Thursday, November 21, 2013

Tererai Trent: A Crusader for Education

Tererai Trent  is a humanitarian, scholar and motivational speaker, who became famous in 2011 after being chosen as Oprah Winfrey's favorite guest out of the 35,000 she'd had on her show over the years. She grew up in rural Zimbabwe, and her story was told on the Oprah show.   

Tererai is also my dear friend.  In 1994 I lived for ten months with Tererai and her children (then she had three) near Mutoko Centre in northeast Zimbabwe, while I conducted the field research for my  doctoral study on Agroforestry and Sustainable Development.  That year Tererai was working for the  Belgian non-governmental organization, COOPIBO, as the resident director of their Agricultural Development Project. We shared and discussed insights on our respective work with farmer groups.  When I returned to Zimbabwe in 1999, PhD completed, Tererai had just left to embark on her own university education in the United States. We did not see each other again for many years, but corresponded regularly by email.

Tererai Trent wrote a Special to CNN article this summer, 2013:  Child bride turned scholar: Education is the road out of poverty...