Placeholder Image

字幕列表 影片播放

  • Hey!

  • It's Marie Forleo, and you are watching MarieTV, the place to be to create a business and life

  • you love.

  • Now, if you ever feel that your dreams are out of reach or maybe even impossible, my

  • guest today proves that you can achieve anything you put your heart and your mind to.

  • Dr. Tererai Trent is one of the world's most acclaimed voices for women's empowerment,

  • and Oprah's Favorite guest of all time.

  • Tererai received her doctorate from Western Michigan University and teaches courses in

  • global health at Drexel University.

  • She's published two highly acclaimed children's books and is the author of the award-winning,

  • The Awakened Woman: Remembering and Reigniting Our Sacred Dreams.

  • Tererai serves as a president of the The Awakened Woman LLC, a company dedicated to empowering

  • women with tools to thrive as they achieve their dreams.

  • Tererai, it is such an honor.

  • It's honestly a dream to have you here.

  • Thank you.

  • Thank you for having me.

  • Thank you.

  • When we met a few months ago, I felt like it was soul sisters from a whole other world

  • and we're like jumping up and down and hugging each other.

  • and I was like, "Oh my goodness, can I possible talk with Tererai?"

  • And I know I shared this with you, but I feel like the universe bring us together.

  • You didn't know, but I had been working on writing my book, and so I had been researching

  • your story and looking at it from every angle because there's one particular chapter that

  • I wanted to write about you, and then all of a sudden you showed up in my Twitter feed

  • and I'm like, "Wait a minute, she even knows who I am."

  • I was like, "What is happening here?"

  • I do.

  • You are the queen.

  • You are the queen, my love.

  • No, you are.

  • You are.

  • So I want to start off with something that you shared in the introduction to your book,

  • which is amazing.

  • You shared, "I come from a long line of women who are forced into a life they never defined

  • for themselves."

  • Take us back to those early days in your village in Zimbabwe.

  • I want folks to understand the picture of what life was like for you as a 14-year-old.

  • You know I always talk about coming from this long line of generations of women, women who

  • had been denied the right to their dreams, the right to their education.

  • I always visualized my great-grandmother when she was born, she was born into this race

  • that she never defined and she was born holding the baton of poverty, early marriage, illiteracy,

  • a colonial system that never respected her, and she's running into this race with this

  • baton.

  • She ran so fast, she hands over this baton to my grandmother.

  • My grandmother grabs that baton of poverty, illiteracy, she runs, she hands over that

  • baton to my mother.

  • My mother grabs that baton in a race that she never defined because of the circumstances

  • and she runs, runs, and she hands over that baton to me.

  • I never wanted to be part of that baton.

  • I found myself getting married at a very early age and having babies.

  • Before I was even 18, I was a mother of four children.

  • Without a high school education, with nothing.

  • But all I wanted was an education.

  • And when I talk about this baton of poverty that's being passed on, I also talk about

  • the wisdom that is also passed on from generations before me.

  • So in our lives, my grandmother used to say that you have the power to decide whether

  • you keep on running with that baton of poverty, the baton of illiteracy, or you run with a

  • baton of wisdom to re-change and re-shift this baton, so that you become the one who

  • breaks the cycle of poverty, early marriage, lack of education, abuse, and all the ugly

  • things in our lives.

  • So when I was hardly 22 years of age, my country, we had just gained our independence.

  • Because all along we had been colonized by the British, and here I was, a mother of four

  • and my country had gained that independence and strangers started coming in, Americans,

  • Australians.

  • And these were women who would come to the community.

  • And there was this particular woman, she sit with me and with other women and she asked

  • me one question that I'll never forget in my life, "What are your dreams?"

  • I never knew I'm supposed to have dreams because I was an abused woman, a silenced woman.

  • Remember, I had four children.

  • And actually one of the babies died as an infant because I failed to produce enough

  • milk.

  • I was a child myself.

  • And I'm sitting there, I'm thinking, "Am I supposed to have dreams in my life?"

  • And other women started sharing their own dreams and I was quiet.

  • She looked at me and she said, "Young woman, you didn't said anything.

  • Tell me, what are your dreams?"

  • I couldn't bring my dreams.

