6 Feb, 2024

A Gift of Education – Interview with Dr. Tererai Trent

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“It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed.” – Napoleon Hill

Can someone break out of poverty and undesirable cultural norms to be better as well as make a difference?

This may seem impossible for countless individuals, yet my incredibly altruistic guest today, Dr. Tererai Trent has proven that anyone can achieve anything she puts her heart into.

She is internationally recognized and has been dubbed by Oprah as her “All-time favorite guest”. Despite her meager beginnings and the inequalities she suffered as a Zimbabwean child; she has now become one of the top ten most influential women in the world.

Listen in to know how she refused to be defined by where she was. Share her story and be part of her mission of giving back by providing education to thousands of deprived children in Zimbabwe.

Education opens a world of opportunities. It is a basic human right in many affluent areas. However, it is a privilege for those living in impoverished locations exacerbated by discrimination.

Empower the underprivileged. Help them have a brighter future.

Be inspired.

Live your dream.

Highlights:

~ There is a passing on of not only trauma but also of wisdom and a better future.

~ The challenges we face are springboards for who we want to be.

~ There is greatness in adversity, but it is others who help us see our own as we all have somebody who helped us along the way.

~ There are two kinds of hunger; the great hunger which is what we do for others, and the littler hunger that causes conflict.

~ All things are connected; what we do to the thread that connects us will come back to us.

Important stories:

~ 3:05 The beginning of a future for Dr. Trent.

~ 7:45 Overcoming adversity.

~ 9:37 Giving back to the community.

~ 14:38 Invoked by the great hunger.

~ 17:14 The web of life.

Send us a message and tell us what is your biggest takeaway about this episode. 👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼

