Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Tribute to Wangari - let's see what we missed out on

In my usual cynical way I take this opportunity to remind Kenyans of our failures.

We are mourning an icon - Wangari was just that an icon, larger than life. For this reason I have posted all her awards below just so we can see the kind of person we will not have in our ranks anymore.

While doing this let us also reflect about our choice of leaders ....we had a chance to have this wonderful lady as our president and she didn't even place. We have to ask ourselves about our criteria, what do we look at? What is our rationale in selecting leaders? Do we look at gender? Are we biased against women? Do we look at service? Because when I look at our current parliament I don't see "watumishi wa wananchi" servants of the people ....all I see are "watumizi wa watu" users of the people.

We are good at mourning and forgetting ....so "Lest we Forget" it is time for a hard look at the kind of person we will miss....and it is time to start to looking for someone like her among our ranks a woman or a young person we have ignored who could truly serve and lead our country.

Professor Wangari Maathai’s Awards: 1983 – 2010

2010: Earth Hall of Fame, Kyoto (Japan)
2009: Earth Hall of Fame, Kyoto (Japan)
2009: Humanity 4 Water Award for Outstanding Commitment 2 Action
2009: The Order of the Rising Sun, Japan
2009: Judge, 2009 Geotourism Challenge, National Geographic, USA
2009: NAACP Chairman’s Award , USA
2008: Dignitas Humana Award, St John’s School of Theology, USA
2008: Cinema Verite, Honorary President, France
2008: Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), Honorary Fellowship, UK
2007: The Nelson Mandela Award for Health & Human Rights, South Africa
2007: The Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding, India
2007: Cross of the Order of St Benedict, Benedictine College, Kansas, USA
2007: World Citizenship Award, World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts
2006: The Indira Gandhi International Award for Peace, Disarmament & Development, India
2006: Premio Defensa Medio Ambiente, Club Internacional De Prensa, Spain
2006: 6th in 100 Greatest Eco-Heroes of All Time, The Environment Agency, UK
2006: Medal for Distinguished Achievement, University of Pennsylvania, USA
2006: Woman of Achievement Award from the American Biographical Institute Inc., USA
2006: The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights,
Milele(Lifetime) Achievement Award
2006: Legion D’Honneur, Government of France
2006: The IAIA Global Environment Award,
International Association for Impact Assessment, Norway
2006: Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund Award, USA
2006: World Citizenship Award
2005: New York Women’s Century Award, New York Women’s Foundation, USA
2005: One of the 100 Most Influential People in the World: Time magazine, USA
2005: One of the 100 Most Powerful Women in the World: Forbes magazine, USA
2004: Nobel Peace Prize, the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Norway
2004: Sophie Prize, the Sophie Foundation, Norway
2004: Elder of the Golden Heart, Republic of Kenya
2004: Petra Kelly Environment Prize, Heinrich Boell Foundation, Germany
2004: J. Sterling Morton Award, Arbor Day Foundation, USA
2004: Conservation Scientist Award,
Center for Environmental Research and Conservation, Columbia University, USA
2003: Elder of the Burning Spear, Republic of Kenya
2003: WANGO Environment Award,
World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations , USA
2002: Outstanding Vision and Commitment Award, Bridges to Community, USA
2001: Excellence Award, Kenyan Community Abroad, USA
2001: The Juliet Hollister Award, Temple of Understanding, USA
1997: One of 100 in the World Who’ve Made a Difference in the Environment:
Earth Times, USA
1995: International Women’s Hall of Fame,
International Women’s Forum Leadership Foundation, USA
1994: The Order of the Golden Ark Award, the Netherlands
1993: The Jane Addams Leadership Award, Jane Addams Conference, USA
1993: The Edinburgh Medal, Medical Research Council, Scotland
1991: The Hunger Project’s Africa Prize for Leadership, United Nations, USA
1991: Global 500 Hall of Fame: United Nations Environment Programme, USA
1991: The Goldman Environmental Prize, the Goldman Foundation, USA
1990: The Offeramus Medal, Benedictine College, USA
1989: Women of the World Award, WomenAid, UK
1988: The Windstar Award for the Environment, Windstar Foundation, USA
1986: Better World Society Award, USA
1984: Right Livelihood Award, Sweden
1983: Woman of the Year Award

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Loving life and living it. “Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.” (Mary Anne Radmacher)
Give yourself completely in everything for that is love and only when we love can we find God.