  • I knew I had these dreams in me, but for some reason I couldn't because there was so much

  • noise in my mind.

  • I had been shaped to believe that I was nothing.

  • And maybe it was the way she kept on looking at me, the way she nudged me to say something

  • and when I opened my mouth, I became a chatterbox, and I said, "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."

  • There was silence.

  • The other women looked at me and I could feel they were saying, "Are you crazy?

  • How can that be?

  • You don't even have a high school education."

  • And I guess there was something about these American women, when they were coming to my

  • village, there was this sense of empowerment, sense of loving thyself, and I wanted that.

  • I would see them getting into their backpacks and removing books or papers and they would

  • look at those books and open and they would put on their glasses, spectacles, and they

  • would talk to each other and put back those spectacles back into their bags.

  • And thought, wearing glasses was a sign of education, and I wanted that.

  • So when I talked about these degrees, I had these women talking about these degrees, and

  • I wanted to have an education to change my life.

  • And she looked at me and she said, "Yes, it is achievable.

  • If you desire those dreams, if you desire to change your life, yes Tinogona."

  • Tinogona in my culture, in my language, it means, "It is achievable."

  • I never heard of a woman declaring herself to believe they can achieve their own dreams.

  • And when I left that place, I ran to my mother and I said my mother, "I have met someone

  • who made me believe in my dreams."

  • My mother looked at me and she said, "Tererai, if you believe in what this stranger has said

  • to you and you work hard and you achieve your dreams, not only are you defining who you

  • are as a woman, you are defining every life and generations to come."

  • And I knew at that moment that my mother was handing me an inheritance.

  • My mother knew that I needed to be the one to break this vicious cycle of poverty that

  • runs so deep in my family and in the community.

  • I needed to redefine the baton, so that I would never pass on this baton to my own girls.

  • I needed to get this education so my mother said, "Tererai, write down your dreams and

  • bury them the same way we bury the umbilical cord, the bead cord."

  • I come from a culture that believe so much in indigenous knowledge, ancient wisdom.

  • When a child is born, the female elders of the community, they take that infant, they

  • snip the umbilical cord, bury that umbilical cord deep down under the ground with the belief

  • that when this child grows, wherever they go, whatever happens in their life, the umbilical

  • cord would always remind them of their birthplace.

  • So my mother said, "If you write down your dreams and you bury those dreams, your dreams

  • will always remind you of their importance, that you need to redefine your life, that

  • you need to break this cycle, that you need never to pass on this baton, this ugly baton

  • of poverty, illiteracy, early marriage."

  • So I wrote down my dreams.

  • Four: I want to go to America, I want to have an undergraduate, I want to have a master's

  • and a PhD.

  • And I was ready to bury those dreams deep down under the ground when my mother said

  • something so profound, which really has changed my life.

  • She said, "Tererai, I see you only have four dreams, personal dreams, but I want you to

  • remember this.

  • Your dreams in life will have greater meaning when they are tied to the betterment of your

  • community."

  • And I looked at my mother and I'm thinking, "What does that even mean?"

  • My mother repeated, "Your dreams in this life will have greater meaning when they are tied

  • to the betterment of your community."

  • I would end up writing down my fifth dream, number five.

  • When I come back I want to improve the lives of women and girls in my community, so they

  • don't have to go through what I had gone through in my life.

  • I want to come back, create employment platforms for women.

  • I want to come back, build schools so that girls, they won't be marginalized.

  • And I buried my dreams and it would take me eight years, and I call those "eight freaking

  • years."

  • Yes mama.

  • To gain my high school diploma, because I was going through correspondence.

  • I was an adult.

  • I couldn't fit into a classroom so I would do correspondence, and my mother was very

  • poor.

  • I didn't get enough money to pay for my tuition.

  • I needed five subjects, classes.

  • English, math, biology, history, and Bible knowledge or something.

  • And we were still under the British system of education so I will do my correspondence

  • two subject at a time whenever my mother was able to sell ground nuts or any produce, she

  • would give me $20, $40 to register for my classes, and I would write my exams and send

  • these papers to a place called Cambridge.

  • I had no idea what Cambridge is.

  • And I would wait three to six months for that brown envelope from Cambridge to come.

