Dr Esther Nyambura Mwangi
This memorial website is dedicated to Esther Nyambura Mwangi  our shining star 14th Dec 1965 - 5th October 2019 . We will remember her forever.


Posted by Betty Ambundo on October 14, 2019
My dear Sister, friend, school mate,

What just happened? I can’t process this, i’ve been trying to come to terms with your departure and the fact that I did not know that you were fighting a battle - bravely- on your own. I don’t know how to mourn you. I am reminded again that you were a better friend to me than I was yours. You always checked on me, looked out for me, hoping that we would rekindle our friendship. I would always promise to follow up, to call you back. You never judged me or gave up on me. You said you understood. When I look back the times we spent together were the best of times - high school and when we started our careers. I am so proud of you, the tributes speak to who you were and your legacy. I now realize I was absent far too long. I wish I had been there for you as much as you hoped I would be; cheering you on, listening to your humorous anecdotes, laughing with you, arguing with you, celebrating your successes, praying with you, praying for you. I missed your friendship when we were not together and I miss you even more now that you’re gone. It is God’s will. Who am I to question God’s will. To every thing there is a season (Ecclesiastes 3:1-15). Rest my sister, my friend, my school mate. Rest. Till we meet again in the streets of gold.
Betty M’Maitsi
Posted by Priscah Ajiki on October 14, 2019
My most deeply felt condolences to the family , friends and colleagues of Dr.Esther.

Death is sad, even though its a destination we all share. Still, nothing can erase your deeds "Daktari" .

Your love and support towards Gender, Environment, Community work and many more will never go unappreciated .

You were soft but strong woman. I have lost a friend and a mentor.

R.I.P DAKTARI
Posted by Emily Kariuki on October 14, 2019
Dr. Esther Mwangi,
I am still shocked by your untimely, unexpected demise.
I first met Esther in 2017 when I joined CIFOR as an intern. I would later and over the two years work closely with her. I loved the zeal with which Esther loved her work. The unmoved conviction and commitment on the duty she undertook. Many times you believed in the people you worked with and you wanted the best out of each. I am most grateful for your 'push' to give
excellent results.... this has left me a better person. I remember one day when you were flying to Uganda and asked me to prepare a report to be ready on your touch down to Uganda for a meeting that you were attending. Having not been in the science field, I first freaked out and was not sure what you expected but your guidance made me crack it somehow! Thank you.
I loved how you incorporated me in your research work. Through this I appreciated your commitment to environment conservation.
We had many interactions at the office and she showed great concerned of the entire team at the Nairobi office.

I will greatly miss you, go thee well.. till we meet again!
Posted by Tony Simons on October 14, 2019
Dearest family, friends and colleagues of Esther,

Sincerest condolences for the loss of our dear sister Esther. We will all transition some day so although not unexpected it always comes a shock. Why Esther? Why now? What is the sense of it? Tears, empathy and social bonds help - as can all the tributes being posted.

What a privilege and joy to have known Esther. Her death brings closure to her coping with harsh realities of cancer but not closure to her influence on us all. Esther brought a refreshing intensity to all our lives. She was intensely professional, intensely principled, intensely giving and intensely passionate for so many things. Esther was a social scientist not just by discipline but also in her social approach to relationships. 

Esther was always so courageous in her opinions and remarks. Why hold back when so much needs changing was her motto. Speaking truth to power and hearing truth from colleagues, friends and beneficiaries were two of her brilliant hallmarks.

We miss Esther greatly for her energising presence, her warm compassion and her progressive thinking. But for family, friends and colleagues who knew her will shall never miss remembering her dearly.

May Esther's soul rest in peace.

Tony Simons
CIFOR-ICRAF
Posted by Kristell Hergoualc'h on October 12, 2019
My dear Esther, I remember … I remember that when you recently joined CIFOR, you enjoyed teasing people who sent emails in a language other than English, by replying in Swahili. There were some funny stories, notably one about someone looking for a chainsaw … A reply to all in Spanish, then in Swahili and in Chinese. So, I’ll now continue writing this tribute to you in French with the hope to get sometime somewhere a reply from you in Swahili.

