Tererai Trent Triumphs Against Seemingly Impossible Odds

tererai_trent_triumphs_against_seemingly_impossible_oddsWhen Tererai Trent graduated from Western Michigan University with a doctorate in late 2009, she fulfilled a dream that more than a decade ago was a jotting on a scrap of paper buried in a field where she herded cattle in Zimbabwe.

Trent’s mother had instructed her daughter to literally bury her life goals, not in an effort to forget them, but to make a “‘sacred agreement,’ a personal ritual for me to honor, which I should not take lightly,” said Trent.

Trent’s extraordinary life experience — having to teach herself to read as a child, being married off at about age 11 to a man who wound up beating her and achieving the seemingly impossible considering her circumstances — is described in the book, “Half the Sky,” written by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. It features the harrowing stories of several women in developing countries.

Trent’s story was brought to a national audience in an August New York Times Magazine essay written by Kristof and WuDunn in an adaptation of their book. She also appeared on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in October 2009 (see the video here).

“Any time anyone tells you that a dream is impossible, any time you’re discouraged by impossible challenges, just mutter this mantra: Tererai Trent,” Kristof wrote in a Times opinion piece in November 2009.

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Paula M. Davis | Kalamazoo Gazette - mlive.com
Photo Credit: Ray White / Heifer International

Related links:
Half The Sky
Triumph of a Dreamer - New York Times
Tererai's Dream of an Education Video