Zimbabwe, May 10 (Okay Africa): Zimbabwean-born scholar, humanitarian and author Tererai Trent has dedicated her life to promoting equal rights for girls and women, and now she’s being recingized for it in a major way. The academic will have a statue erected in her honor at the Rockefeller Centre in New York City on August 26, as part of an initiative called “Statues for Equality.”
The academic will be honored alongside the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Janet Mock, Gabby Douglas, Pink, and others.
This is the true definition of Leadership. Tell me if a rural girl from Zimbabwe can have a whole statue of herself in the middle of New York City, who can tell a young black girl to stop dreaming?😜😜
Here's to being trend setters!!
— SmartchicT (@smartchicT) May 7, 2019
Trent was born in the Zvipani, a rural village in Zimbabwe in 1965, where she was unable to attend her local school on account of her family’s financial status and her gender, according to Zimbabwean paper The Herald. She aspired to one day attend college in the US and go on to get her masters and PhD. With her mother’s encouragement, she wrote these dreams down, placed them in a tin can and buried them.
She achieved her dream later in life when she moved to Oklahoma with her husband and five children in 1998 and earned her bachelors in agricultural education in 2001 and a masters in 2003, before going on to complete her PhD at Western Michigan University in 2009. That same year, she founded Tererai Trent International, which promotes education and helps build schools in her home country. She appeared on the “Oprah Winfrey Show” twice for her work, and the mogul has described Trent as her “All-time favorite guest,” as Face 2 Face Africa notes. Winfrey granted Trent 1.5 million to rebuild an elementary school in her hometown.
Trent has authored multiple books, including the children’s book, The Girl who Buried her Dreams in a Can, about her life as well as the self-help book The Awakened Woman: Remembering & Igniting Our Sacred Dreams (2017), which won an NCAAP award for Outstanding Literary Work. The book includes a forward by Oprah Winfrey, who said: “If you’ve ever looked at the world and felt an aching for one of its many hurts or injustices, this book is for you. If you know the power of sisterhood or need to know its power, this book is for you.”
The academic shared the exciting news on Twitter, writing “I am incredibly honored to be standing among the World’s Top 10 Most Inspiring Women ‘Sculpted for Equal Rights. Come August 26 and celebrate the empowerment of women and big dreams!”