Ma chère Esther, tu resteras à jamais une amie d’exception, avec qui j’ai partagé d’incroyables conversations, des moments agréables, heureux et relaxants. J’ai énormément de peine de te savoir partie, je souhaite de tout mon cœur que tu n’aies pas trop souffert. Tu vas me manquer, lors de futures réunions du CIFOR à Bogor ou bien ici à Lima où tu nous rendais visite. Mes pensées iront vers toi lorsque je revisiterai à nouveau les endroits où nous avons partagé des moments ensembles ; et ce ne sera pas toujours facile. Ma chère Esther, où que tu sois je te souhaite la paix et le bonheur.

Mimi wako, Kristell
Posted by Ashwin Ravikumar on October 12, 2019
I was shocked and saddened to learn about Esther's passing. Esther was (or at least acted!) impressed by my remote collaborative work with her while I was in graduate school, and I was humbled (even a bit confused!) by her enthusiasm to collaborate further with me. It felt great to be respected by a senior colleague early on in my career, and it made me more confident as I moved forward.

I enjoyed our in-person conversations, Esther, and I know that you were an important mentor and supporter for friends of mine who worked in Bogor. It's a tragedy that we've lost you so soon, and I will remember you fondly, both privately and in community with others who knew you.
Posted by Vijayakumar Narayanan on October 12, 2019
Our heartfelt condolences and prayers to the family. RIP Dr. Esther Mwang! You will be remembered forever. - vkn -
Posted by Eric Coleman on October 11, 2019
I knew Esther as a friend and colleague. She was brilliant, kind, and patient. I'll always remember her calm, firm demeanor and her contagious laugh. She was a great person and I will miss her. But I won't forget her.
Posted by Jose Falck Zepeda on October 11, 2019
I was so saddened by the shocking news of Esther’s physical passing. We joined IFPRI around the same time and was so sad to hear her leaving at the time but to pursue a better and beautiful pathway which marked many, many lives. She will be remembered fondly by many and she endures for future generations in her work and ideas that changed lives. I only wish for her life not to have been cut so short, yet stars shine bright and beautiful with a glow that transcends time and space… We will miss you Esther!!! Farewell!!! Hope your family will receive the balm of hope and peace in these trying times… 
Posted by William Sunderlin on October 11, 2019
Dear Christina, Elijah, and Jael,

Please accept my heartfelt condolences on the passing of your sister Esther Mwangi. She was a dear and respected colleague during the time that I worked at the Center for International Forestry Research in Indonesia. She and I overlapped in Indonesia roughly in the period 2010 to 2013. She was a brilliant, courageous, and principled scientist observing the human condition on planet Earth. She was also an intrepid fighter for human decency, rights, and gender justice. She will be sorely missed. I wish you solace at this time of grief.

Sincerely,

William Sunderlin
Posted by Tracy Mwangi on October 11, 2019
When people talk of girls night out what comes into their mind is dancing in club our definition of girls night out was food fun laughter over few drinks in the house as we assess our man crushes and day dream about whose wedding will be first over movies we don't even remember the names to.

Daktari opened her house on a weekend to total strangers who were friends to her niece to be able to have a sleepover yes big kids do have sleepovers. She gave us access to everything and told us if something is missing we tell her to stock up you know ladies with icecream.... We ordered for more....

We had wine, ice-cream, chocolate and snacks in plenty, we ended up talking, watching movies and laughing all night.

The next day we had a major throwdown in her kitchen over laughter and trying out recipes from a cookbook she had... Cucu Ndunge - and as Daktari called her mama, loved her lunch that day.

Thank you for opening your doors to strangers, and making your home ours too. You told us to be go-getters, enjoy life and cherish friendships, that is exactly what we will do!!!

Rest Well!!
Lavine K Perez.
Posted by Jane Mwanyumba on October 11, 2019
You are probably looking down from heaven; sending out smiles and laughter. So glad we met at our Kenya High School class reunion (Boma Hotties) early this year after so many years...was actually looking forward to meeting you again at our next one! Your mission here on earth has made a great difference in peoples lives...your legacy lives on.
Posted by Tracy Mwangi on October 11, 2019
I first met Esther in 1995 at IFPRI, when she was an intern. I was a more senior advisor to a new research initiative that she was hired to help. She was unusual in that room because she was African and she was a woman. She was also unusual in that room because she knew the realities of the communities and women that we were all supposed to helping, and she was relentless in making sure the rest of us heard what she was saying. Her quick wit, great smile, and big, warm laugh helped soften the spears she was throwing of course, part of the beautiful combination that made her so loved and so effective. I knew then that the world had been blessed with an unusual and great new gift and that she was going to shake things up and make a big difference. 

