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90+ Wangari Maathai Quotes From The Influential Political Activist

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Wangari Maathai quotes are often about human rights.

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Wangari Maathai quotes are inspiring and thought provoking.

The political activist was known for spreading awareness of the need for education and the freedom of rights among Kenyan citizens. She has won many awards for her work.

The social activist Wangari Maathai was born in a small village in Kenya and went on to earn a doctorate degree. Some popular awards she was won include the Nobel Prize in 2004 (she was the first African woman to win a Nobel Prize) and the Rights Livelihood Award. She also founded the Green Belt Movement in Kenya in 1977. Wangari Maathai sadly died of ovarian cancer in 2011, but her memory and influence live on today, particularly through Wangari Maathai quotes.

We have compiled the best Wangari Maathai quotes that portray her thoughts and beliefs. From Wangari Maathai quotes on the environment, to Wangari Maathai quotes on human rights, there are quotes from Wangari Maathai to interest everyone in this list of quotes. Wangari Maathai's most famous quotes are those about the environment, so be sure not to miss them! If you like our activism quotes and social justice quotes then the Wangari Maathai quotes will definitely inspire you.

Inspirational Wangari Maathai Quotes

Are you looking for inspirational quotes? Wangari Maathai quotes can provide all the inspiration you need today. Why not read new quotes every day, to brighten up your mornings, by the Kenyan icon, political activist, and environmental Kenyan activist Wangari Maathai. These Wangari Maathai quotes will inspire you to achieve your dreams.

Wangari Maathai quotes discuss how planting trees in soil can save the future generation

These social activist, Wangari Maathai quotes inspire all of us to do the best for our country. Glance through the environmental, political activist quotes for some inspiration

1. “When we plant trees, we plant the seeds of peace and seeds of hope. We also secure the future for our children.”

― Wangari Maathai, 'The Green Belt Movement: Sharing The Approach And The Experience'.

2. “Human rights are not things that are put on the table for people to enjoy. These are things you fight for and then you protect.”

― Wangari Maathai.

3. “There comes a time when humanity is called to shift to a new level of consciousness... that time is now.”

― Wangari Maathai.

4. “The world’s interactions with Africa are not necessarily motivated by altruism, but by the self-interest of states seeking to maximize their opportunities and minimize their costs, often at the expense of those who are not in a position to do either.”

― Wangari Maathai.

5. “As I told the foresters, and the women, you don't need a diploma to plant a tree.”

― Wangari Maathai.

6. “What people see as fearlessness is really persistence.”

― Wangari Maathai.

7. “Hallowed landscapes lost their sacredness and were exploited as the local people became insensitive to the destruction, accepting it as a sign of progress.”

― Wangari Maathai.

8. “No matter how dark the cloud, there is always a thin, silver lining, and that is what we must look for. The silver lining will come, if not to us then to next generation or the generation after that.”

― Wangari Maathai.

9. “Finally I was able to see that if I had a contribution I wanted to make, I must do it, despite what others said.”

― Wangari Maathai.

10. “The generation that destroys the environment is not the generation that pays the price.”

― Wangari Maathai.

The Best Wangari Maathai Quotes

Kenyan citizens have a proud and loving memory of the political activist, Wangari Maathai. Her love for Kenyan citizens and environmental wellness is truly motivating. Check out the best Wangari Muta Maathai quotes in this list of inspiring Wangari Maathai quotes. Which of these Wangari Maathai quotes will inspire you today?

11. "You cannot protect the environment unless you empower people, you inform them, and you help them understand that these resources are their own, that they must protect them."

― Wangari Maathai.

12. "You can make a lot of speeches, but the real thing is when you dig a hole, plant a tree, give it water, and make it survive."

― Wangari Maathai.

13. "In the course of history, there comes a time when humanity is called to shift to a new level of consciousness, to reach a higher moral ground. A time when we have to shed our fear and give hope to each other. That time is now."

― Wangari Maathai, 2004, Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech.

14. "Sometimes I tell myself, I may only be planting a tree here, but just imagine what's happening if there are billions of people out there doing something. Just imagine the power of what we can do."

