Katika kijiji kimoja kwenye mteremko wa Mlima wa Kenya, katika Afrika Mashariki, msichana mdogo alifanya kazi za shambani pamoja na mama yake. Msichana huyu aliitwa Wangari.
In a village on the slopes of Mount Kenya in East Africa, a little girl worked in the fields with her mother. Her name was Wangari.
Wangari alipenda kufanya kazi za nje. Alitumia jembe kulima katika bustani ya familia yake. Kisha alipanda mbegu ndogo katika ardhi yenye rutuba.
Wangari loved being outside. In her family’s food garden she broke up the soil with her machete. She pressed tiny seeds into the warm earth.
Alipenda majira ya jioni, wakati jua linapozama. Giza lilipozidi mpaka aliposhindwa kuona mimea, Wangari alifahamu kuwa wakati wa kwenda nyumbani uliwadia. Alikuwa anafuata kinjia chembamba kilichopita uwanjani huku akivuka mito akielekea nyumbani.
Her favourite time of day was just after sunset. When it got too dark to see the plants, Wangari knew it was time to go home.
She would follow the narrow paths through the fields, crossing rivers as she went.
Wangari alikuwa mtoto mwerevu na alikuwa na hamu ya kwenda shule. Lakini wazazi wake walitaka awasaidie nyumbani. Alipofika umri wa miaka saba, kaka yake aliwashawishi wazazi wake kumwacha aende shule.
Wangari was a clever child and couldn’t wait to go to school. But her mother and father wanted her to stay and help them at home.
When she was seven years old, her big brother persuaded her parents to let her go to school.
Alipenda kusoma! Wangari alijifunza zaidi na zaidi kwa kila kitabu alichokisoma. Alifanya vyema sana shuleni hadi akaalikwa kwenda Marekani kuendeleza masomo yake huko. Wangari alitiwa hamasa sana na nafasi hii! Alipenda kujua ulimwengu zaidi.
She liked to learn! Wangari learnt more and more with every book she read. She did so well at school that she was invited to study in the United States of America.
Wangari was excited! She wanted to know more about the world.
Alipokuwa chuoni huko Marekani, Wangari alijifunza mengi mapya. Alisomea mimea na jinsi inavyokua. Na alikumbuka maisha yake yalivyokuwa utotoni: kucheza michezo na msitu zake katika kivuli cha miti kwenye misitu maridadi ya Kenya.
At the American university Wangari learnt many new things. She studied plants and how they grow. And she remembered how she grew: playing games with her brothers in the shade of the trees in the beautiful Kenyan forests.
Jinsi alivyojifunza ndivyo alivyofahamu kuwa aliwapenda watu wa Kenya. Alitaka wafurahi na wawe wenye uhuru. Jinsi alivyojifunza ndivyo alivyokumbuka nyumbani kwao Afrika.
The more she learnt, the more she realised that she loved the people of Kenya. She wanted them to be happy and free.
The more she learnt, the more she remembered her African home.
Alipokamilisha masomo yake, alirudi Kenya. Lakini nchi yake ilikuwa imebadilika. Kulikuwa na mashamba makubwa kila upande. Wanawake hawakupata kuni za kuwasha moto wa kupikia. Watu walikuwa maskini na watoto walikuwa na njaa.
When she had finished her studies, she returned to Kenya. But her country had changed. Huge farms stretched across the land. Women had no wood to make cooking fires. The people were poor and the children were hungry.
Wangari alijua la kufanya. Aliwafundisha wanawake jinsi ya kupanda miti kutokana na miche. Wanawake waliuza ile miti na pesa walizopata walizitumia kwa mahitaji ya familia zao. Wanawake walifurahi. Wangari alikuwa amewasaidia kuwa wenye nguvu na uwezo.
Wangari knew what to do. She taught the women how to plant trees from seeds. The women sold the trees and used the money to look after their families. The women were very happy. Wangari had helped them to feel powerful and strong.
Muda ulipopita, miti mipya ilikuwa misitu, na mito ilianza tena kupitisha maji. Ujumbe wa Wangari ulienea Afrika nzima. Leo, mamilioni ya miti imemea kutokana na mbegu za Wangari.
As time passed, the new trees grew into forests, and the rivers started flowing again. Wangari’s message spread across Africa. Today, millions of trees have grown from Wangari’s seeds.
Wangari alikuwa amefanya bidii. Watu ulimwengu mzima walifahamu hili na wakampa tuzo. Tuzo hii inaitwa, ‘Tuzo ya Amani ya Nobel.’ Na alikuwa mwanamke wa Kiafrika wa kwanza kupokea tuzo hii.
Wangari had worked hard. People all over the world took notice, and gave her a famous prize. It is called the Nobel Peace Prize, and she was the first African woman ever to receive it.
Wangari alifariki mwaka 2011, lakini tunaweza kumkumbuka kila tunapoona mti maridadi.
Wangari died in 2011, but we can think of her every time we see a beautiful tree.