May 10, 2019 / WRAL / By Bukila Adebayo, CNN
A Zimbabwean scholar will be honored with a life-size statue in New York alongside media mogul Oprah Winfrey, Hollywood stars Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett, and the popstar Pink for their work championing gender equality.
Tererai Trent is among 10 women who have been named most inspiring women in the world. The list includes conservationist Jane Goodall, activist Janet Mock, chemist Tracy Dyson, author Cheryl Strayed and Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas.
All 10 women will have life-size bronze figures unveiled by StatuesforEquality in the United States on Women's Equality Day on August 26.
Trent announced the development on her Twitter handle and said she was "incredibly honored" by the recognition.
"Statues of Equality is set to launch in #NYC this summer. I am incredibly honored to be standing among the World's Top 10 Most Inspiring Women 'Sculpted for Equal Rights'! Come August 26 and celebrate the empowerment of women and big dreams!," she tweeted.
Trent, 54, was kept out of school for most of her childhood because of poverty and being a female but she taught herself how to read and write while living with her parents in rural Zimbabwe.
She relocated to the US in 1998 after she was discovered by an American non-profit that visited her village. She has since achieved her dreams of getting a masters and a doctorate.
The US-based academic faced domestic abuse in the pursuit of her dreams and continues to champion girls and women empowerment through education.
Her inspirational story caught the attention of Oprah Winfrey who gave Trent $1.5 million donations to rebuild her elementary school in Zimbabwe in partnership with Save the Children in 2011.
The women were given the honor by StatuesforEquality, under the "Sculpted for Equal Rights" initiative by famous Australian artists Gillie and Marc Schattner, who are seeking more gender representation in public arts.
"In order to truly honor the cause, it was crucial we cast the statues in bronze, they will live on, much like the statue itself, beyond your lifetime and the lives of your contemporaries," Schattner said in a statement on their website.