PRESIDENT Mnangagwa yesterday congratulated Zimbabwe-born academic Dr Tererai Trent for being named among the World’s Top 10 Most Inspiring Women “Sculpted for Equal Rights”.
Dr Trent, who is based in the United States, will have her life-size bronze statue erected at the Rockefeller Centre in New York City on August 26 during the launch of Statues of Equality.
Posting on his Twitter handle, the President said the nation is proud of her work of promoting equality and empowerment for girls and women.
“Congratulations @TereraiTrent who has been honoured as one of the 10 most inspiring women in the world, part of the “Sculpted for Equal Rights” initiative.
“All the people of Zimbabwe are deeply proud of you & your work in promoting equality & empowerment for girls & women,” the President wrote.
The sculpture is in honour of her role in promoting equality and empowerment for girls and women.
It will stand alongside those of other eminent women who have received the same honour, notably Oprah Winfrey, Pink, Nicole Kidman, Jane Goodall, Cate Blanchett, Janet Mock, Tracy Dyson, Cheryl Strayed and Gabby Douglas.
Dr Trent was born in Zvipani Village in Karoi District, Mashonaland West Province, in 1965.
She was not allowed to go to her local school, Matau Primary School, as a child due to poverty as well as being female, although her brother Tinashe, an indifferent student, was given the opportunity to attend.
In 1991, Jo Luck from Heifer International visited her village and asked every woman about her greatest dream.
Dr Trent said she wanted to go to America and get a bachelor’s degree, followed by a master’s and eventually a PhD.
Encouraged by her mother, Dr Trent wrote down these dreams, put the paper in a scrap of tin, and buried it.
In 1998, she moved to Oklahoma with her husband and their five children.
Three years later, she earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural education and her master’s degree in 2003.
In December 2009, she earned her doctorate from Western Michigan University; her thesis looked at HIV/AIDS prevention programmes for women and girls in sub-Saharan Africa.
Her life story was featured in the book “Half the Sky”, and in an excerpt of that book published by The New York Times Magazine.
Subsequently, TV mogul Oprah Winfrey ran a segment on Tererai in the Oprah episode concerning the book “Half the Sky”.
After earning her PhD in 2009, Dr Trent obtained a two-year commitment to work with Heifer International (which paid for her PhD).
Also in 2009, she founded the Tinogona Foundation, later renamed Tererai Trent International, which has built several schools in Zimbabwe.