The APGN expresses its deepest condolences for the tragic loss of Wangari Maathai to our friends in the African Greens Federation, and to her family and friends and all who loved her. Wangari was an inspiration to us all, a shining light showing us all how being green means being a hummingbird: just doing the best we can (see video translation into English and Chinese below).
We wholeheartedly endorse the sentiments expressed in the Global Greens statement below. She will be sadly missed at the next Global Greens Congress and for many years to come.
Prof Wangari Maathai – Never give up!
The death of Prof Wangari Maathai on 25 September 2011 has shocked and saddened the Global Greens. She contributed so much to the world through the Green Belt Movement, through her work promoting women’s rights, and through her tireless campaigns for peace and the environment, especially in Africa.
Prof Maathai was a committed, passionate, humorous and courageous woman, a deserving winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004. She was imprisoned several times for her outspoken advocacy but never deterred from campaigning. She was an inspirational public speaker and always an imposing figure in magnificent colourful African dress. Her speech on the life and death impacts of globalisation on Africa was one of the highlights of the first Global Greens Congress in 2001 in Canberra Australia.
Prof Maathai played a big role in the formation of the African Greens Federation and will always be remembered by the African Greens. Around the world, she was a friend and inspiration to many Greens who will be sadly missed.
The Global Greens give their deepest sympathy to Prof Maathai’s family, friends and colleagues.
To our dear friend: walk in beauty.
“You feel like you want to give up but we Greens have one capacity that will help us. We believe – we have faith, we have trust, we have persistence. We never give up!” Prof Wangari Maathai, Global Greens Congress 2001.
I will be a hummingbird
We are constantly being bombarded by problems that you face and sometimes we can become completely overwhelmed.
The story of the hummingbird is about this huge forest being consumed by a fire. All the animals in the forest come out and they are transfixed as they watch the forest burning and they feel very overwhelmed, feel powerless, except this little hummingbird. It says, “I am going to do something about the fire”, so it flies to the nearest stream, takes a drop of water, and puts it on the fire, and goes up and down, up and down, as fast as it can. In the meantime all the other animals, much bigger animals like the elephant with a big trunk who could bring much more water, they are standing there, helpless, and they are saying to the hummingbird, “What do you think you can do? Your’re too little, this fire is too big, your wings are too little and your beak is too small, you can only bring a small drop of water at a time!” But as they continue to discourage it, he turns to them, without wasting any time, and tells them: “I am, doing, the best, I can.”
And that to me, is what all of us should do. We should always be like the hummingbird. I may feel insignificant but I certainly don’t want to be like the animals watching as the planet goes down the drain. I will be a hummingbird, I will do, the best, I can.”
09/27/2011 – 12:00