We became friends then, and I’ve been very honored over the years that she would occasionally call me and ask for advice about her career. It has been a been a tremendous pleasure for me to see how she grew in confidence and influence over the years – a young African woman succeeding in and reshaping the white, male, dominated field of forestry research. She was born smart of course, and we all saw that she had an unusual amount of grit and determination, but I know that behind all of that, was you, her family, her sisters and brother that cajoled her and egged her on: the real source of her strength and vision, and confidence – and for that I and many others in the world will be eternally grateful to you.



Thank you for giving us your sister. She’s sorely missed but lives on.

Andy White
Posted by Tracy Mwangi on October 11, 2019
On behalf of the Rights and Resources Initiative and the Rights and Resources Group, we wanted to express our deepest condolences and sympathies to you and the rest of your family for your recent loss.

She was a treasured friend and highly respected leader in our field, and we are deeply saddened by her sudden passing.

Please know our thoughts are with all of you during this difficult time.

Warm regards,
Claire Biason-Lohier
Posted by Tracy Mwangi on October 11, 2019
I was one of Esther’s workmates, and was shocked and saddened by the news of her death. I’d come to know Esther when she was working on the CAPRI project in the mid-2000s. Later, when she joined CIFOR, we continued working together. I particularly appreciated her more recent work on adaptive collaborative management, an approach I’d led when we started it at CIFOR. 


She was an admirable woman, with strong opinions, which I appreciated. We had many lively discussions over the years and I respected her opinions. I remember one time I was feeling admiration for her and I told her how important her contribution was, as an educated, African woman. The fact that she found this irritating---she objected, saying I was holding her responsible for all African womanhood---was a perspective I’d never considered. She often had perspectives and insights that had not occurred to me. I very much valued both her friendship and having her as a colleague. She will be sorely missed.

It’s so painful to lose someone… I will miss her.

Sincerely, Carol
Posted by Tracy Mwangi on October 11, 2019
Esther Mwangi was a dear and respected colleague during the time that I worked at the Center for International Forestry Research in Indonesia. She and I overlapped in Indonesia roughly in the period 2010 to 2013.

She was a brilliant, courageous, and principled scientist observing the human condition on planet Earth. She was also an intrepid fighter for human decency, rights, and gender justice.

She will be sorely missed.

I wish you solace at this time of grief.

Sincerely,
William Sunderlin
Posted by Abwoli Banana on October 11, 2019
Esther is no longer here with us but her nice smile, strong commitment to what ever assignment was at her desk will live us us forever. I first met Esther when she was still working at KWS. I was carrying her admission letter from Prof. Lin Ostrom (our mentor) to Indiana University at Bloomington. This was way back in the early 1990s. Since then we have achieved a lot together. The School of Forestry at Makerere University, The Staff at the Forest Sector Department in the Ministry of Water and Environment and the local governments and local communities in Uganda where Esther conducted her research will all greatly miss Esther
Posted by Andrew Pavao on October 10, 2019
Thoughtful, principled, patient, kind and honest. Through the many memories I have with Auntie Esther, I am fondly reminded of her qualities and virtues. I am thankful of the times that I shared with her, and for the opportunity to learn from her. I offer my condolences, and I wish for others to honour and enjoy her memory: the happiness they offer, and their endurance, are a true testiment to her and her life.
Posted by Anjali Bhat on October 10, 2019
Dear Esther,
I am stunned and deeply saddened by your passing. Our friendship over the years has meant so much to me. It gives me solace to see how many people you have similarly impacted, and how your dedication and passion lives on through those who have had the great fortune to know you and work with you. May you Rest In Peace.
Posted by Katherine W on October 10, 2019
Cucu Esther, Remains a very great mentor to me, She has been instrumental in tweaking my interest in research. She was very passionate about environmental conservation and there's not a day she did not talk on nature or gender and conservation. I would read her portfolio online and just be soo inspired!! Her research journey is intellectually inspiring and I could not get over the fact that I personally know someone who has gotten awards and taught at Havard!! I really admired her and actually she recommended me for scholarships and I'm eternally grateful for her well articulated reccomendations. I will not forget her hospitality in her home where I visited her often and she was always happy to have me. I truly miss her laughter and awesome conversations. She was my grandma and good friend. I'm so grateful for the times we shared. The movie's we'd watch, the conversations, pedicures at Lintons and the lunches we had. You remain my good good friend I truly miss you and how you'd say "Alrighty!!".
To my sisters and I you were a loving person and took time to really really have fun with us. You are our true true friend that we forever cherish.
This year it was tough for you but I'm grateful for every moment.
You are a true true treasure a great person who lived her true destiny you gave your all in everything. You loved people!! You taught me the value of truth in what you do and how you do it. You taught me to be precise and to think through my work and exactly what my goals are in life.
Thank you so much!!

