Category ArchivePeople

Wangari Maathai

Wangari Maathai

Wangari Maathai

Wangari Muta Maathai was born in Nyeri, Kenya (Africa) in 1940. The first woman in East and Central Africa to earn a doctorate degree, Professor Maathai obtained a degree in Biological Sciences from Mount St. Scholastica College in Atchison, Kansas (1964). She subsequently earned a Master of Science degree from the University of Pittsburgh (1966). Professor Maathai pursued doctoral studies in Germany and the University of Nairobi, obtaining a Ph.D. (1971) from the University of Nairobi where she also taught veterinary anatomy. She became chair of the Department of Veterinary Anatomy and an associate professor in 1976 and 1977 respectively. In both cases, she was the first woman to attain those positions in the region.

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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie writes about an Africa far removed from bleak media clichés. Claire Sawers chats to her about superstition and stereotypes

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s voice reflects a life split between America and her home country, Nigeria. So while she’ll enunciate each of her words clearly and slowly, she’s also picked up that uniquely American habit of adding a questioning ‘right?’ at the end of her sentences, or throwing in a ‘what the heck’. Despite having studied in the US, and now dividing her time between homes in Maryland and Lagos, 31-year-old Adichie is in no doubt about her identity. ‘I always consider myself Nigerian; a Nigerian that likes to spend time in America.’

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Chinua Achebe

Chinua Achebe

Chinua Achebe

Chinua Achebe born November 16, 1930, and educated at Government College in Umuahia and at University College of Ibadan, Nigeria. He received a B.A. from London University in 1953 and in 1956 studied broadcasting in London at the BBC. He joined the Nigerian Broadcasting Company in Lagos in 1954, later becoming its director of external broadcasting. During the Civil War in Nigeria he worked for the Biafran government service. After the war he was appointed senior research fellow at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, of which he is now emeritus professor of English. He has lectured at many universities worldwide, served as McMillan-Stewart Lecturer at Harvard and Presidential Fellow Lecturer at the World Bank (both 1998). Since 1990, he has been Charles P. Stevenson Jr. Professor of Languages and Literature at Bard College.

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Barack Obama

Barack Obama

Barack Obama

Barack H. Obama is the 44th President of the United States.

His story is the American story — values from the heartland, a middle-class upbringing in a strong family, hard work and education as the means of getting ahead, and the conviction that a life so blessed should be lived in service to others.

With a father from Kenya and a mother from Kansas, President Obama was born in Hawaii on August 4, 1961. He was raised with help from his grandfather, who served in Patton’s army, and his grandmother, who worked her way up from the secretarial pool to middle management at a bank.

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Desmond Tutu

Desmond Tutu

Desmond Tutu

Desmond Tutu is a well-known South African activist, whose efforts to solve the issue of apartheid, during 1980s, fetched him worldwide fame. Born in 1931, in Klerksdorp, Tutu chose teaching as his profession. After serving as a lecturer for few years, he pursued Theology. He was the first black person to become the Archbishop of Cape Town. He also became the first black Bishop of Johannesburg. Tutu is the second South African to receive Noble Peace Prize.

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