― Wangari Maathai.

15. "The little grassroots people can change this world."

― Wangari Maathai.

16. "We owe it to the present and future generations of all species to rise up and walk!"

― Wangari Maathai.

17. "We have a special responsibility to the ecosystem of this planet."

― Wangari Maathai.

18. "An individual citizen cannot protect himself from the powers of large corporations or external governments. It is the responsibility of the government to protect its citizens."

― Wangari Maathai.

19. "If you make mistakes that is alright because we all make mistakes and we learn from those mistakes. You gain confidence from learning, failing and rising again."

― Wangari Maathai.

20. "That's the way I do things when I want to celebrate, I always plant a tree."

― Wangari Maathai.

Wangari Maathai 'Unbowed' Quotes

Political activist Wangari Maathai won the Nobel prize in 2004. Her work in the past has reaped so many benefits for the present. If you want to know more about her efforts scroll through the Wangari Maathai quotes we have compiled just for you!

21. "If you don’t raise your voice, then your environmentalism means nothing; it’s mere tokenism or opportunism."

― Wangari Maathai, 'Unbowed'.

22. "I think what the Nobel committee is doing is going beyond war and looking at what humanity can do to prevent war. Sustainable management of our natural resources will promote peace."

― Wangari Maathai, 'Unbowed'.

23. “It would be good for us Africans to accept ourselves as we are and recapture some of the positive aspects of our culture.”

― Wangari Maathai, 'Unbowed'.

24. "To be able to grow coffee you need rain, you need special kinds of soils that are found on hillsides, and that means you have to protect that land from soil erosion so you don't lose the soil. "

― Wangari Maathai, 'Unbowed'.

25. "We can love ourselves by loving the earth."

― Wangari Maathai, 'Unbowed'.

26. "I used to walk in the field, I used to literally copy whatever my mother was doing on the land. And that may be the reason why I eventually developed the passion for green and for the Earth."

― Wangari Maathai, 'Unbowed'.

27. "No matter who or where we are, or what our capabilities, we are called to do the best we can."

― Wangari Maathai, 'Unbowed'.

28. "You can educate people on how to preempt their own conflict."

― Wangari Maathai, 'Unbowed'.

29. "The Kenyan forests are facing extinction and it is a man-made problem."

― Wangari Maathai, 'Unbowed'.

Political Activist Wangari Maathai Quotes

Are you enjoying these Wangari Maathai quotes? We have compiled the best quotes from the famous political activist, Wangari Maathai from Kenya; a  legend from Kenya voicing her opinions in her Green Belt Movement. Here are some Wangari Maathai quotes about life, the environment, women, and so much more. Which of these Wangari Maathai quotes is your favorite?

30. "Women are responsible for their children, they cannot sit back, waste time and see them starve"

― Wangari Maathai.

31.“It's the little things citizens do. That's what will make the difference. My little thing is planting trees.”

― Wangari Maathai.

32. “In a few decades, the relationship between the environment, resources and conflict may seem almost as obvious as the connection we see today between human rights, democracy and peace.”

― Wangari Maathai.

33. “We need to promote development that does not destroy our environment.”

― Wangari Maathai.

34. “All of us have a God in us, and that God is the spirit that unites all life, everything that is on this planet.”

― Wangari Maathai.

35. “And so I'm saying that, yes, colonialism was terrible, and I describe it as a legacy of wars, but we ought to be moving away from that by now.”

― Wangari Maathai.

36. “In Kenya women are the first victims of environmental degradation, because they are the ones who walk for hours looking for water, who fetch firewood, who provide food for their families.”

― Wangari Maathai.

37. “When resources are degraded, we start competing for them, whether it is at the local level in Kenya, where we had tribal clashes over land and water, or at the global level, where we are fighting over water, oil, and minerals.”

― Wangari Maathai.

38. “We are very fond of blaming the poor for destroying the environment. But often it is the powerful, including governments, that are responsible.”

― Wangari Maathai.

39. “I am working to make sure we don't only protect the environment, we also improve governance.”

