Monday, September 26, 2011


BY: MWANGI S. MUTHIORA- Two Hours Before

Africa's 1st female Nobel Peace Laureate, Prof. Wangari Muta Maathai, has finally succumbed to Ovarian Cancer at Nairobi Hospital- North Wing. Maathai has died in what Kenya can only refer to as a 'death' month, following the grotesque Sinai Slum fire tragedy and road accidents that have claimed tenths of people.

Prof. Wangari Muta Maathai took to the world stage in a defining moment on 11th November, 2004 when she received the 2004 edition of the world's most coveted award, the gold Nobel Peace Prize, at an elaborate ceremony in Oslo, Norway. Maathai, born in 1940, is a zoology professor who rose to international fame for campaigns against government-backed forest clearances in Kenya in the late 1980s and 1990s. She founded the Green Belt Movement in 1977 that has well spread to many other African Nations. She was the 12th woman peace laureate since the first award was made in 1901. The last African laureate was U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, of Ghana, in 2001. The 2003 prize also went to a woman, Iranian human rights lawyer Shirin Ebadi.

In 1989 Maathai's protests forced then President Daniel arap Moi to abandon a personal plan to erect a 62-storey office tower in a Nairobi park. In 1999 she was beaten and whipped by private security guards during a demonstration against the sale of forest land near the capital Nairobi. The famed Freedom Corner, now remains a sacred reference place where most protests are started or ended in Nairobi.

In 2004 while accepting and receiving her gold Nobel Peace Medallion, Prof Maathai moved the star studded audience with her near poetic speech that was aired live across the world and watched by billions on TV. "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. I'm humbled by the recognition and uplifted by the honour," she said.

"As I conclude I reflect on my childhood experience when I would visit a stream next to our home to fetch water for my mother. I would drink water straight from the stream. Playing among the arrowroot leaves I tried in vain to pick up the strands of frogs eggs, believing they were beads. But every time I put my little fingers under them they would break.

"Later, I saw thousands of tadpoles: black, energetic and wriggling through the clear water against the background of the brown earth. This is the world I inherited from my parents.

"Today, over 50 years later, the stream has dried up, women walk long distances for water, which is not always clean, and children will never know what they have lost. The challenge is to restore the home of the tadpoles and give back to our children a world of beauty and wonder."

She went on: "Today we are faced with a challenge that calls for a shift in our thinking, so that humanity stops threatening its life-support system. We are called to assist the Earth to heal her wounds and in the process heal our own."

The Nobel laureate then turned to the corporate world: "Industry and global institutions must appreciate that ensuring economic justice, equity and ecological integrity are of greater value than profits at any cost," she said.

And then to governments, Prof Maathai said that the environment was a barometer of a nation’s health.

"The state of any country’s environment is a reflection of the kind of governance in place, and without good governance there can be no peace," she said.

She is the first African woman and the 12th female peace laureate since the award was first made in 1901.

She joins the league of other African greats who have scooped the prize who are UN Secretary General Kofi Annan (2001), former South African President Nelson Mandela sharing with his predecessor F. W. de Klerk (1993), South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu (1984), Egyptian President Anwar Sadat sharing with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin (1978) and South African ANC leader Albert Luthuli (1960).

Among the awards received by Maathai and the Green Belt Movement are the Sophie Prize (2004), Petra Kelly Prize for Environment (2004), Arbor Day Foundation's J. Sterling Morton Award (2004), Conservation Scientist Award (2004), the WANGO Environment Award (2003), Outstanding Vision and Commitment Award (2002), and Excellence Award from the Kenyan Community Abroad (2001).

The former Member of Parliament for Tetu in Central Kenya has also received the Juliet Hollister Award (2001), the Golden Ark Award (1994), the Jane Adams Leadership Award (1993), the Edinburgh Medal (1993), UN's Africa Prize for Leadership (1991), the Goldman Environmental prize (1991) and the Woman of the World (1989).

Others include the Windstar Award for the Environment (1988), the Better World Society Award (1986), the right livelihood award (1984) and the Woman of the Year Award (1983).

Prof. Maathai is also listed on UNEP's Global 500 Hall of Fame and is named as one of the 100 heroines of the world. In June 1997,.
Wangari was elected by Earth Times as one of 100 persons in the World who have made a difference in the environmental arena.

Prof. Maathai had also received honorary doctoral degrees from several institutions around the world: William's college, MA USA (1990), Hobart and William Smith Colleges (1994), University of Norway (1997)among many others.

