If she were alive, we have no doubt Wangari would be deeply engaged in the global climate debate, and promoting the realization of climate justice. She'd be working to protect the forests of the Congo Basin and she'd be keeping her eye on that farmer in Yaoundé and those like her.
She remembered a land of plenty -- water at hand and fields that yielded food for the family. When she returned home, however, Wangari Maathai stood on an arid wasteland, where worn-out women walked miles for food and water, struggling to provide sustenance for their children.
The culture war in Uganda over LGBT rights is a double-binded problem: a struggle over the hegemony of fundamentalism and a fog behind which a power grab for the nation's oil reserves and natural wealth can take place.
Though I am about as far as possible from being a rural Kenyan woman, Wangari changed my life as well by the beauty and brilliance of her words and deeds, and by taking my hand saying, "Come to Kenya. You will love it."
As an African woman, I declare: The Nobel Prize got it right, it celebrated three African Women.
African Women are doing the work in the trenches. We often forget the doers and usually acknowledges the talkers.
In formally establishing the Green Belt Movement in 1977, Wangari was wise enough to see that for the disempowered, planting trees was in fact a radical act of self-assertion, a method of laying claim to the life-giving power of one small corner of the Earth.
As the result of Maathai's work, tens of thousands of village women who had been taught to defer to chiefs, husbands, colonial authorities, multinational corporate marketers, and to disparage their own traditions and common sense gained courage.