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Zimbabwean Scholar Tererai Trent to Have Statue Erected In Her Honor in NYC

The academic has been named one of the "10 most inspiring women in the world" for her dedication to championing gender equality.

Zimbabwean-born scholar, humanitarian and author Tererai Trent has dedicated her life to promoting equal rights for girls and women, and now she's being recingized for it in a major way. The academic will have a statue erected in her honor at the Rockefeller Centre in New York City on August 26, as part of an initiative called "Statues for Equality."

The academic will be honored alongside the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Janet Mock, Gabby Douglas, Pink, and others.


Trent was born in the Zvipani, a rural village in Zimbabwe in 1965, where she was unable to attend her local school on account of her family's financial status and her gender, according to Zimbabwean paper The Herald. She aspired to one day attend college in the US and go on to get her masters and PhD. With her mother's encouragement, she wrote these dreams down, placed them in a tin can and buried them.

She achieved her dream later in life when she moved to Oklahoma with her husband and five children in 1998 and earned her bachelors in agricultural education in 2001 and a masters in 2003, before going on to complete her PhD at Western Michigan University in 2009. That same year, she founded Tererai Trent International, which promotes education and helps build schools in her home country. She appeared on the "Oprah Winfrey Show" twice for her work, and the mogul has described Trent as her "All-time favorite guest," as Face 2 Face Africa notes. Winfrey granted Trent 1.5 million to rebuild an elementary school in her hometown.

Trent has authored multiple books, including the children's book, The Girl who Buried her Dreams in a Can, about her life as well as the self-help book The Awakened Woman: Remembering & Igniting Our Sacred Dreams (2017), which won an NCAAP award for Outstanding Literary Work. The book includes a forward by Oprah Winfrey, who said: "If you've ever looked at the world and felt an aching for one of its many hurts or injustices, this book is for you. If you know the power of sisterhood or need to know its power, this book is for you."

The academic shared the exciting news on Twitter, writing "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!"

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Photo by Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images.

Black Women Are the Future of French Cinema—When Will Cannes Catch Up?

In this op-ed, OkayAfrica contributor Aude Konan reflects on the progression of diversity in French cinema a year after the Noire N'est Pas Mon Métier demonstration at Cannes Film Festival.

A year ago, 16 French actresses of African descent walked the red carpet at Cannes to talk about a new project they authored, Noire N'est Pas Mon Métier (Being Black Is Not My Job), where they shared their experiences with racism and sexism in the film industry.

In an era where the movements #MeToo and #OscarsSoWhite gained global momentum and led to some change in the Academy Awards, it was a first considering that outside of Aissa Maïga, French actresses seldom get any visibility and speaking out against racism put them at risk of being blacklisted, like the actor Luc Saint Eloi's unfortunate experience 20 years ago.

The red carpet moment was generally well received in France and in the rest of the world, with the main actresses getting large media coverage with features in Le Monde, Le Figaro and even Vogue U.S. The presidents of the Cannes Film Festival welcomed the actresses. No promises were made by any of the gatekeepers in French cinema, but the actresses were hopeful.

Since the book's release, the actresses have been busy working, some of them lucky enough to be able to portray fully fledged characters, others being reduced to play the "black woman" stereotype over and over again. Recently, one of them, Karidja Touré, well known for being in the film Girlhood, mentioned that she was pretty good at mimicking an "African accent." Semantics aside—and the fact that there is no such a thing as an African accent, as Africa is still not a country—it is pretty revealing: despite the wonderful coverage these actresses had, has the movement contributed to any change?

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Walshy Fire, Ice Prince & Demarco's 'Round of Applause' Will Soundtrack Your Summer

PREMIERE: New heat from the Major Lazer producer & DJ.

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Akwaeke Emezi's 'Freshwater' Is Being Developed Into a Series for FX

The adaptation is in early development as the Nigerian author teams up with screenwriter and director Tamara P. Carter to bring 'Freshwater' to life.

Akwaeke Emezi's debut, Freshwater, took the literary world by storm when it was released just last year.

We can now anticipate seeing the book be brought to live for TV. Their autobiographical novel is now in the early stages of being developed into a series for FX, Variety reports.

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