Forever in my heart.
Ciru!
Posted by Liz Alden Wily on October 10, 2019
Oh, Esther, you have passed far, far too young. Such a dedicated academic cum practitioner on land rights issues. Your efforts, initiative, integrity, and your warm personality will surely be widely missed in professional fields. My heartfelt condolences to all your family. Rest in peace, dear sister, Liz
Posted by KOSKEI STEPHEN on October 10, 2019
It with great sadness that i have learned the passing on of our beloved great and reliable scientist. We shall miss your style of environmental stakeholders coordination, that you initiated successfully. CIFOR fraternity will remain with a big gap that requires God's interventions. Let your family, friends and relatives remain firm in prayers.
May God rest your soul in eternal peace.
Posted by Peter Oomen on October 10, 2019
Dear Esther,
On behalf of Prosper Sapathy, Margit van Wessel and Karen Biesbrouck: We remember and cherish your crispy advice to the Green Livelihoods Alliance. Our thoughts are with your family. May your soul rest in peace.
Peter Oomen
Posted by Daniel Kobei on October 10, 2019
Esther , I recall vividly, visiting your office and you welcome me and we discussed alot about forest issues. We also discussed about the proposal we had submitted together with your CIFOR offices in Indonesia, thought it was not funded, you promised too look around for another partner. You used to call me to know about the situation of Ogiek and asked if you can offer a hand.
You made me participate actively on community issues during the Landscape Conference. I learned about your demise via a tweet and indeed I was devastated, but I know God had predestined your life in His own order, rest Angels Esther.
Posted by Eric Otenyo on October 9, 2019

Dr. Esther Mwangi was one of the most insightful researchers in the area of common pool resources. Brilliant scholar and role model for young African women scholars. Her dissertation on Institutional Change and Politics: The Transformation of Property Rights in Kenya's Maasailand was co-winner of the 2005 Harold D. Lasswell Prize by the American Political Science Association. She is the first African scholar to win this great award. She is clearly in the league of giants of public policy research in areas such as property rights and resource management. Esther was a great friend, kind and gentle soul. We have lost our best friend and a wonderful colleague. May Esther rest in eternal peace. Dr. Eric Otenyo

Posted by Eva Ndunge on October 9, 2019
I am still trying to bring myself to actually accept that you are no more. It will take time, a lot of time, but knowing you are at peace gives me abit of peace.
My memories go way back from being a small girl who knew her grandma's sister would fly in every so often, and as we had luck living not too far from the airport, you would make a stopover by our house which meant lots of chocolate. We spent Christmas together on some years and I remember one at Olepolos and all the funny stories you and my late Guka told us.
Growing up you have been instrumental through the different levels of life. I always remember when I first moved to Brazil and you told me if I get here and don't like it I shouldn't hesitate to let you know so you can buy me an immediate flight back home. Working for you as your "P.A" when on holidays was something I enjoyed. I got to see how you loved your things done a certain way and within a certain period of time, pure discipline right there. We made annual departure dinners a thing with you and my sisters and that was always fun, the conversations were filled with laughter and great words of wisdom. The many things you did for myself and many that no one else would get to know about because of how you loved keeping things private amazes me, I pray I may grow to be like that. Thank you for the numerous times you hosted me in Kiambu even when I would always be running late, for the amazing moments shared I am forever grateful. Cucu E I was hoping I would see you when I would get home next, but as God had it He would call You home before hand. I will live to remember you from our last dinner earlier on in March, as for the trip we had planned while you would be here for a meeting, we will do it as you are always going to continue living in my heart. I will miss you so so much and no words will be enough to explain it! I pray I will be able to live up to all the great things we had discussed and I know you will be watching from up there. Until we meet again in heaven, I will live on with the same joy enjoying a cocktail every once in a while like we did!! Fare thee well Cucu E, rest in eternal peace and pass my love to the rest of the family members who went ahead of us!! Heaven gained an angel, we gained a legend on earth!!

