In May 2017, I went to Karura Forest for a forest trek. Despite having lived in Nairobi for all my life, this was my first time in the forest that was thrust into prominence when Wangari Maathai fiercely defended it from the Moi Government’s attempt to annex part of it for development.
An African in London has almost inevitably gone through many processes of migration, evolution, adaptation and adjustment, fighting against this or that tradition, longing for one place or another, and rejecting some or other throwback to the home land.
The bright green squeak and crack as the leaf is pulled from its staunch stalk never leaves me indifferent, especially when it’s being done in the name of a meal which I’m about to enjoy. The house was surrounded by them, so we never cooked too little.
When the rugged brown containers landed in Italy, they were met by the eager officials of a leading wood furniture firm. The three men in broken suits felt like giving the containers huge bear hugs but instead settled for broad smiles.
On the morning of 24th September 2011, the world woke up one morning to the sad and tragic news that Professor Wangari Maathai, the Kenyan environmentalist, human rights activist and Nobel Peace prize winner passed away the previous night at about 10 PM in Nairobi hospital.
I stumbled over a bag of shopping I’d forgotten to unpack that morning, and cursed my own laziness, whilst stretching out both hands in front of me, crouched down so as to avoid chairs and other bits of furniture I might have forgotten about.
Although you will be expecting it, the spray will catch you by surprise. It will drench your happy face and leave a lasting mark in your heart. You will have seen the spray from miles away as it often rises to heights of up to four hundred metres.