In Unbowed, Nobel Prize winner Wangari Maathai recounts her extraordinary journey from her childhood in rural Kenya to the world stage. When Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement in 1977, she began a vital poor people’s environmental movement, focused on the empowerment of women, that soon spread across Africa. Persevering through run-ins with the Kenyan government and personal losses, and jailed and beaten on numerous occasions, Maathai continued to fight tirelessly to save Kenya’s forests and to restore democracy to her beloved country. Infused with her unique luminosity of spirit, Wangari Maathai’s remarkable story of courage, faith, and the power of persistence is destined to inspire generations to come.
Wangarĩ Muta Maathai (1 April 1940 – 25 September 2011) was a renowned Kenyan social, environmental and political activist and the first African woman to win the Nobel Prize. As a beneficiary of the Kennedy Airlifts, she studied in the United States, earning a Bachelor's Degree at Mount St. Scholastica (Benedictine College) and a Master's Degree at the University of Pittsburgh. She went on to become the first woman in East and Central Africa to become a Doctor of Philosophy, receiving her Ph.D. from the University of Nairobi in Kenya.