck her from the flowery earth is beyond us. Wangari was a rare kind. She had the liberty of thought and generosity of sentiment even to the dismay of royals. Gloom soaks me as I pen this of this lady. A lady I met, conversed with, and sat next to only once. I must pour forth the exultation of a heart swelling with gratitude that when she lived, she lived well indeed.

Let us hope to gain upon her eternal flight. While she lived, she loved both man and nature. She was among the few known to humanity, who was never driven senselessly by the quest for self-preservation. Now the good lady has been cut off from this sad world. Say what you may, Wangari Maathai was a saint. I hope that a leading university will establish what should be called the “Prof. Wangari Maathai Annual Lectures”, and use such distinguished platform to canonize environmental preservation, climate change and true global reforms for the greater good. For, she was a leading exponent of fighting the causes of climate change; she spoke for trees and planted millions of them. She went to an extent of transforming her home into a forest. Her image remains beautiful in death as it was in life.