Monday, October 5, 2009

24. Tererai Trent

Dear Followers,

Today's blog has a lot to do with Chapter Three of The Self-Empowered Woman, which discusses the trait called "Belief In The Unbelievable." Most of us are familiar with the bestselling book "The Secret," which introduced millions to the concept of The Law of Attraction. In other words, if you believe in something strongly enough the universe will conspire to make that dream come true. The majority of women I researched believe in themselves (and their dreams) long before anyone or anything reinforced that belief.

Last week, on Oprah Winfrey's show, the audience was introduced to a remarkable woman from rural Zimbabwe. Tererai Trent live in a small village where there was no electricity or running water. Girl's were not allow to attend school because it was a given that they would just get married. Boys, on the other hand, were considered "the breadwinners of tomorrow."

Tererai wanted to go to school, and learned to read and write from her brother's books. Soon she was doing all his homework for him, and when the teacher found out he urged her father to let her get an education. But she was only able to attend two terms before she was forced to marry at age 11. By 18, she had three children and whenever she spoke of getting an education her husband would beat her.

When a representative from Heifer International visited her village and asked Tererai about her dream, she answered that she wanted a) to go to America, b) get a bachelor's degree, c) a master's, and d) a PhD. Tererai's mother told her 20 year old daughter to write down her dreams, place the paper inside a piece of tin, and bury it in the field where she would herd cattle.

In 1998, Tererai, her husband, and their five children moved to Oklahoma where - three years later - she would earn a bachelor's degree in Agricultural Education. In 2003, she received her master's degree and her husband (who had continued to beat her) was deported for spousal abuse.

This December, she will receive her PhD and return to Zimbabwe (as she has after each of her degrees) to dig up her list and check off the latest accomplishment. Tererai is a moving example of a woman who believed in possibility against all odds.
Click on the link if you'd like to see and hear more about Tererai...

Looking forward to your comments...

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