One Woman's Story

UNBOWED: Wangari Maathai

I read this book a while back and I may not remember all my thoughts on it but i know it was amazing!! I didn’t really know Wangari Maathai’s story. All I knew was that she was an activist and environmentalist and that’s probably one of the main things about her. I think she is an example of a person who found out what she was good in and excelled greatly! Her life has been full of adventure and excitement. She’s obviously gone through more difficulty than the average person but she has also achieved more than the average person. She always stood for what she believed in and was comfortable in her skin.

These days most people don’t get to know what they are good at or what their passion is. They don’t stand up for what they truly believe in and would rather be a part of the crowd than stand alone. These days, image is everything. We’re so concerned about how we look, what the latest night club is, what the new hit song is, what the celebs are doings…The list endless and shallow. Her story is inspiring in that it makes you look into your life and see what resources you have to help make this world a better place or at least help others. And enjoy what you do as you do this!

One of the things I loved in this book was the amazing scenery she described as she grew up. She was born and raised in rural Kenya and the scenery description is breathtaking. I could just imagine the rivers and streams she played in when she was a kid, the green meadows she would walk through. I couldn’t forget the majestic  Mt.Kenya she would see every morning. Makes me appreciate Africa a lot more and the rich natural beauty we have at our disposal. The sad part is that human activity etc..is making that beauty fade away. So it’s best to soak up all the beauty before…..well I hope environmental awareness increases so we won’t have to suffer the undesirable consequences of our current actions. Next time I go to my rural home, I’ll take some pictures and post them up here. For posterity’s sake and for sharing with anyone possibly trapped in a concrete jungle.

The book also has some pictures of her in university in the 1960s. The thing that strikes me in the pictures is the elegance and style carried by the ladies in the 1960s. I know everyone is obsessed with fashion these days but theirs was more style than simply fashion. The ladies in their dinner dresses and gloves. The ladies in the lab with the well cut lab coats and heels. I’ve worked in a lab before and trust me the lab coats are nothing to write home about. Usually two sizes too large and making the wearer look very square indeed. Maybe it’s just the pictures but the labcoats she and her friends are wearing look tailored!

So her and her friends look very stylish and graceful. Definitely not hootchie and showing off tramp stamps or piercings everywhere possible. I might sound like i’m ranting and raving about how society has completely degenerated in recent years. I know a lot of people see that and there’s no point going on about it. I would just love to see women to take back that elegance, that style and mystery. Treat ourselves well and hold ourselves in high esteem. Not all this grind, grind, shake, shake. I’m certainly no miss. style and elegance myself but I’m gonna try and take care of myself better.

As ascertained from the fact that she wore a labcoat, Dr.Maathai is a scientist. I’m a scientist or at least I did a science subject. For the life of me I cannot imagine doing a PhD in a science subject!! PhD! (i’m not even sure if that’s how it’s spelled). This lady is an academic and extremely intelligent. I really salute her for that. Just going through university and getting a PhD in a science subject! High Five Dr.Maathai! I was to speak to a bunch of high school girls about the importance of doing science. I still haven’t actually found out what I’m gonna say! But Dr.Maathai’s life is a testament to the fact that girls can excel in sciences and do well and make a difference in our world.

Why her husband left is beyond me. Maybe someone else who’s read the book can better explain that. Oh yaa she met her hubby later in life didn’t she?don’t know how she got through all the ‘how come your not married yet??’ comments..but thats probably a story for another day :-p

So all in all the book is an inspiration to women and everyone out there who has a passion to change the world for the better.