  • And I would open that envelope and I would realize I have a U, ungraded, I have an F,

  • failure.

  • And I wrote back to my mother, she would give me more money and I would write again and

  • wait another six months.

  • I open that brown envelope, I have a U, ungraded, I have a failure.

  • And I would go back and I would wait and write and wait and finally, I opened that brown

  • envelope from Cambridge.

  • I had a B and I had an A. I never give up.

  • Eight years I never give up because I knew I was on a journey to redefine my life.

  • I knew I had what it takes to achieve my own dreams in this life.

  • And then after eight years, I would find myself at Oklahoma State University.

  • And I did my undergraduate in agriculture.

  • I mean even just pausing there for a moment.

  • There's so many things to underscore and highlight that I am so moved by your spirit, and your

  • vision, and your heart, and your tenacity.

  • I mean when you buried those beautiful dreams in the can and you put them under the rock,

  • you were still in poverty, you were a mom with an abusive husband.

  • Yes.

  • Yes.

  • And you did those correspondence courses for those eight freaking years, and then to get

  • yourself over to university here in the States.

  • As you wrote, you came over with money strapped to your waist.

  • Exactly.

  • Yes.

  • And that wasn't even...

  • It was still a long journey after that.

  • It was.

  • So before we go on to that piece of the journey, I just want to highlight your incredible,

  • precious mom.

  • I feel like you and I share something.

  • My mom was the one that taught me everything is figureoutable, and your mom was at touchstone

  • that said, "You deserve to dream."

  • The wisdom that she had, in terms of your fifth dream, it feels like that changed everything.

  • It does.

  • And I think in many ways she was pointing to the secret to our success that is not about

  • the education.

  • It's not about the personal goals, neither is it about the personal financial goals,

  • but it is about how our education and how our personal goals are connected to the greater

  • good.

  • That's what makes humanity, that what makes who we are as a people.

  • Yes.

  • And so my grandmother would always say to me and my mother, "You have the power within.

  • It's not your past that's going to define who you are, but it's what you believe about

  • yourself, it's what you believe about your own expectations, what is it that you expect

  • from yourself."

  • And she would tell me and my mother that, "You go to that place where you buried your

  • dreams, you visualize the life as you think it should be."

  • So I would spend hours and hours sitting in that same place, visualizing myself getting

  • into an airplane.

  • I'd never been in an airplane in my life, and I'd never seen one.

  • The only airplane that I knew were the helicopters that would fly during the war.

  • Because I was born and raised in a war-torn country.

  • And I would visualize myself sitting into that helicopter, imagining myself flying to

  • this place called America, and I would see these tall buildings.

  • And my grandmother would say, "Feel those mental images, see those buildings."

  • And I would see them and I would even smell the life that I wanted.

  • So when I got onto that airplane, there was this déjà vu, "I think I've been here before."

  • Even when I arrived on campus, I felt I've been in this place before, because I had spent

  • so much of my time wanting to change my life and so much of my time visualizing this life

  • that I wanted, visualizing this life that I was not going to pass on this baton to my

  • girls, and I wanted to change it all.

  • So when I started my classes, I found pure joy.

  • I was always the oldest student in any class that I've taken and sometimes older than the

  • professor herself or himself.

  • But I never cared because I knew I had the power to change my life.

  • Yes.

  • And your life, when you got here, was still wrought with so much challenge.

  • I remember when I first learned about your story in Half the Sky from Nicholas Kristof

  • and Sheryl WuDunn, you were feeding yourself out of trash cans, your children were cold,

  • the husband that was abusive for a period of time, he was still here.

  • Yeah.

  • You know because Zimbabwe, where I was coming from, the weather is different, and there's

  • always this community cohesion.

  • You can leave your kids with the neighbors and what have you.

  • And now I'm in a different country and I didn't have a scholarship.

  • I would work three jobs to feed the children and still taking classes.

  • I remember when my kids, when they arrived in the US, three months down the road as they

  • were brushing their teeth, I saw their gums were bleeding and I knew they were missing

  • fruits and vegetables.

  • Back home, you can grow your fruits and vegetables and they grow because it is the tropics.

  • And in America, fruits and vegetables are a little bit expensive.

  • So I would many, many times would go to bed hungry.