Africa

Zimbabwean Tererai Trent humbled by New York statue

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A Zimbabwean-born academic who taught herself to read from her brother’s schoolbooks says she was shocked to learn that a life-size statue of her would be unveiled in the US.

Media mogul Oprah Winfrey, actress Nicole Kidman, Olympian Gabby Douglas and author Cheryl Strayed are among the prominent women to be immortalised in bronze alongside Trent outside New York’s Rockefeller Centre, with the official unveiling due on 26 August.

Growing up in rural Rhodesia – as Zimbabwe was then called – she noticed a key divide from early on.

Her grandmother in particular was a talented midwife.

When the time came for children to go to school, it was Trent’s brother who went, not her.

But seeing her brother’s schoolbooks sparked something in her.

Once she had got her brother to teach her the alphabet, she continued to teach herself, and it opened up her world.

Those early experiences mean she is committed to giving back to women and girls in communities like hers.

Trent went on to earn her PhD in the US, where she is now a teaching professor in health at Drexel University, and also formed Tererai Trent International – a foundation which seeks to provide quality education in rural communities in Zimbabwe.

BBC

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