DOZ Issue 37 November 2018 - Page 15

little village in Zimbabwe where she had buried her dreams all those years ago. She began to sell t-shirts in a bid to raise money, and it was at this point that she got a phone call and invitation to be on The Oprah Winfrey Show. That single encounter changed her life and made it possible for her to have her new dream. She received a $1.5 million donation from Oprah to rebuild her childhood elementary school, and this led to her building 11 schools that provide education to over 6,000 children. Dr. Trent’s hard work, fierce determination, and belief in herself and her dreams have not only caused her to earn multiple degrees, but they have placed her on a global platform with world leaders as she continues to advocate for access to good education. She is president and founder of Tererai Trent International. Leadership Lessons from the Life of Dr. Tererai Trent 1. Great women are dreamers. Our dreams determine how far we will go in life. The bigger our aspirations, the more impact they will have on us and the world in which we live. 2. Great women believe in themselves and their dreams. Dr. Tererai believed in herself, and she believed in her dreams. It was for this reason that she kept going in spite of the opposition. She knew she had it in her to achieve her dreams come what may. 3. Great women are prepared to sacrifice for their dreams. Dreams do not fall in our laps. We must work for them and sometimes make sacrifices if they are to become a reality. Dr. Tererai could not have had an easy life working four jobs and picking food from the dustbin to feed her family, but it was a sacrifice she had to make if her dream would ever become a reality. Great women are not afraid to give up in other to go up. 4. Great women give back. It takes a great woman to comfort others when she has been comforted. Once Dr. Tererai got her dream she dreamt another dream, and that was to give an education to the children in her village. 5. Great women do not quit. Dr. Tererai had many opportunities to quit. She could have quit when it was challenging to keep four jobs and study at the same time. She could have quit when her husband began to beat her. But great women do not quit. They keep going until they achieve their goals. 6. Great women are not afraid of challenges. They understand that problems are part of life and that their dreams won’t be delivered without opposition. 7. Great women understand that if they don’t like the life they have they can change it. Dr. Tererai changed her life, and you can change yours too. 8. Great women are not afraid to follow the road less travelled. These women know that the path that leads to greatness is not found or followed by many. They, therefore, refuse to do what others do or follow the crowd. Dr. Tererai was not the only girl denied education or shipped off to marry at a young age, but she refused to settle for the life she did not want, and unlike the other girls, she dreamt and pursued it. Going to school to the point of a Ph.D. was not standard practice for the women in her village, but that did not deter her. 9. Great women create the time to pursue their dreams. Dr. Tererai was a wife and mother of five children when she began to pursue her dreams. With a husband and five children to care for she did not have the time for school, she had to create the time. 10. Great women know that with determination, focus and hard work eventually pay off. Dr. Tererai was determined to go to school and get a Ph.D. She worked hard; she allowed nothing to break her focus and finally she was holding her dream in her hands. 11. Great women are lifelong learners and know the benefits of an education. Even when they cannot access a formal education, they strive to educate themselves informally for they know that no one arrives at the top in any field of endeavour without the required training. 12. Great women inspire others. Their story gives hope and sends across a simple message, one that says, if I can so can you. The story of Dr. Tererai Trent says to others that they can change their circumstances for the better. If you don’t like the life you have, change it! 15 DOZ Magazine | November 2018