Mottainai

It’s Nobel time and with it some good news for Japan’s scientific community. But how many past winners do we really remember?

Wangari Maathai won the Peace Prize in 2004 and is famous here because she helped make the Japanese word “mottainai” (“What a waste!”) recognizable around the world, with her Green Belt Movement and her support for women’s rights.

Sadly, she passed away in 2011 while still relatively young. But, according to this article from African Arguments, she is already being forgotten:

“Wangari Maathai was not a good woman. Kenya needs more of them.”

Here is Dr. Maathai telling the well-known hummingbird fable:

I wonder how many of this year’s university freshmen recognize her name. I’ll find out soon.

Sorry I missed posting yesterday: I wasn’t feeling well. Thanks to the students who sent me messages. I’m feeling much better today. 🙂

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