Harare, May 17: A Zimbabwean-born academic who is to have a statue of her likeness unveiled outside New York's Rockefeller Centre has told the BBC she was shocked by the honour.
"I'm just so humbled, it is unbelievable," Tererai Trent told BBC Focus on Africa.
"When my name came up I never took it seriously," she added. The monument, which will be officially unveiled in August, is intended to recognise Tererai Trent for her role in promoting equality and empowerment for girls and women.
Her statue will stand alongside new statues of other prominent women, such as media mogul Oprah Winfrey, conservationist Jane Goodall, actress Cate Blanchett, activist Janet Mock, chemist Tracy Dyson and Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas.
As a child Ms Trent was prevented from going to school, but she taught herself to read and write with some help from her brother and his school books.
She went on to earn her PhD in the US, where she is a university professor, and also formed Tererai Trent International - a foundation which seeks to provide quality education in rural communities in Zimbabwe.
"I never dreamt in my life I'd be where I am today. Never ever think it's your past challenges that are going to determine your future. ... But... we have a moral obligation, those of us able to achieve our dreams, to help others stand on our shoulders and provide that opportunity," she said. (UNI)