Update on Wangari Maathai and Some of My Favourite Kenyan Hymns

Earlier this week I posted here on the untimely death of the irrepressible Wangari Maathai. 

 Photo from Krista Tippett site here

This programme below considerably extends this post and is a fascinating insight into the integration between her beliefs as a Catholic and also as a biologist and ecologist and a Kikuyu.

"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.
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.”

Nature's Coded Wisdom from On Being on Vimeo.

 Related links here are extensive and much recommended.....

Some personal reflections....
These songs below are among my own personal favourite Kenyan folk songs/hymns titled Kaung'a Yachee and Vamuvamba from the wonderful album Missa Luba.( An African Mass). 

I played them last year as part of an evening session after a week of guided prayer when the people who had participated were asked to bring something to the closing meeting that encapsulated what the week meant to them. 

These songs also bring fond memories for me as the CD Missa Luba was given to me by the Youth music group at the church I attended in Truro many years ago as a parting gift when I was about to set off to teach in Africa.

The language is Swahili. The first one tells about the mental anguish and restlessness that separation from God brings; the second in a call and response style to the accompaniment of a drum and a Kayamba ( reed shaker) focuses on the image of Jesus Christ on The Cross bringing redemption to mankind.

There are very few African recordings of it although you can buy it from Amazon. The director of Missa Luba,  Boniface Mganga was tragically killed in a road accident last year. 

This link takes you to a superb Kyrie Eleison version and video and Agnus Dei here which is a tribute to him by the Muungano Kenyan National Choir. Sorry but the embedding code was disabled for these.

The sound quality is not the best but if you close your eyes and just listen, the music is still glorious. 


 This video link takes you to the wonderful hummingbird story which is doing the rounds....

“I think there is such a thing as outrage fatigue. … Because statistics like that and numbers like that, scenarios like that, are as prone to make people throw up their hands and say, well, then, you know, I can’t do anything anyway.” More here

I Will Be A Hummingbird

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