Posted in Challenges, Thumbs Up


” No greater satisfaction comes to man than to see his dream come to pass” ~ Anonymous

there are dreams and there are big dreams. As a boy I dreamt of owning a big bed and many shoes. This is laughable but I know am not the only one. I met a High Court Judge whose dream was similar to mine and when he got his first posting he tells me he bought a bed bigger than the room he lived in and spent his second salary on five pairs of shoes. To date he buys shoes in bulk; more than he can wear them. Was his dream valid you might ask. Ohh yes it was. For those of us who were “shifters” in our own home. By this I mean had no bedroom but a pile of beddings that were laid either in the sitting room or any other free space then this was valid. They had to involuntarily wait for everyone to go to bed and on many occasions they had to stay all night especially if no one wanted to retire to bed. For the better part of their childhood they walked bare feet and the first shoe they ever got was in high school. Being the only pair of shoes they had, it was mended, mended again and then mended some more. The shape and look never mattered as long as they had a shoe on it was worth it.

Then we have big dreams. Dreams of achieving the impossible. For my friend the High Court Judge was to study law and be the very best. This was no mean task for a village boy attending a village school and later on proceeded to a local secondary school. More so a village that had notorious local brewers and know for its drunkard people. Like Lupita Nyong’o’s acclaim and winning of the prestigious Oscar award, big dreams need hard and smart work.

We have understand what it takes, dress the part, we need to show up, stand in line and stand out in our role. I like what the bible says in the story of Gideon, he is ordered by God to ask his already depleted army(after the first cut over the proverbial water drinking by the river-those who cupped the water and those who drank directly by leaning on their fours)” whoever has feeble knees and feels not able to the task to return to camp”. I am not sure about the fate of those who ran back to the camp but one thing am sure they were never decorated with praise and accolades after a mere 300men army won against a great formidable enemy.

I like the part in the story where each soldier is asked to carry his weapon, a torch and a horn. Big dream require us to double even other times triple or quadruple in tasks and roles. My friend the judge as a law student, tutored students in secondary school, did menial jobs during the long breaks and still played a sport almost going professional. Lupita had to do many scripts locally and as an actor I say this with all humbleness, local producers push you further than you can reach, require of your undivided attention, need you many times to carry your own costumes and pay little or nothing at all. That is why many of us opted to branch into other careers  that had prospects of bringing a regular wage.

Big dreams seem a burden to carry but at their threshold it is all worth it. The strain of learning the trade, the nay-sayers ridicule and the suffering associated with being consistent discourages many. I urge you to push on. I pray you find wisdom and peace even your dream boat is rocked by the hardest of storms. You can make it and all heaven is cheering you on.

Posted in Challenges, Thumbs Up

Prof. Wangari Maathai’s Awards:

 Daughter of the Soil, Kenyan by Birth, Global by all standards; Wangari Maathai Salute!
2010: Earth Hall of Fame, Kyoto (Japan)

2009: Earth Hall of Fame, Kyoto (Japan)

2009: Humanity 4 Water Award for Outstanding Commitment 2 Action

2009: The Order of the Rising Sun, Japan

2009: Judge, 2009 Geotourism Challenge, National Geographic, USA

2009: NAACP Chairman’s Award , USA

2008: Dignitas Humana Award, St John’s School of Theology, USA

2008: Cinema Verite, Honorary President, France

2008: Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), Honorary Fellowship, UK

2007: The Nelson Mandela Award for Health & Human Rights, South Africa

2007: The Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding, India

2007: Cross of the Order of St Benedict, Benedictine College, Kansas, USA

2007: World Citizenship Award, World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts

2006: The Indira Gandhi International Award for Peace, Disarmament & Development, India

2006: Premio Defensa Medio Ambiente, Club Internacional De Prensa, Spain

2006: 6th in 100 Greatest Eco-Heroes of All Time, The Environment Agency, UK

2006: Medal for Distinguished Achievement, University of Pennsylvania, USA

2006: Woman of Achievement Award from the American Biographical Institute Inc., USA

2006: The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights,

Milele(Lifetime) Achievement Award

2006: Legion D’Honneur, Government of France

2006: The IAIA Global Environment Award,

International Association for Impact Assessment, Norway

2006: Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund Award, USA

2006: World Citizenship Award

2005: New York Women’s Century Award, New York Women’s Foundation, USA

2005: One of the 100 Most Influential People in the World: Time magazine, USA

2005: One of the 100 Most Powerful Women in the World: Forbes magazine, USA

2004: Nobel Peace Prize, the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Norway

2004: Sophie Prize, the Sophie Foundation, Norway

2004: Elder of the Golden Heart, Republic of Kenya

2004: Petra Kelly Environment Prize, Heinrich Boell Foundation, Germany

2004: J. Sterling Morton Award, Arbor Day Foundation, USA

2004: Conservation Scientist Award,

Center for Environmental Research and Conservation, Columbia University, USA

2003: Elder of the Burning Spear, Republic of Kenya

2003: WANGO Environment Award,

World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations , USA

2002: Outstanding Vision and Commitment Award, Bridges to Community, USA

2001: Excellence Award, Kenyan Community Abroad, USA

2001: The Juliet Hollister Award, Temple of Understanding, USA

1997: One of 100 in the World Who’ve Made a Difference in the Environment:

Earth Times, USA

1995: International Women’s Hall of Fame,

International Women’s Forum Leadership Foundation, USA

1994: The Order of the Golden Ark Award, the Netherlands

1993: The Jane Addams Leadership Award, Jane Addams Conference, USA

1993: The Edinburgh Medal, Medical Research Council, Scotland

1991: The Hunger Project’s Africa Prize for Leadership, United Nations, USA

1991: Global 500 Hall of Fame: United Nations Environment Programme, USA

1991: The Goldman Environmental Prize, the Goldman Foundation, USA

1990: The Offeramus Medal, Benedictine College, USA

1989: Women of the World Award, WomenAid, UK

1988: The Windstar Award for the Environment, Windstar Foundation, USA

1986: Better World Society Award, USA

1984: Right Livelihood Award, Sweden

1983: Woman of the Year Award

Yes we mourn your loss, we also celebrate your life so full and we seek to pursue the great intentions and bold steps in making earth more habitable.

Go in peace, go rest as we work somemore.

Adapted from Cyprian Nyamwamu’s email to NYSA