― Wangari Maathai.

40. “I know there is pain when sawmills close and people lose jobs, but we have to make a choice.”

― Wangari Maathai.

41. “[I realized] That I was OK the way I was. That it was all right to be strong."

― Wangari Maathai.

42. “When people can't use you, they ridicule what you represent.”

― Wangari Maathai.

43. “Because I was a woman, I was vulnerable."

― Wangari Maathai.

44. “It was easy for me to be ridiculed and for both men and women to perceive that maybe I'm a bit crazy because I'm educated in the West and I have lost some of my basic decency as an African woman.”

― Wangari Maathai.

45. “We tend to put the environment last because we think the first thing we have to do is eliminate poverty. But you can't reduce poverty in a vacuum. You are doing it in an environment.”

― Wangari Maathai.

46.“I’m very conscious of the fact that you can’t do it alone. It’s teamwork. When you do it alone you run the risk that when you are no longer there nobody else will do it.”

― Wangari Maathai.

47. “African women in general need to know that it's OK for them to be the way they are - to see the way they are as a strength, and to be liberated from fear and from silence.”

― Wangari Maathai.

48.“I got an indigenous tree, called Nandi flame, it has this beautiful red flowers. When it is in flower it is like it is in flame.”

― Wangari Maathai.

49. "I have seen rivers that were brown with silt become clean-flowing again... The job is hardly over, but it no longer seems impossible."

― Wangari Maathai.

50. “There will always be people who think that you have ambitions.”

― Wangari Maathai.

51.“There's a general culture in this country to cut all the trees. It makes me so angry because everyone is cutting and no one is planting.”

― Wangari Maathai.

52."It is important to nurture any new ideas and initiatives which can make a difference for Africa."

― Wangari Maathai.

53. “I would be on my knees looking at them and admiring them, trying to have them on my neck, until my mother would call and wonder what... I was doing in the river.”

― Wangari Maathai.

54. “I think that for anybody who has worked in the civil society, government bureaucracy moves very very slowly.”

― Wangari Maathai.

55. “All through the ages the African people have made efforts to deliver themselves from oppressive forces.”

― Wangari Maathai.

56. “The people are starving. They need food; they need medicine; they need education. They do not need a skyscraper to house the ruling party and a 24-hour TV station.”

― Wangari Maathai.

57. “Every person who has ever achieved anything has been knocked down many times. But all of them picked themselves up and kept going, and that is what I have always tried to do.”

― Wangari Maathai.

58. “Culture defines who we are and how we see ourselves. A new attitude toward nature provides space for a new attitude toward culture and the role it plays in sustainable development.”

― Wangari Maathai.

59. “I definitely hope to relax when I get back hope. I will disappear into the forest and be rejuvenated by the beauty of the mountains.”

― Wangari Maathai.

60.  "We do the right thing not to please people but because it's the only logically reasonable thing to do, as long as we are being honest with ourselves - even if we are the only ones."

― Wangari Maathai.

61. "They find themselves in a vicious cycle of debilitating poverty, lost self-confidence and a never-ending struggle to meet their most basic needs"

― Wangari Maathai.

62. "When you know who you are you are free."

― Wangari Maathai.

63. "Tree-planting is only the entry point into the wider debate about the environment."

― Wangari Maathai.

64. "The tree is just a symbol for what happens to the environment. The act of planting one is a symbol of revitalising the community."

― Wangari Maathai.

65. "We can never all be equal, but we can ensure we do not allow excessive poverty or wealth. Inequality breeds insecurity."

― Wangari Maathai.

Environmental Wangari Maathai Quotes

Wangari Maathai quotes about the environment are inspiring.

These Wangari Maathai quotes are all about the environment. If you are an environmental person and love your soil, read these great Wangari Maathai quotes to connect more to the environment. The wise sayings of Wangari Maathai have been quoted here just for you! we hope you take some inspiration from these Wangari Maathai quotes. Will one of these Wangari Maathai quotes inspire you to change the world (or maybe even plant a tree!)?

