Monday, September 26, 2011

First African woman to win Nobel Peace Prize" Wangari Maathai" dies



       Kenya's former president called her a mad woman. Seen as a threat to the rich and powerful, Wangari Maathai was beaten, arrested and vilified for the simple act of planting a tree, a natural wonder Maathai believed could reduce poverty and conflict.
    Former elementary students who planted saplings alongside her, world leaders charmed by her message and African visionaries on Monday remembered a woman some called the Tree Mother of Africa. Maathai, Africa's first female winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, died late Sunday in a Nairobi hospital following a battle with cancer. She was 71.
    Maathai, a university professor with a warm smile and college degrees from the United States, staged popular protests that bedeviled former President Daniel arap Moi, a repressive and autocratic ruler who called her "a mad woman" who was a threat to the security of Kenya.


Associated press

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