A WOMAN OF MANY FIRSTS: Renowned Kenyan social, environmental and political activist Wangari Muta Maathai born in Nyeri, a rural area of Kenya (Africa), in 1940 gained repute globally for her struggle for democracy, human rights, and environmental conservation. She served on the board of many organisations.
8 other facts you should know about the exceptional visionary:
1. Wangari Maathai won the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
2. Apart from being the first black African to win a Nobel Prize Wangari Maathai is also the first and only environmentalist to win the Nobel Peace Prize
3. Wangari Maathai was the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. She was also the first female scholar from East and Central Africa to take a doctorate (in biology), and the first female professor ever in her home country of Kenya.
4. She was the founder of the Green Belt Movement
5. She authored four books: The Green Belt Movement; Unbowed: A Memoir; The Challenge for Africa; and Replenishing the Earth.
6. She obtained a degree in Biological Sciences from Mount St. Scholastica College in Atchison, Kansas (1964), a Master of Science degree from the University of Pittsburgh (1966), and pursued doctoral studies in Germany and the University of Nairobi, before obtaining a Ph.D. (1971) from the University of Nairobi, where she also taught veterinary anatomy.
7 Professor Wangari had three children (Waweru, Wanjira, and Muta) and two grandchildren (Ruth Wangari and Elsa Wanjiru)
8. She died on 25 September 2011 at the age of 71 after a battle with ovarian cancer. Memorial ceremonies were held in Kenya, New York, San Francisco, and London.