Love
Eva Babez

Posted by Ernest Gatoru on October 9, 2019
Sincere condolences to Esther's family. We loose a great scientist.
Posted by Ooyerind . on October 9, 2019
What a wonderful woman! Esther’s kindness speaks a lot about her personality. She picked me up at the Indianapolis airport on August 15, 2000, got me a great apartment, encouraged me not to quit my PhD program at Indiana University, and helped me polish my grant proposals. Esther is a great source of inspiration. Oyebade kunle Oyerinde
Posted by Symon Maringa on October 9, 2019
I just sadly received the news of Esther's passing on and want to sincerely send my heartfelt condolences to the family.
Esther and I found each other in Boston while she was at Harvard and was amazed when she told me we had met in Nairobi University.
Esther inspired me to study International Relations because she believed we have a responsibility to make our world a better place for all. Esther was easy and a joy to work with. Her accomplishments are unmatched. Selfless and dedicated to see a world where the underprivileged are not oppressed. May her soul rest in Peace. To the family and friends may God be your Peace and comfort at this difficult time
Posted by Siwa Msangi on October 9, 2019
I'm very shocked and saddened by the news of Esther's passing. Much too soon... Esther and I started out as post-docs at IFPRI, at the same time. Since our last names only differed by just a letter, I would sometimes get her mail in my box (and perhaps vice-versa). So I already felt a close kinship, from the beginning. She was a wonderful colleague, and I regret not having had the chance to actually work with her. I'm comforted, though, that her scholarship and mentorship has inspired and trained a next generation of researchers who can continue the very important and impact-full work that she has done. Her work mattered to real people on the ground, and they have been made better by it -- as have we all. Rest in peace, dear friend and colleague.
Posted by Nining Liswanti on October 9, 2019
Dear Esther,

I started to know you when we did research in Maluku in 2010 and knew you more when we often traveled together. You are smart and humble person. You care to your family and decided to move to Nairobi because you want to take care of your mom. You also care to the people who work with you, always asking about family every time we met, or send us greetings card on valentine, Ied Mubarak, Ramadhan. This remind me how you valued our friendship with respect to each other.

I cannot forget the things we did together, like when we stayed in the community guest house in Sawai village in Maluku, I heard you scream loudly in the middle of the night because a little mouse dropped on top of you and we were busy hunting that little mouse and cannot sleep anymore. Or when I take you to stay at Ora Beach Resort in Seram Island, you were so happy and enjoyed the beach, the food, and talked to local people. Or when we visited Rose Garden in Bern, we both mad with the manager during the lunch because she did something stupid.

Esther, I have a lot of memories with you. You talked to me about many things that you don't want to share with others because you trusted me. But I didn't know that you have been struggled fighting cancer. I can't stop crying and felt guilty with you for not knowing about your illness. I wanted to let you know how you meant so much to me. I was totally devastated to lose you. I wish I can turn back time so I can support you as you always did to me. But GOD love you more and taken your pain and your sorrow forever. Now I can only pray for you, my dear Esther. No more distance between us because you will be in my heart eternally. I hope GOD will forgive you and will give you a better place in heaven.

Rest in peace dear Esther, my adorable mentor and friend. My deepest condolence to Esther's family.

Big hugs,
Nining Liswanti
Posted by Jackline Waweru on October 9, 2019
Esther Mwangi, you were such a gentle soul. I am in disbelief still. May your light continue to shine wherever you go. You have been set free from all pain.

