Dr Tererai Trent, a Zimbabwean scholar and philanthropist is the only African to be selected amongst a list of 10 women who will be honoured for inspiring the world. She will have a life-size statue of herself unveiled in New York for her work championing gender equality and education.
She is in good company receiving the ‘Statue of Equality’, with other statues being dedicated to Oprah Winfrey, Hollywood star Nicole Kidman and Olympic gymnast, Gabby Douglas.
“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! #StatuesForEquality” she announced on her Twitter account.
She further went on to tweet:
Trent was born in Matau village, in Mashonaland West’s Karoi District. Due to cultural norms at the time and limited resources, her family had to choose which sibling to send to school. “As a cattle-herding tomboy, I was bound to follow in the footsteps of generations of women before me: early marriage, illiteracy, and poverty,” she said.
Her family chose to send her brother to school because he was a boy. This piqued her curiosity for education as she began teaching herself how to read from her brother’s schoolbooks, and often did his homework for him.
Her father later submitted to her passion to learn and allowed her to go to school, but after two terms she was forced to drop out when she was married off at the age of 11.
At the age of 20, a conversation with her mother ignited a desire in her to dream about her future. Her mother asked her to write her dreams down on a piece of paper and bury it.
Her dreams included traveling, attaining educational qualifications up to Doctorate level, and most importantly impacting her community. “Your dreams will have greater meaning if they are connected to your community”, were the words her mother told her when she was encouraging her to have something to believe in.
Her determination and perseverance were critical to her success, even after enduring abuse at the hands of her first husband once they had relocated to the US. Trent remained focused and steadfast in pursuing her dreams, and kept her home Zimbabwe at the centre of her vision.
“A cattle herder who married young, and by age 18 had three children and no high school diploma. But I defied the odds, got an education and came back to build a school.”
After accomplishing each of her goals, she would return home to her village to unearth her list and tick off each accomplishment one by one. Finally, an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show led to Oprah donating $1.5 million towards assisting Trent towards her dream of developing educational facilities in her village, Matau.
Her efforts and commitment to ploughing her exposure back into her home, has resulted in tangible change. “Matau parents and villagers are seeing the value of educating girls. Girls can become leaders of our communities and our African nations. Many parents bring their daughters to me and ask: “Can she be just like you?” says Trent.
Whereas Dr Trent’s statue may stand in New York as of August, her impact and her legacy will resonate in Zimbabwe and beyond for generations to come. The President of Zimbabwe Emmerson Mnangagwa voiced the opinions of many when he tweeted;
“Congratulations @TereraiTrent who has been honoured as one of the 10 most inspiring women in the world, part of the ‘Sculpted for Equal Rights’ initiative. All the people of Zimbabwe are deeply proud of you and your work promoting equality and empowerment for girls and women”.
2Baba releases new album “Warriors”
The album is a key offering in the celebration of 2Baba’s 20 Years A King project.
Award-winning Afropop icon 2Baba has released his new album titled “Warriors” earlier today, February 28. This album is released as part of his 20 Years a King (#20YearAKing) celebration, commemorating the two decades he has spent in the Nigerian music industry.
This new album contains just 13 tracks including previously released singles like ‘Important’, ‘Oyi’ and the Peruzzi-assisted smash hit, ‘Amaka’. The LP also boasts big-name collaborations like Burna Boy, Wizkid, Olamide, Tiwa Savage and Peruzzi. It also features appearances from AJ Natives, Symeca and his daughter HI Idibia.
The production of the album is handled by a galaxy of PBanks, Spelz, Blaq Jeerzy, Bolji Beatz, Speroach Beatz, Richie, Ploops and his longtime collaborator, Jay Sleek.
Interestingly, this is the first 2Baba album that comes with a title track, which also serves as the opener of the full-length project.
On Tuesday, February 25, the celebrated singer held a well-attended listening party for the album at the Artisan Lounge bar, Lagos.
His seventh studio album, “Warriors” is the long-overdue follow up to “The Ascension” which was met with mixed reviews upon its release in 2014.
Formerly known as 2face Idibia, 2baba is one Africa’s most successful artists, winning local, continental and international awards like BET and MTV Europe Music Awards.
Exporting African sounds into Italy
Nigerian migrants are introducing Afrobeat to one of Italy’s most popular cities
Migrating from Africa to Europe is a particularly tricky business. It is usually very difficult to obtain visas, and consequently, many people opt for the long, tortuous route that runs through the Sahara Desert and extends into the Mediterranean Sea. It is a risky journey in many ways, as desperate migrants get robbed, swindled, enslaved or worse still, meet their end in the hot sands and high seas.
There is also the small matter of reputation when it comes to successful migrants. There are those who believe that men and women who manage to avoid death or slavery, and ultimately cross the borders into Italy and Spain, are either involved in drug peddling, prostitution or unsavoury menial jobs like washing up corpses.
There is a small group of people, however, who are slowly changing the narrative. These ones are not only showing that there is more that African migrants can do in Europe, but they are also exporting Nigerian music in all its exotic nature and rich flavour into one of Italy’s major cities.
Palermo, the capital city of the Sicilian province, is slowly becoming the Southern European capital for the world-conquering Afrobeats scene. Social media has given a platform to musicians who can reach a wide audience without institutional support. There are more than a few cities in Italy that are not exactly kind to migrants, but Palermo has gradually become a haven for a number of young Nigerian musicians to hone their craft and attempt to carve a niche for themselves on European shores.
The influx of these musicians has had a significant effect on the city, too. For instance, Ballaro, a small neighbourhood in Palermo, was once known as one of the most dangerous places in Italy, no thanks to the activities of the Mafia. But with the arrival of African and Asian immigrants, the neighbourhood is now revitalised and less prone to crime.
Artists like RayJeezy, Brenex Baba and Thug Money make a living from performing at night clubs across the city. They hope that their hustle ultimately pays off and that they gain worldwide recognition, but for now, they are contributing to the transformation of a city’s music and culture. Things are looking up for the African migrant population in Palermo, and it’s not hard to tell that there will be more where the music came from.
Netflix Announces First Original Nigerian Series
This comes just after the U.S-based streaming giant launched Netflix Naija.
Popular media-services provider Netflix has announced the production of its first original African series to be headlined by Nollywood director, Akin Omotoso.
This would be a six-part series that features an all-star Nollywood cast of Kate Henshaw, Ade Laoye, Richard Mofe Damijo, Joke Silva, Fabian Adeoye Lojede, Kehinde Bankole and many others.
Directed by a team of Akin Omotosho, Daniel Oriahi and CJ Obasi, the series tells the story of a reincarnated goddess who seeks to avenge her sister’s death.
This announcement comes just after the U.S-based streaming platform unveiled Netflix Naija on Tuesday, February 25, 2020.
In a statement with Premium Times, Netflix’s Chief Content Officer, Ted Sarandos revealed that “movies like King of Boys, Merry Men and The Bling Lagosians have shown how much our members love Nigerian movies.
“So, we’re incredibly excited to be investing in Made in Nigeria stories – bringing them to audiences all around the world.”
Over the past year, Netflix has featured a number of Nollywood movies on its streaming platform. Among such movies include the culturally and commercially successful King of Boys, October 1, The Figurine, Mokalik, and Merry Men.