Saturday, October 09, 2004
Shangwe na Vigelegele Kwa Dada Profesa!
Wapi Bund Ohangla?
Wapi Ngoma za Kikamba?
Wapi WaSamburu waruke ruke juu?
Wapi Waswahili wa Mombasa na Chakacha?
Wapi Wasomali wa Wajir, Garissa na Mandera?
Wapi Vijana wa Carni na Harlem Shuffle na Ndombolo?
Njooni Wakenya Wenzangu Tusherekee!
Tumshangilie Profesa Wangari Maathai Kwa Kushinda Tuzo!
Kudos and congratulations to Professor Wangari Maathai and members of the Green Belt Movement for winning the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize.
This is a global recognition that is richly deserved-especially if you take into consideration that Kenya’s world renowned environmental activist had no clue she had been nominated- or that she was even eligible for nomination.
The world’s newest Nobel Peace Prize recipient is an old hand at gender struggles, grassroots organizing, resolute opposition to brutal kleptocracies and constant affirmation of Mother Earth and all her myriad natural gifts.
Professor Wangari Maathai has made Kenya and Kenyans proud. Ever since the sizzling, sensational and exhilarating good news was flashed across CNN, BBC, CBC and a thousand other media outlets in almost every country in the world, Kenyans have been beaming from ear to ear savouring her victory as their own. In just one Kenyan discussion forum, Mashada, I counted at least SIX different threads on the breaking stories with literally hundreds of page views and dozens of replies and responses. I really do think that President Kibaki should do two things to honour Professor Wangari Maathai- some of us have felt that she was slighted when she was offered the ASSISTANT slot instead of being the full cabinet minister to head the ministry of the environment for which there is NO MORE QUALIFIED PERSON- either professionally or politically. Secondly, the President should set aside a Special Day next week to focus on a NATIONAL CELEBRATION of the Nobel Peace Prize that Professor Wangari Maathai has brought to Kenya through her tireless ACTIVISM.
Who says that activism is a BAD THING? Wangari Maathai joins other activists like the immediate past winner (a woman human rights activist from Iran) Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Rigoberta Menchu and Martin Luther King.
The 2004 Nobel Peace Prize is a huge victory for all African women. To have a fellow Kenyan bring that honour to millions of African women on the continent and around the world is particularly heart fluttering. Professor Wangari Maathai, through her stubborn refusal to be circumscribed by the shallow misogynist cat calls and shenanigans of insecure men- from Kenya to elsewhere- has affirmed what many of us have always known- the real powerhouse behind Africa’s survival, especially when it comes to protecting the environment, the children and our continent’s future are African women- who are the main food producers, the primary caregivers for the youth, the effective heads of at least half of the households and the ignored peace makers of the continent who have been the main victims of the male generated wars across regions and within the four walled confines of domestic residences. In this regard therefore, ALL Kenyan women should feel particularly honoured by the well deserved accolades now pouring from every point on planet earth (I am sure the Indigenous People in the Brazilian Amazon or Canada’s Labrador are celebrating as we speak for surely they too have heard the news).
All of us, boys and girls, men and women who come from WOMAN should also pay our respects to Professor Wangari Maathai for bringing so much respect to Kenya, to Africa, to womankind, to gender, environmental, human rights and democratic struggles in our locale and across the world.
The 2004 Nobel Peace Prize is also a win for ALL environmental activists from Angola to Vanuatu. Here in Canada where the environment is taken very seriously and where Wangari Maathai spoke as recently as February 12, 2002 at McGill University, her victory feels like a Canadian victory.
To all those who have fought since before Rio ’92 for pacts like the Kyoto Accord, the Nobel Paix Prix to a famous environmentalist is a clear message from the Norwegian Nobel Committee that they are committed to fighting global warming, the widening of the ozone layer, the rape of mother earth and the poisoning of her rivers and lakes by rapacious transnational corporations.
The Nobel Peace Prize to Professor Wangari Maathai is a sharp slap across the smug, arrogant and ignorant face of that dimwit, Dubya who, judging by his pathetic showing in the second televised debate in St. Louis, Missouri last night is hopefully destined to buried politically after his disastrous misleadership that has seen the United States refuse to ratify the Kyoto Accord, side with big companies in destroying the environment and justify the continued marginalization of many endangered Indigenous communities as corporations like Tiomin win contracts to strip mine and displace thousands of villages from their traditional homes.