You will be missed dearly.
Posted by Ruth Mutinda on October 9, 2019
I took too long to write this as I was still coming to terms with everything that has happened.
I remember in 2013's CIFOR annual meeting when we first met in person in Bogor, you came to see me at Santika hotel as you picked some hair products, maize flour, green grams among other goodies that I had brought you from Kenya. The smile, the warm hug, the long conversation we held that evening over dinner, it felt like we had known each other for a long time. I liked you as a person. I didn’t know you would be assigned to lead Nairobi Hub at some point, and you would become my direct supervisor. When this happened, I was amused by your humility – I procured very executive desk and chair for you and you went like “You know what Ruth, I don’t need all these. Get me a small office, a small desk and a simple but comfortable chair”.
You exposed me to field work, it felt good to support science with understanding of what happens on the ground. I remember our last field trips with you early this year in Bungoma, Kitale and Malindi. You let me make all the CIFOR presentations to the participants while you sat, listened to me and took photos. On the road to the airport in Mombasa, I told you how I had grown interest in natural resource management. You encouraged me and said “you know what Ruth; you can actually change your career path if you are interested. You would have such a unique combination to propel you to higher heights. Just imagine, with your background in finance and administration management, then you add natural resource management! Think about it carefully and let me know if you need any kind of support”
Esther, you made me shake hands with prominent people in the government, you believed in me even when I doubted myself. You exposed me, spoke highly about me, gave me challenging tasks, you were tough, but you always found a way to make me comfortable around you. You empowered me and I looked up to you, you were my role model!!
I could tell your moods in the mornings as you arrived in the office. On your happy days, I could hear you singing or whistling Eric Wainaina’s songs from a distance. As you passed my office you would go like: “MWIITU (girl), do you have a moment? Come let’s chat”. I will miss all these☹☹
I visited you at home several times, your smile was the same even in your illness, you looked strong, I even set up a working office in your house, at a corner with a nice view of trees through the window. We talked on phone severally, exchanged text messages but on your last week you decided to go quiet on me☹. My 3 calls went unanswered – they will remain to be missed calls; my text message too will remain unanswered☹. You didn’t prepare me for this, but I am happy because you told me you had received Jesus Christ as your personal saviour. I will see you in the next life when Father will call me home.
I was expecting you to resume work on 1st October. I had so much to discuss with you, so much!!
Esther, may your soul rest in eternal peace!! I will miss you!

To the family:
“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” Revelation 21:4 (KJV)

Posted by Wanjira Mathai on October 9, 2019
My dear sister, Esther. The thought of you gone is more than I can bear. You and I spoke about how critically important it was for our young girls (and boys) to see other African women in positions of influence.  May your light shine on in all those whose lives you touched and influenced.  Gone too soon :(
Posted by Mariola Acosta on October 9, 2019
My sinceres condolences to Esther’s family and friends. The cgiar scientific community will greatly miss you. You were such a bright light, always willing to help, mentor and connect people. Thank you for everything Esther. Rest in peace
Posted by Xavier Basurto on October 9, 2019
My most sincere condolences for Esther's family and colleagues.
We did not overlap at the Workshop, but the times we did cross paths, how could one forget her energy? and strong voice about the issues she cared about!
Posted by Harini Nagendra on October 9, 2019
Dear Esther - you are no longer with us on earth, but your memories linger. I have so much to recall. A lovely day in June 2002 spent browsing the Masai market in Nairobi with you - my home is still dotted with gorgeous artisanal work you helped me pick up, and I think of you each time someone says "so lovely! where did you get this?". I remember our long email exchanges on the need to decolonize knowledge collection and generation. And a memorable global change committee we were both put on because we were told we ticked multiple boxes, as women, (then) young, and non-Western. With your typical dry, wry sense of humour you said "Jeez that makes me feel good - and here I thought you picked us for our brains!" Dead silence at the other end of the line till we both burst out laughing.
Much loved - dearly missed - but still with us in spirit and memory.
Posted by Rose Simani on October 9, 2019
 Rest in peace Dr. Esther Mwangi: I first met you at your nieces bridal shower and you struck me as a deeply thoughtful and gentle person; and a very personable Aunt to Ndunge. It never struck me that you were this distinguished academic and eminent scholar. Definitely, you have left footprints in the sands of time – footprints that all budding academics would aspire to follow, even if it means achieving half of your achievements.
We don’t mourn you; rather, we celebrate you because you’ve been a real gift and talent to the world. Do rest in the bosom of the Lord, Esther. Our heartfelt condolences to the Mwangi
Nick and Rose Simani
Posted by Berta MARTIN LOPEZ on October 9, 2019
The whole community of the Programme of Ecosystems Change and Society sends our most sincere condolences to Esther’s family, friends and colleagues. We are very sad for her loss and we will miss her very much in our programme.
Posted by Noris Nm on October 9, 2019
I am shocked and saddened to learn of your passing. I first met you in Lima and we had a good conversation and good laugh over a glass of wine and great food. I still remember sharing stories about our experiences of being profiled at airports and how you had managed to deal with such incidents in your world travels. That day I learnt a lot which has made my travel easier over the years. You were really a hard worker and a strong woman and a wonderful colleague. When you moved back to Nairobi we kept saying we should meet but we never found the time and now you are gone.

