July 18, 2011
American talk show host Oprah Winfrey is
bankrolling the construction of a rural Zimbabwean school to help her
favourite talk show guest realise her childhood dream.
Winfrey named Tererai Trent her “All time favourite guest” in 2009 and with
this came a US$1,5 million windfall to help Trent re-build her dilapidated
primary school in Magunje.
Trent appeared on the world acclaimed Oprah Winfrey television show where
she told of her moving life story. She told the acclaimed talk show host who
has interviewed some of the world’s most popular individuals how she was
married at 11 and had five children in quick succession. She also spoke
about how she was repeatedly abused by her husband in her marriage.
So touching was her story that Winfrey had no option but to name her as her
favourite guest of all time and with this came a $1,5 million donation from
her Oprah Winfrey Foundation to help Trent who has since re-married to build
her childhood primary school, Matau in Magunje.
The Oprah Winfrey Foundation is a philanthropic institution owned by
Winfrey. She uses the foundation to help children and the underprivileged
out of poverty.
Save the Children will build the school which will transform the face of
education in rural Magunje where hundreds of children learn using the floor
as both the desk and chair. More so, they have to share books and other
A ground making ceremony to set the idea of a brand new Matau Primary School
was held last Friday.
Save the Children Zimbabwe country Director, Sharon Hauser said Trent was an
inspiration to many young Zimbabweans.
“Tererai reminds us that education is a universal human right that holds the
key to breaking the cycle of poverty, and that education shapes our current
and future leaders,” said Hauser.
The Matau Primary School was destroyed by the rains in 2009. The storm
destroyed the school’s roof and with the biting winter weather in the
country at the moment, school children at the school are forced to learn in
The donated money will among other things be used to repair and build school
buildings, construct a new playground, latrines and hand washing stations,
provide desks, chairs and books for all the children, train teachers to help
young children prepare for school and to help older school children improve
their reading skills. It will also be used to create a culture of reading,
both inside and outside the classroom, by engaging the whole community
through our successful new Literacy Boost programme.
Winfrey and Trent are expected to visit the project to monitor progress on
the project in the near future according to Save the Children officials.