She continues to defy both tradition and stereotypes even in death. Her love for trees continues in her will to be cremated instead to cutting trees to make a coffin for her. Wangari Maathai's trail blazing is a spectacle in all spheres of a rich life lived humbly.
They say a dead professor is like a library burnt down. Well, a cremated professor must double the loss. Wangari's smart will to be cremated has denied scheming politicians to hijack her burial. The family has made it plain that the cremation at Kariokor will be a private a fair sparing us crocodile tears and plastic eulogies.
It is both a paradox and coincidence that Wangari is being buried at the height of announcing this year's Nobel prizes. And she is not alone now that we have seen a posthumous nomination for the Medicine prize. Prof Ralph Steinman missed his moment of glory by three days after dying from pancreatic cancer last Friday. But the good news he left the human race the richer with his scientific discovery on the immune system.
Back to our elite Wangari who refused elitism. She fought the fight, dirtied her hands and never whined about feminism waiting for portfolios on a silver platter. She went and grabbed what the women folk deserved. Our only tribute must be living her legacy.