Dr. Tererai Trent, PHD , Educator and Humanitarian
Hurungwe District, Zimbabwe
December 10, 2012
The following post first appeared on Tererai Trent's blog.
Ping. Ping. Ping. That’s the sound of text messages hitting my mobile phone here in California, day and night, after navigating over the long dirt roads and open blue skies thousands of miles away from my home, in Africa. With each ping, my smile beams more brightly, my step has more spring and my bliss is boundless. And, I am reminded of the words of the soulful R&B singer Sam Cooke “A change is gonna come.”
For you see, my dream of bringing a better education to children in my rural village of Matau, Zimbabwe, is soon to come true. A gaggle of grandmothers - Gogos in my native term, tease me with these texts, feeding me morsels of news about the progress on the Matau Primary School project. This will create a brighter future for nearly 4,000 children and 125 teachers.
"A brand new school is now standing, it almost seems like I am dreaming," Gogo Sande says in her text.
The next morning, before I have recovered from my joy of reading her text, I get two more:
"Tererai, my daughter could not read and write and died leaving orphans under my care. Now they can read at home and I get to participate in their reading, it has never been heard of until Matau Project. It's a miracle.” Gogo Kawocha.
"I saw the new desks and chairs arriving, our children have hope for a better future,” Gogo Kambuzuma tells me in her text.
My heart is brimming over with affection and tears come to my eyes as I picture these grandmothers, walking around my village, tracking down the young men and asking or paying them a few cents to relay their messages to me via text on their mobile phones. I am humbled knowing that these women have had little to no schooling themselves yet they share the same enthusiasm of children awaiting their first day of school.
At this time of year, when we express our gratitude, I want to bestow mine on these grandmothers. I thank them for reminding me that hope springs eternal. I can hear them saying, “Naysayers of Africa, pass on through. Your stay is temporary, like the shift in shadows under the clouds of the African sky.” Change is gonna come. Progress is on the horizon. Can you feel it?
Tinogona! It is achievable.