My Dad -the Hunger Striker and Boss of Greenpeace; GIRL'S INFLUENCE LEADS CAMPAIGNER TO FIGHT FOR CLIMATE CHANGE

Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland), December 11, 2009 | Go to article overview

My Dad -the Hunger Striker and Boss of Greenpeace; GIRL'S INFLUENCE LEADS CAMPAIGNER TO FIGHT FOR CLIMATE CHANGE


Byline: Annie Brown

SITTING in the common room of her Glasgow comprehensive, Naomi Naidoo was sometimes asked about her dad - the South African hunger striker turned head of Greenpeace.

She said: "It was a bit strange to say, 'Well, my dad is on hunger strike at the moment,' but my friends are used to it and are very supportive. To me, he is just my dad."

When her father, Kumi, was offered the role of international director at Greenpeace, he was in South Africa on the 19th day of his 21-day hunger strike and told them he was in no mood to discuss jobs.

But one phone call to 17-year-old Naomi in Scotland changed his mind.

She recognised that he was physically weak and could regret being rash, so she chided him that she wouldn't talk to him if he didn't at least consider it.

Kumi, 45, may have sat in rooms with Gordon Brown and Barack Obama but it is Naomi - "the centre of my universe" - who has always been one of his greatest influences and, ultimately, he took the job.

Naomi said: "He told me they were interested in him and I immediately thought that was fantastic. I think Greenpeace is incredible.

"I thought it was a great opportunity.

Obviously, it had to be his decision but all I did was say that he had to at least consider it. If he had been offered it and then turned it down, that would have been different."

After battling apartheid in South Africa in the 1970s and 1980s, Kumi led global campaigns to end poverty and protect human rights.

He grew up in poverty but won a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University, went into exile and met Naoimi's mother, who is from Callander, Perthshire.

The relationship didn't work but the pair remain firm friends and Kumi is dedicated to his daughter, often visiting her in Glasgow.

Naomi said: "I have friends who have fathers who live in the same city or in the same country who they see less of than I see of my dad.

"My dad has pretty much always lived on a different continent but still manages to be a major part of my life.

"Given that he doesn't exactly have a lot of time on his hands, that's amazing. He is a great dad. We have such a special relationship.

"As a child, I would be whisked out of Shawlands in Glasgow and taken to these amazing conferences. A lot of them, I was too young to even understand but it opened my eyes.

"When we travelled, he showed me the real country not the tourist traps."

His decision earlier this year to go on hunger strike, to highlight the horrendous Mugabe regime and the starvation in Zimbabwe, naturally worried her.

She said: "At that point, I was just really glad that I didn't live with him.

"If I had seen it, that would have been really difficult for me. I wouldn't have wanted to see him at his worst. I would have hated it.

"It is only recently I could even look at the photographs from that time."

She spent time with him during his recovery when he was based in London for a while.

Naomi said: "I was around at the better stage. He was still on juice, gradually putting weight back on."

As a child, he was just Naomi's dad. It was only as she got older she realised that her father was a famous activist. She said: "I was most in awe of his anti-apartheid work because, to this day, I think that is closest to his heart."

But she also admired his efforts with Make Poverty History, which led to a brief tiffwith Bob Geldof at the G8 summit in Gleneagles, when he felt the real message was being lost.

She said: "It was during that campaign that it really dawned on me that he was an activist. I am so proud of him, I always have been."

Naomi is now travelling in India, working on an education project for the poor after completing sixth-year studies in English and maths and she is considering Edinburgh University.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

My Dad -the Hunger Striker and Boss of Greenpeace; GIRL'S INFLUENCE LEADS CAMPAIGNER TO FIGHT FOR CLIMATE CHANGE
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.