Away from the global and continental stage, on a national plane, the prestigious award to Professor Wangari Maathai could not have come at a more auspicious time. This is a time when there is a national focus on the long neglected agrarian question; it comes at a time when Kenyans are debating vigorously on the proper balance between the natural and social environment; it comes at a time when the Professor is fighting people who would use subterfuge to set the stage that will obliterate our natural resources; it comes at a time when the neo-liberal forces of globalization secured the SUPPORT of her own ministry in presiding over the rape and looting of the natural resources of the Digo and Kenyan people at the Coast; it comes at a time when the Ndungu Land Report is echoing what the Maasai, the Nandi, the Kipsigis and other Kenyan nationalities are saying about those racist, illegal colonial deal that sanctioned land grabbing by White Settlers and condoned with the latter day looting and plunder by our very own, very Black robber politicians names Jomo Kenyatta, Daniel arap Moi, Nicholas Biwott, William Ntimama, Mwai Kibaki, Simeon Nyachae and others.
For those of us who have been in the trenches fighting the neo-colonial dictatorships of KANU and now NARC, giving the Nobel Peace Prize to a woman who single handedly stopped the obscene ERECTION of a 62 Story Phallic Monument to Moi’s Megalomania in the middle of Uhuru Park, is indeed a vindication for all those unsung struggles that have gone on underneath the headlines and away from the limelight. And for this a special kudos to Professor Wangari Maathai.
Sad to say, but it did not take long for DEMENTED SEXISTS and RABID GIKUYUPHOBES to unzip their pants and start aiming their abbreviated shlongs in a bizarre Festival of Urination, Vituperation and Fulmination as they tried to outdo each other in the quest for the grand winner who comes up with the vilest and most empty headed putdown of Wangari Maathai’s richly deserved award. If you so wish you can see their foul mouthed and mean spirited carping on assorted Kenyan sites on the internet, especially that one that is preferred by all cowards who are too shame faced to use their real names to launch underhanded and infantile attacks.
I was deeply amused, to watch, on the same haven for anonymous trash talkers, one notorious neo-conservative Kenyan subscriber to that right wing rag called the National Review; I was chuckling silently as I lurked and surfed and read from this Bush matako licker suddenly embrace one of the most recognized icons of the Kenyan activist movement. His reason for doing so was equally twisted and macabre-ati the Nobel Peace Prize would help the NAK faction vanquish the LDP faction of Kibaki’s regime. Here is a news flash to the Kenyan fascist-Prof. Wangari Maathai has very little love for those andu aitu insiders who have helped to divide the country so deeply. Around this time last year when I was in Kenya I spent some time at that Ugali and Ngege kajoint owned by K’Opiyo...Green something, those sides of… in a heated conversation with Professor Wangari’s boyfriend (a very progressive and big hearted Kenyan patriot) Dennis Akumu and that guy who runs that radio and television station (no, not KTN, KBC or Nation) beginning with C (not Capital) at which the good man from Nyeri not only detailed how some NARC(both factions) activists helped to rig in Chris Murungaru and how Kibaki was messing up by trashing the pre-election MOU. Let me just make a cryptic comment saying that Professor Wangari Maathai is VERY SYMPATHETIC to her partner’s political views….
If anything, NAK is the faction which should be sweating copiously ala Murungaru because of the Nobel Prize to Wangari. The Kibaki regime has shown its open contempt for Kenyan women by passing them over and offering Wangari Maathai the assistant ministerial slot even after a couple of reshuffles and will now be hard pressed to keep a lid on the momentum that the award brings to the profile of strong and independent Kenyan women like Prof. Wangari Maathai. One, in fact is not sure if the DP faction is still not resentful that Wangari Maathai had the audacity to run against a Gikuyu man in 1997… Anyways, let me exit from those NARC wrangles, but I just could not just pass up the opportunity to stomp on that ignoramus with my kivunja mbavu boots.
Let me join the millions of Kenyans, the millions of Africans, the millions of women, the millions of environmentalists, the millions of human rights activists, the millions of peace activists and the millions of progressive humankind who are claiming Professor Wangari Maathai’s victory as their own.
Protect Mother Earth.