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Wangari Maathai's Registers of Freedom: Voices of Liberation

Grace A Musila, editor
Wangari Maathai's Registers of Freedom: Voices of Liberation
ISBN: 978-0-7969-2574-9
2020/334 pages
Distributed for HSRC Press
"Wangari Maathai's activism for women's rights, the environment and conservation, and human rights and accountability [is] legendary, as are her brushes with the law....In Wangari Maathai's Registers of Freedom, Grace A Musila hears Wangari Maathai. It is our great good fortune that she shares what she hears with us."—Ambreena Manji, Cardiff University


Wangari Maathai (1940-2011), founder of the Green Belt Movement and the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, was a tireless social, environmental, and political activist, as well as an accomplished scholar. A champion of democracy and human rights, she worked tenaciously to dismantle the forces that limit people's access to a dignified life across the Global South and beyond.

Grace Musila astutely explores Maathai's life and multiple legacies and also presents a selection of the laureate’s essays and speeches.


Grace A Musila is an associate professor in the Department of  African Literature at the University of the Witwatersrand.


  • Timeline of the Life of Wangari Maathai.
  • Introduction.
  • Early Life: Under the Mugumo Tree.
  • National Council of Women of Kenya.
  • Electoral Politics.
  • Countering Colonial Cultures of Nature.
  • Green Belt Movement.
  • Defending Uhuru Park and Karura Forest.
  • Release Political Prisoners.
  • Parliament and Beyond.
  • Nobel Peace Prize, 2004.
  • Conclusion: Planting Sustainable Futures.
  • Beginnings.
  • Foresters Without Diplomas.
  • The Power of the Tree.
  • The Commitment to Service.
  • Environment and Development.
  • Nobel Prize Speech.
  • Rise Up and Walk!: The Third Annual Nelson Mandela Lecture, 19 July 2005.
  • Moving the Social Machine.
  • Can the Earth Be Belted?—O. Okuyade.
  • Kenya's Green Belt Movement—B. Taylor.
  • Slow Violence, Gender, and the Environmentalism of the Poor—R. Nixon.
  • Stranger in the Ecovillage: Race, Tourism, and Environmental Time—R. Nixon.
  • Wangari Maathai Was Not a Good Woman—N. Nyabola.
  • Conclusion.   
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