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Happy, beautiful day. It's Pete Cohen here now. This is the Mi365 podcast. And today's episode is very, very special. This podcast really stands for you.
It stands for people that want to do the greatest work of their life, for people who really want to bring their best self to the party of life, the challenge of life, the game of life.
And I'm so excited to share with you one of the most inspirational people that I've ever met. I recently came back from an event in Ireland that I was speaking at and I had the incredible pleasure to meet Dr.
Trent, Dr. Trent from Zimbabwe. This is a lady who Oprah Winfrey has said that it is the best guest that she's ever had. She's been voted one of the top ten most influential women in the world.
She has a statue of her in New York. She is just an unbelievable human being and what she stands for, for me, is standing for the person that she knows who she is.
And when you see people that have risen up from where they've come from to become who they have become and who they are becoming, it's truly so inspiring. I also recorded a video where she actually shared some of her story and I'd love you to see that.
that, we'll share that and make that available to you. But in this podcast, we're talking less about where she's gone and more importantly, where she's going and how we can actually all help on her mission to liberate people all over the world,
to help people rise up from their current circumstances and move to a place where they have the equal rights to the rights that we should all have. And one of those rights being education,
to learn. to grow, to evolve and make a difference. So I'll see you with her after the theme tune. First off,
I think the first thing I have to say is just thank you. Thank you for who you are and what you've done. Thank you. But what you've done,
I feel that it's nothing compared to what you're going to do. And I would encourage everybody who listens to this podcast to go in and listen to your story. Because we could,
I'm sure we'll touch on it, but that's not really the point of us coming together. So just forgive me for speaking a little bit at the beginning. So people love history and I think history is wonderful,
but I'm more interested in what is the history that you want to create. So I just came back from Florence. People from all over the world are going to see the statue of David and all these beautiful works of art.
But history is a wonderful thing, but I'm interested in... in the history that we want to create and I think I would love to understand a little bit about the history that you are going to create and then how we can help you with this history because I think it's the most important history.
The history you're creating is the most important history that humanity has to create. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And it's interesting and fascinating when we think about the future that we want to create.
But for me, that future is grounded in the past because another writer once said that where your wounds,
your soul wounds, where they meet with the world's needs, that's where the joy is. So, I'm coming from this long line of generations of women,
women who were denied the right to education, but women who were very resilient and educated, and women who never defined this race of poverty.
And I always call that the relay race of poverty, and they are carrying a baton like this one. I know the British might call it baton. Yeah. And so my great -grandmother is in this relay and she's running so fast holding this button of poverty,
the button of literacy, early marriage, and a colonial system that oppressed her. And she's running. She hands this baton to my grandmother. My grandmother grabs the same baton and she's running,
which I want an education.
I want to go to America. I want to have an undergraduate degree. I want to have a master's and I want to have a PhD. And I was a woman who had no education at all.
But I knew it was in the creation of what I want. - When you were telling your story earlier today about O -Levels, I was the last year of O -Levels before they became what's now known as GCSEs.
- Yes. I have one and I got those used that you talked about the unclassified in English and in maths and I was thinking I'm not the only one and how that storage of perseverance of how you you did it your mum sold fruits for you to be able to pay the 20 pounds to do the O -Level I was just like oh wow and the fact that you kept going I mean that's one of the greatest stories I honestly I've ever heard and
when I was was speaking myself today about it's not where you are, it's who you're from. I know how privileged I am and I accept it. Sometimes I feel, I don't know what the word is,
like I don't know, maybe see if I can find the word, but the point I'm trying to make is I'm lucky where I came from. Whereas for me there's no reason why I couldn't break out of where I was to become who I was because I have so many choices,
so many opportunities. When I see someone like you break out of where you're from, why do you think that lights something inside people? Because you've become, as Oprah said about you,
she's the best guest you've ever had, she's ever had. She saw something in you. What is it you think she saw in you of who you are? I'm not sure, but the best thing that I can say is is when I see you or when you see me,
you see the divine in me, it's the same divine in you. You see the great hunger in me and it is the same great hunger in you.
These opportunities they come by because there are others who are saying, "I see you." There's no end. I can take any credit.
I stand on the shoulders of my grandmother. I stand on the shoulders of those stories that I heard, stories of the resilience, stories that taught me that you're not going to be defined by the challenges in front of you,
neither by the challenges you faced. Those challenges, those challenges, those challenges, those challenges, those challenges, those challenges, those challenges, those challenges, those challenges, those challenges, those challenges, those challenges, those challenges, those challenges, those challenges, challenges became the springboard to be where I am today so I appreciate that there is greatness and it's a gift to see adversity
there is greatness in adversity sometimes but it is others who help us to see our own greatness you know I think just in when you speak I I I suppose I see the fear in myself,
the fear of, as Marianne Williams said, Nelson Mandela's speech about man's deepest fear is his greatness. And I kind of reflect on my own fear about what I have and feel,
who am I to be able to make a difference? That's something I'm working through. I'll probably always, the humble part of me, but I don't want this to be about me. I want to know, let's just talk a little bit about what you've done.
in terms of what you've, through this crazy story, what you've actually created on the back and how we can help you with what you're doing because I know you've got some big goals.
So tell us what's happened as a result of who you've become. So because my last dream or a goal was to give back to the community, to make sure that the little girls in the education system.
