Wangari Maathai was beautiful and inspiring. I had the great fortune to meet her personally in Copenhagen, in 1995. The UN hosted Conference against poverty was the venue and she was one of the most inspiring speakers.

Wangari, dressed in traditional African clothes, with her colourful turban, won us over with her honest, no-nonsense speech on the needs of Africa, the troubles of Africa and her aspirations of Africa. She did not hesitate to talk about bad governance at home, criticize lovingly her compatriots and propose changes.

Wangare Maathai was a genuine activist because she had a target close to her heart and went after it with all her strength.

In these troubled days in Greece, when I hear the Prime Minister talking about patriotism I think of Wangare with more admiration: Wangari practiced patriotism, she looked after her country and her people doing simple but necessary things for their well being. I wish there were more like her, I wish I were more like her.