66. "The elites have become predators, self-serving and only turning to people when they need them."

― Wangari Maathai.

67. "There are simple actions we can take. Start by planting ten trees we each need to absorb the carbon dioxide we exhale."

― Wangari Maathai.

68. "Do not be overwhelmed. I want to encourage you to be hummingbirds."

― Wangari Maathai.

69. “Protecting the global environment is directly related to securing peace.”

― Wangari Maathai.

70. "You cannot blame corruption in Africa on colonialism."

― Wangari Maathai.

71.“Culture is coded wisdom.”

— Wangari Maathai.

72. “Those of us who have been privileged to receive education, skills, and experiences and even power must be role models for the next generation of leadership.”

— Wangari Maathai.

73.  “We all share one planet and are one humanity, there is no escaping this reality.”

— Wangari Maathai.

74.  “I don’t really know why I care so much. I just have something inside me that tells me that there is a problem, and I have got to do something about it.”

— Wangari Maathai.

75. “We can work together for a better world with men and women of goodwill, those who radiate the intrinsic goodness of humankind.”

— Wangari Maathai.

76. “We owe it to ourselves and to the next generation to conserve the environment so that we can bequeath our children a sustainable world that benefits all.”

― Wangari Maathai.

77. “Anybody can dig a hole and plant a tree. But make sure it survives. You have to nurture it, you have to water it, you have to keep at it until it becomes rooted so it can take care or itself. There are so many enemies of trees.”

― Wangari Maathai.

78. "The essential role of the environment is still marginal in discussions about poverty. While we continue to debate these initiatives, environmental degradation, including the loss of biodiversity and topsoil, accelerates, causing development efforts to falter."

― Wangari Maathai.

79. “The living conditions of the poor must be improved if we really want to save our environment.”

— Wangari Maathai.

80. “As long as there is no trust and confidence that there will be justice and fairness in resource distribution, political positioning will remain more important than service.”

— Wangari Maathai.

81. “Both ethnic and gender barriers now placed in the way of self-advancement. I realised then that the sky would not be my limit! Most likely, my gender and my ethnicity would be.”

— Wangari Maathai.

82. “...while it’s sometimes foolhardy to take on something that’s too big for you, it is incredible what you can achieve if you are single-minded enough.”

— Wangari Maathai.

83. “How you translate the life you see, feel, smell the touch as you grow up - the water you drink, the air you breathe, and the foot you eat-are what you become.”

— Wangari Maathai.

84. “You raise your consciousness to a level where you feel that you must do the right thing, because it is the only right thing to do.”

— Wangari Maathai.

85. “As long as the resources are not adequate, as long as the resources are not being managed properly, as long as the resources are not being shared more equitably, we will be threatened.”

— Wangari Maathai.

86. There was no such economic value of these animals, so they let them be. It was in their culture to let them be.”

— Wangari Maathai.

87. “When I went back home, I was constantly being reminded, I’m an African woman, and so there are certain things I shouldn’t do, certain ambitions that I should not entertain.”

— Wangari Maathai.

88. “The leaders don't know what they are doing. They are so blinded by greed they genuinely believe they should control all resources. They don't understand why we are willing to be abused, willing to put ourselves in danger.”

— Wangari Maathai.

89. “The challenge is to restore the home of the tadpoles and give back to our children a world of beauty and wonder.“

— Wangari Maathai.

90. “Stand for the weak, for the poor, for the lonely, for the fearful, for the ignorant, and for the silent. We must not stand for the powerful only, or for the rich only, or for the arrogant only. Justice does not demand that.”

— Wangari Maathai, 'Unbowed: A Memoir'.

91. "Everyone should plant a tree."

— Wangari Maathai.

92. “The earth was naked. For me the mission was to try to cover it up with green.”

—  Wangari Maathai

93. "Every one of us can make a contribution. And quite often we are looking for the big things and forget that, wherever we are, we can make a contribution.”

— Wangari Maathai.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Wangari Maathai quotes, then why not take a look at these [black history inspirational quotes] and these Thurgood Marshall quotes for more inspiring quotes?


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