Richard Leakey passed away a few days after celebrating his 77th birthday. He was a combative man and his accomplishments were extraordinary and varied.
He was born on December 19, 1944 in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. He is a world-renowned fossil expert, writer and environmentalist. He is also an opposition party member, anti-corruption activist, economic reformer and head of the national civil service.
He was beaten, threatened and seriously injured in a plane crash, causing him to lose his legs.
He was called a racist by the then President Daniel Arap Moi, was praised by him, and was hired and fired by the President.
“I think pressure might be right for me,” Leakey once said in a gentle understatement.
His first job was to study fossils. His parents Louis and Mary are well-known archaeologists and paleontologists. They have spent decades exploring the rift valley in Kenya to find the origin of humans.
In his 20s, Leakey almost eclipsed the work of his parents, he made his own important discoveries and wrote books.
In the late 1980s, when the organization was on the brink of collapse and poachers were busy eliminating the entire elephant and rhino population in the country, Leakey switched to head of the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS).
Niche is energetic, ruthless, and seemingly honest and honest. He told his rangers to shoot as soon as they saw poachers and organized public burning of large amounts of ivory.
The niche approach is successful, but his combative style has won him many enemies. This is a pattern that repeats again and again.
Recently, his attention has turned to what he believes is a greater environmental threat-climate change.
“We created terrible chaos,” he told BBC’s Vivienne Nunis in an interview in September 2021.
In 1993, when his single-engine plane lost power and crashed, many people speculated that it was man-made damage. Both legs were amputated below the knees.
In 1994, Leafy changed his career again, quit KWS, entered the equally cruel Kenyan political world, and helped form an opposition party called Safina to fight for multi-party democracy.
Tough and honest
“Looking back on my career, as far as the country is concerned, the political aspect of my life is the most valuable,” he told the BBC.
But this is far from easy.
Once, he was whipped by a hired mob. President Moi described him as a racist, atheist and a foreigner.
But in 1999, President Moi appointed Niche as the head of the Kenyan civil service system and appointed a so-called dream team of reformers to save the world’s most corrupt country and free it from the growing economic crisis, shocked Nationwide.
Supporters say that Niche is considered by the president to be the only person who is strong and honest enough to get Kenya out of trouble, but questioned whether he will persist at work long enough to do any real good.
Critics say that appointing a white man with no college education is an insult to Kenyans, and it was clearly orchestrated by the colonial mentality still lurking in the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
In his new job, niche will undoubtedly help improve the relationship between Kenya and international lending institutions. His appointment is likely to be crucial to persuading the International Monetary Fund to resume lending to the government.
For a while, Leakey enjoyed unprecedented popularity because his dream team began to overhaul the country’s bloated, corrupt, and nepotistic bureaucracy.
But as usual, the niche is in trouble. Some people again complained about his incredible ability to make unnecessary enemies. Others said that his anti-corruption campaign threatened the interests of too many powerful people. Leakey stepped down in 2001-no public explanation was given.
Niche said he plans to retire from an active political life. Instead, he wanted to grow grapes on the farm in the Rift Valley.
But in 2015, he returned to public life and the current President Uhuru Kenyatta appointed him as the chairman of the KWS board of directors. He facilitated a controversial deal to allow China to fund the construction of a railway line through Nairobi National Park.
“We cannot say to the Kenyan people “Oh, the railway can’t pass through Nairobi Park, so you won’t have a railway in five years,” he was quoted as saying at the time.
Leakey passed away. His dream was to build a museum on the edge of the Rift Valley in Kenya to celebrate the common evolution of mankind and the common history of Africa.
“I want to build a cathedral of life without God,” he said.