Rest In Peace dear Esther. May God angels hold you in their comfort. You will be sadly missed.
Posted by Markus Ihalainen on October 9, 2019
Dear Esther,

The first time we met was at my job interview. I was quite new to forestry, and I remember being really impressed by the level of seriousness in which issues related to gender equality were addressed at this forestry research organization. Once I joined, I understood that so much of this was thanks to your dedicated efforts in a context which wasn't always that supportive. I want to thank you for paving the road for me and for believing in me. I was always amazed by how your moral and ethical convictions shone through everything you wrote, every presentation and every conversation, how you were able to convey a message about what is right and what is wrong to anyone listening to you regardless of their background or occupation. I had so much left to learn. Rest in peace dear Esther.
Posted by Curls Oaks on October 9, 2019
I am so shocked and saddened to hear about you leaving this world Esther.

You've been an absolute pleasure to work with at CIFOR over the last five years - my only regret is not saying that enough to your face, as much as I said it to others. Your passion and determination were such a force for good. It has always blown my mind from editing your research outputs how much you were able to achieve in such limited timeframes, and it was obvious how much energy you poured into your work to make that happen. That, and your ability to lead others with such good humour, will stick with me forever. Though your legacy lives on, your passing will for sure be a great loss for forestry and gender-related studies all over the world.

Rest in peace Esther. Sending my heartfelt condolences to your close friends and family who must be especially devastated at the loss of someone so special.

With love,
Sarah Oakes
Posted by Caroline Ochieng on October 9, 2019
Dear Esther, It saddens me that you will not get to read this and know how much I admired you. It was one meeting in Bogor that completely changed my perspective. The complex issues of gender and land rights and your mastery of the subject made me realise how much more I still need to learn, and how glad I was to know someone who I could count on for the support. I remember the blog you inspired me to write to commemorate international women’s day. I did not get a chance to work with you on a project, but through you I got to know others and we will carry on your vision.

Rest well.
Posted by Njeri Bere on October 9, 2019
Esther and I attended the same primary school in the 70s, and years later re-united in Grad school (Indiana University). It was a joy having someone from home whom I could talk and laugh with regarding the cultural challenges we encountered in the US. Just as she had been in primary school, I recall her brilliant brain and sense of fun -- a well-rounded person! May the Lord comfort Esther's family during this difficult time. To Elijah and the rest of the family, Poleni sana.
Posted by Douglas Ombogoh on October 9, 2019
Esther, You welcomed me to CIFOR family as my supervisor and gave me an opportunity to work with you on forest and water governance in the Water towers of East Africa. We faced low moments, but you encouraged me to move on. The long field visits to Mau and Mt. Elgon forest sites, going up the slopes of Cheptais, Kimothon and Saboti, and our interaction with community members and partners on restoration activities. We shared moments of joy with CFA and WRUA members as they narrated to us their conservation activities and stories on gender. I admired Your passion and commitment in enhancing participation in forest and water governance. I will always remember those brainstorming sessions we had in your office. We were just finalizing various guides, when you left, a task i have to complete in your honor. My supervisor, my mentor. We will miss you.
Posted by Laura Mukhwana on October 9, 2019
I was shocked to hear of Dr Esther Mwangi's death. She was my supervisor and I have nothing but gratitude for her. Thank you Esther for always believing in me and giving me countless opportunities. Thank you for always looking out for me, warning and advising me. I have learnt so much through you and experienced a lot as well. You were truly an amazing and inspiring person. The world has lost a treasure. We shall meet again in heaven
Posted by Chacha Odera on October 9, 2019
Esther, you have gone too soon. However, there is never a right time to exit the stage. We take comfort that you will forever be remembered for your work to humanity. So few years you lived, but so much you did. Go well my sister.
Posted by Mohamed Bakarr on October 8, 2019
I am still in shock over Esther's passing. Her loss has been difficult to fathom. But I am grateful for all that she taught me as a friend and colleague. Her work on gender and tenure issues will forever be a source of inspiration for many Africans, and certainly for me personally. Esther will be terribly missed, but her legacy will endure. May her soul rest in perfect peace.
Posted by Lely Taulu on October 9, 2019
Selamat jalan Esther
Rest in Peace

Your voice shall carry on...
Posted by Levania Santoso on October 9, 2019
dear esther, sad to learn about this.. although we never had a chance to work under one project but whenever we bumped at the coffee machine corner, we always greetings each other “i’m bicycle saja..” - that’s how you try to remember the word “baik-baik saja..”. rip esther..

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