Tererai Trent grew up in a cattle-herding family in rural Zimbabwe. She was not allowed to go to school due to poverty and the fact that she was female. At 18, she was already married with children. However, she would teach herself to read and write, before ending up in the U.S. about 21 years ago to seek an education.
Today, she is not only a famed academic, but a global voice for women’s empowerment, an author, and a humanitarian. In honour of her role in promoting equality and empowerment for girls and women, the Zimbabwean scholar has been named among the World’s Top 10 Most Inspiring Women “Sculpted for Equal Rights”.
She will have her life-size bronze statue erected at the Rockefeller Centre in New York City on August 26 during the launch of Statues for Equality,
a project which aims to balance gender representation in public art.
The statue will stand alongside those of other distinguished women who have received the same honour, notably media mogul Oprah Winfrey, conservationist Jane Goodall, actress Cate Blanchett, activist Janet Mock, actress Nicole Kidman, chemist Tracy Dyson, Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas and author Cheryl Strayed.
The U.S.-based academic, who believes that her past has led her to where she is now, is the founder of Tererai Trent International, which champions quality education for all children irrespective of gender or socio-economic background.