Wangari Muta Maathai- a Pioneer and a Hero worth emulating…


A pioneer is somebody who does something for the first time. Sergey Brin was right in saying that “Obviously everyone wants to be successful, but I want to be looked back on as being very innovative, very trusted and ethical and ultimately making a big difference in the world”. Almost everyone on this earth wants to make it to the top and of course there are a lot of successful men in our world today but what makes others distinct such that the difference they make are so impactful?

It is all about innovations. Innovations make innovators pioneers. Because they spark light out of a dark environment and their work enlightens their environment. “Innovation happens, when people from different backgrounds and cultures put together their ideas to create new solutions”. It can also be an individual or two people. Innovative person brings creative ideas to life.

Alfred Nobel was a man of ideas who once stated “If I have a thousand ideas and only one turns out to be good, I am satisfied”. So innovation is the one idea that tends out to be different from others.

Wangari Muta Maathai is a person i consider to be a pioneer. She was born in Nyeri, Kenya (Africa) in 1940. In 1965, she became the first woman in East and Central Africa to earn a doctorate degree. She also became chair of the Department of Veterinary Anatomy and an associate professor in Nairobi University in 1976 and 1977 respectively. In both cases, she was the first woman to attain those positions in the region. While she served on the National Council of Women, she introduced the idea of planting trees to the people in 1976 and continued to develop it into a broad-based, grassroots organization whose main focus is the planting of trees with women groups in order to conserve the environment and improve their quality of life. She assisted women in planting more than 20 million trees on their farms and on schools and church compounds.

Wangari Muta Maathai is a pioneer because the she was able to expose over 40 individuals from other African countries to the need to plant trees and conserve the forest. Her action instigated some of these individuals to established similar tree planting initiatives in their own countries .She is internationally recognized for her persistent struggle for democracy, human rights and environmental conservation. Therefore, her meaningful and pioneering initiatives as a woman “made a big difference” (as Sergey Brin said) in achieving conservation of the environment in East Africa and other African countries. Wangari, saw identified a problem and realized the need to solve it, hence her recognition as the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner.

Written by Prince Baah-Duodu for:


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