Dr Tererai Trent: from Hurungwe to the world


A fortnight ago, the country woke up to good and inspiring news that a daughter of the soil was among the ten women honoured by the New York City in the United States of America and her statue will be erected on  August 26.

She will be honored under Statues of Equality due to be launched New York this summer.

World renowned celebrity and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey is part of the same league.

Her name is Dr Tererai Trent and loosely translated in vernancular her name means ‘listener’ or ‘obedient’ depending on the context.

After learning of Trent’s achievement,one is compelled to make a quick assumptions that she is one of the big city girls.

It turns out Trent in fact grew up far from the big city lights.

Zim Morning Post established that she grew up within the remote rural Matau area near Chivakanenyama and  Zvipani villages in Hurungwe.

Now she has become a source of inspiration for every progressive Zimbabwean and the world at large.

Born and bred under rural communal set up where she failed to attend school as a girl, Tererai taught herself to read from her brother’s books before independence.

Like several girls, she was raised in poverty-stricken family where females had no chance for education in rural Zimbabwe.

It was a patriarchal society where most women had internalised oppression and normalised the abnormal.

Her dream made strides in 1998 when she relocated to the US following a visit by an American non-profit organisation.

Besides  being married off at a young age, she had a dream to pursue education and it has been a torch bearer for communities in Hurungwe.

Trent’s life history is a sweet tale to tell after she achieved her long-lasting dream to get a masters and a doctorate.

While in America, she made footprints after getting funds to build a school after she was hosted by media guru Oprah Winfrey.

Over $1.5 million was raised and this has been a hallmark of inspiration to locals and teachers at Matau High School one of the outstanding schools in Hurungwe.

The money was to rebuild the school in partnership with Save the Children in 2011.

Situated about 60 kilometres west of Karoi town, the school is under headman Matau, Chief Dandawa.

During last year harmonised elections, the Zimbabwe Election Commission saw it fit to have the school as Hurungwe West command centre where this writer visited during election round up.

 According to sources at the school, this year has seen Trent celebrating from as early as February when one of the students Sarah Makoni, scored highest points in the province at Advanced Level.

One of the teachers speaking on condition that he is not named said Sarah achieved the highest points at A levels at the school.

Dr Trent came here and was full of praise to school staff, community after Sarah came up with flying colours that saw her enrolling at University of Zimbabwe. It was such a profound moment for us all as Dr Trent cried in happiness saying she lost the chance but is happy that it is being achieved by younger generations,’ said the teacher.

Trent was happy that two more girls are going to university as well.

These girls silenced those who thought girls in rural schools can’t achieve such academic performance. Sarah is the first in her family to enter into a university. She represents her mom, grandmother, and generations of women before, forever changing and redefining the baton she will pass down to the next generation,’ was all Trent could say.

As an academic, motivational speaker, humanitarian, Trent paid tribute to local headmaster Ernest Dzawanda and teachers whose commitment to community development is making better strides.

A local villager, Thomas Matanga said, Trent has made a difference of women can raise to stardom.

We are proud that whenever she is around,she is down to earth besides have American citizenship. She has made us all proud as Hurungwe and Zimbabwe at large,’ he said.

Indeed, this is all love from Hurungwe to one of world champions for women emancipation, gender equality, girls’ rights and quality education Dr Tererai Trent as she will be honoured in America.