by Wangari Maathai

Unbowed is the story of a woman who persevered and did not listen to the discouraging voices that told her that girls don’t need to go to school. Her interest in learning started in the very beginning of her education. Her cousin wrote on an exercise book with a pencil and she was amazed by this, however when he took out his rubber and rubbed it out it blew her mind. Ever since that day Wangari worked hard in school she earned a bachelors and masters degree in biological science and became the first female doctorate to head a university department. Wangari then became an environmentalist and dispite being attacked by the government she persuaded others to join her campains. Wangari Mathai founded the Green Belt movement that aims to protect and revive forests in Kenya. She was rewarded with the noble peace prize. The book taught me that one person can make a huge difference if they believe in themselves and ignore those who discourage them.

Betty Kunyada

Rating: 5 Recommend



Wangari Maathai, Africa’s first female winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, we celebrate her every year on the same day as Africa Environment day and with good reason. Through her autobiography, ‘Unbowed’ we experience her journey and see why and how she accomplished all she did even though she faced multiple obstacles along the way. Wangari Maathai was born during colonial times in Kenya, and she was very lucky to have been able to receive any form of education through those times. At a certain point in time she even faced arrest and was kept in a concentration camp. She still managed to keep her scholarship to a catholic high school and she even went to college abroad in the United States. Most people know Wangari Maathai as a environmentalist, a tree planter. She was so much more than that, she was a politician and a civil rights activist and before all that she was a scientist. She became an environmentalist almost indirectly, as a member of the National Council of Women in Kenya she noticed that everything they lacked depended on the environment, and that focusing on land and trees would reverse that degration, on top of this they could do this themselves without having to wait for government action. This led to the formation of the Green Belt movement. While her all out approach naturally led to efforts on human rights, corruption, and democracy, the authorities viewed her actions with suspicion. She was hauled to court several times and subjected to unfair treatment in the media. Her organization was evicted from their offices, so she took all 80 of her staff into her home and lived in a single room for years. She was arrested and harassed by the police, and she spent time in prison. It wasn't until Kenya's political leadership changed that it was safer for her to move around the country and live in peace. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize two years later for her commitment to sustainable development, democracy, and peace. This book taught me that determination and perseverance can help you achieve anything you set out to. In addition it is extremely important to preserve the environment no matter how hard it may seem.

Dev Gardi 

Rating: 5 Recommend