Prof Maathai succumbed to Ovarian Cancer-is a cancerous growth arising from the ovary. Symptoms are known to be very subtle early on and may include bloating, pelvic pain, difficulty eating and frequent urination, and are easily confused with other illnesses. Prof. Maathai, one of the world's most celebrated woman died at Nairobi Hospital-North Wing, while undergoing treatment.

Two Hours Before

Thursday, September 22, 2011


HORROR: Five Men Gang Rape University Student For One Hour On Video.

A few weeks ago, a five man gang raped & molested a female university student in a very horrifying video that the dare devil students recorded and circulated among Abia University Students and later posted on internet for the world to see. Amazingly, the audacity of the rapists to post the video- recorded on a cell phone, on internet is scaring and just tells you how our sisters, wives and mothers are besieged from all corners. The group of five rapists believed to be students of the Abia State University, either through arrogance or ignorance posted the sexual assault, which they recorded on their mobile phone, for the world to see online.

A horrifying, disgusting and painful ordeal that no other woman should be allowed to follow. The citizen journalism website, Sahara Reporters, was the first to call for an appeal to catch the perpetrators, igniting a web-wide uproar and witch hunt for the rapists, dubbed the Abia 5. One wonders how safe are our daughters and sisters in campus? Interestingly, the Nigerian authorities have openly dismissed this as just mere allegations and computer tricks that the students body at Abei State University has vehemently declined, saying that the perpetrators of this heinous act are known and the poor victim can very well identify them. Though its yet to be identified exactly when this happened, reliable sources indicate that the girl was gang raped late last week after she allegedly insulted one of the boys called Uchenna after continued weeks of stalking her. This incident has elicited world wide protests especially on internet with Bloggers around the world calling for speedy investigations and prosecution of the 'Abei 5'

The story which was first reported early this week has put the Nigeria's authorities and several Students Bodies at close fire with students threatening to go on rampage if the police are unable to make any sensible arrests and prosecutions. “It is clear that we have to fight our battles ourselves since you, whom we entrusted with the responsibility, are only interested in how your bank accounts can swell. This case has been taken up by the youth and we will monitor it to its completion, till those hard hearted rapists are brought to book and punished.” Said one of the student leaders from a University in Lagos.

The video which has over an hour of play time, shows the' Abei 5' raped the young girl in turns, teasing her and making gravious comments on her private anatomy. In the video though with a poor audio, the men can be heard humiliating the young girl and threatening to rape her for the next several days. The girl in return can be heard vaguely pleading with the men to spare her and leave her. At some point, the young girl is seen to be tired and exhausted as the men elatedly continues to take their turns. The victim is then seen and heard asking them to kill her instead and spare her the pain and humiliation. She allegedly disrespected one of the guys on campus, so they decided to take the laws into their hands by "teaching" her a lesson that she will never forget.

The men on this video appeared so upset going by the cruelty displayed in the video, it got to a point when the girl became suicidal and started begging them to take her life (In English and Igbo language), but the guys laughed and mocked her, it was terrible, the ordeal lasted for well over an hour.In the course of the rape, the girl kept mentioning their names. At a point, she said Uchenna please now. If close attention is paid one could decipher no fewer than four names mentioned by the victim UCHENNA , WISDOM, ZAKI, CHISOM, & IFEANYI / UGBAANYI, all believed to be students of ABIA State University

Another curious angle is, the men were all naked, but they allowed the girl to keep her clothes on, except her panties. It was grotesque. Even though the inept Abia Governor, Theo Orji is paying lip service to the tragedy, Youth minister, Bola Abdulahi, it was learnt, is on his way to Uturu.

Two Hours Before joins the of local & international blogs calling for the arrests and prosecution of the 'Abei 5' We condemns this inhuman act, and joins the world in signing this petition. Women should be respected and no insult can warrant such a humiliation and act of violence. While as the victim wished to die at some level, we take this opportunity to wish her a quick and speedy recovery from this trauma and inhuman act. Theo Orji, who has been widely referred to be an inept Governor of the Abei State, should step out of the shadows and alleys of darkness and lead the man hunt for the known perpetrators of this act.

Read about the Author on the February issue of Parents Magazine 2010 and read his untold story. Also Join Two Hours Before on facebook and twitter. NOTE: Two Hours Before is the fastest growing poetry blog in the country with over 27,000 visits and several reputable Reviews across the world.

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