Zimbabwean humanitarian Tererai Trent will be honoured with a life-size statue in New York


Zimbabwean scholar, humanitarian and author Tererai Trent will be honoured with a life-size statue in New York for her role in the fight for gender equality and women’s rights, reports CNN

Her bronze statue will be erected at Rockefeller Centre in August during the launch of statues of equality, a project established by renowned Australian artists Gillie and Marc Schattner

The aim of the project is to increase the number of statues of women in New York, a city where only five of 150 statues depict nonfictional women, according to She Built NYC, an initiative expanding representation of women in public monuments.

READ MORE: Nomhle Nkyonyeni, Yvonne Chaka Chaka and Mary Twala are some of the exceptional women the president celebrated with National Orders

54-year-old Tererai announced the exciting news on Twitter, saying; “Statues of Equality is set to launch in NYC this summer. I am incredibly honoured to be standing among the world’s Top 10 most inspiring women ‘sculpted for equal rights’!” 

According to Zimbabwean newspaper The Herald, she was denied an equal chance of education as a young girl growing up in Zvipani village, where educating girls was seen a waste of time and resources. 

She used her brother’s schoolbooks to teach herself how to read and write and ended up doing his homework for him.

However, she was married off by her father at age eleven, but still yearned for an education; which is why she she wrote her dreams on a scrap of paper and buried them in a can. 

According to her book The girl who buried her dreams in a can , this was an ancient practice that reminded her that she couldn't give up on her dreams. 

Today she is a holder of three degrees - including a PhD - and has recently been named one of the most inspirational women in the world.

As one of the most recognised voices and a firm believer in getting education, she set up Tererai Trent International, a foundation that is aimed at empowering rural communities provide quality education for children. 

READ MORE: We would love to see these SA women immortalised as comic book superheroes like one of our fave young icons, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Tererai  is being recognised alongside media mogul Oprah Winfrey who hosted her on the Oprah Winfrey show in 2011 and singled her out as her favourite guest of all time, even donating $1.5 million (about R21 468 000) to rebuild an elementary school school she attended briefly in Zimbabwe.   

People from all walks of life took Twitter to celebrate and congratulate the inspirational woman:

Other trailblazers being honoured with statues in August include primatologist Jane Goodall, activist Janet Mock, author Cheryl Strayed, chemist Tracy Dyson, Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas and talented actresses like Cate Blanchett, Nicole Kidman, and award-winning singer Pink.

Which notable South African woman do you think should be recognised with a statue? Chat to us here

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