And I've said to myself, we are raising expectation because if they can get their education from early childhood development all the way to 60th grade,
so what? So I went on a journey to say, I want to raise as much money as we can and send these kids who are now graduating from 60th grade.
I never had that chance myself. And I said, if they can be in school knowing, they can do it. go to college knowing they can do anything that's an inspiration because because we always hear that all it's their culture they marry young they marry off young no what thing that I have realized is they never saw a woman is a role model a woman who is educated and come back with their education and say here is a gift
for me Isit end there?
No. It doesn't end there. Tererai is getting old and I feel that if anything was to happen to me today,
all these things that we are talking about will come to an end and we have so many kids that are attending universities today. We have so many kids a technical center where they can have skills and get employment because one thing that we know is lacking in Africa,
education, but also employment. - You know, I told you, thank you for sharing that. And one thing I'm gonna ask everybody to do is to share this with as many people because it only takes a few people really to make something massive happen.
You can have a lot of people. doing little, and you can have a few people doing... It doesn't matter. It's just the more we share the story and the vision of what you're doing, I think the more this becomes reality.
In fact, abracadabra comes from a Hebrew word, which means "I create as I speak." And if you speak something out, that's the magic. And so much of your life kind of represents that.
I think I told you. I have a friend who runs a charity, it's called the Cocos Foundation. They feed millions of children in South Africa and they've built schools and houses and he helped me with this project in Uganda.
We bought a farm, this guy looks after 101 children. But can I ask you, when I told you about my time in South Africa, I found it very difficult because I'm the sort of person,
I wanna know what's going on. I can't. can't, I need to know the truth. And what I saw really scared me and shocked me and it frightened me. It just in terms of the situation.
What is it that you saw that, what is it that you think I saw that made me feel that way? I think you tapped into your great hunger. Yeah.
That's what you, you know, you, I remember you telling me the story and you hit. houses,
tin houses, when the weather is hot, they're all sweating there with their babies. It invoked the great hunger in you.
And that's what makes you emotional. That's why you were crying. And I said to you, there are two kinds of hunger.
There is, when we see something, what kicks in, sometimes it is the light. hungers to ask what is the meaning of this.
We also want to see dignity in this and you wanted that dignity for these people and that's why you were emotional. Thank you so much because as I reflect on that I saw so much beauty in these people.
We went to another township in Peter Marisburg near Durban and we spent quite a lot of time with people and you just see the common humanity and the dignity of these people.
people have, the space they will hold for you. So in order for people to get behind you and help you and support you with this, where's the best place for people to go?
So there's www .Terrarai .org. So you'll find we have all kinds of projects that we are doing and for everyone.
to be able to take a student from first year of undergraduate to graduation, it takes only $10 ,000, $10 ,000 for one person,
and it includes their accommodation, their food, some of their books, all their tuition, $10 ,000. For the whole, you know, in some private schools in England,
it's $10 ,000. ,000 a year is three year program Yes, that's why I say there is no excuse to deny third world countries of education It doesn't take much And these are brilliant people.
You know when you talk about the Soweto Story saying, you know, I saw the beauty in in those we need to be seeing beauty because My very survival is connected to your survival.
Your survival is connected to my survival. Where did that get lost, do you think? Where did that message get lost? Why do people see the separation and not see the conflict?
The little hunger, because you always think the resources are very small, they are very few resources. I need to grab it. I need to grab the greediness. But without remembering the fact that what we do to this web it will also come to haunt us.
For every action there's a reaction. Yes, yes. I read in the little passage of one of the books you talk about Sir Isaac Newton I think about how about you know standing on the shoulders of yes which is what I'm going to yes I am because we are since who helped us along the way.
I talk about the power of the invisible ladder. Some are up there on that ladder, some are down. Those who are up, I think we have a moral obligation to pull those who are down so that we can create a better world together.
- I wanna thank you and I think for me, the biggest takeaway around hunger, around, I absolutely love that, the little hunger that can give you something but it's never the deep. nourishment of doing something for others.
And the greatest hunger, I think we will ever get satisfaction from is, like I said, what we do for others. So lastly, you know, with Martin Luther King, when he said about the greatest thing we will ever do is asking the question,
what can we do for you. And I know I've asked you that already once, but once again. again, what can I and what can everyone who's listening to this do right now for you?
- Let's rally all your friends and let's rally the world and let's say we can at least support these children from rural areas and give them an education.
That's all I'm asking to do. - To give back to communities that are suffering. - I just want to finish on them. I spoke today and I spoke about you.
I mean, how could I not speak about you? I know you're just a person, but you're a person with a massive heart and you know, it was fascinating. And then you got up and spoke and it wasn't planned and I was like listening to you and I was like,
okay, I think I've only ever heard one other person in my life. speak from a similar sort of place and then I had the opportunity to go up and stand in it for a minute and I was just looking at you because I wanted to say thank you but then I felt my mum my dad and my wife and other other people passing through me passing to you to say thank you yeah well let's see listen you know what someone said once,
"When all is said and done, more is said than done." And I'm thinking, hang on a second, "When all is said and done, more was done than said." So I know this is all talk, but let's just see. That's so true.
But we should always walk the talk and bring blessings to us and to others. Well, I'm going to have a really good go at doing that.
Thank you. I once again thank you for your time with me today I really appreciate it. Thank you thank you thank you

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