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The Awakened Woman by Dr. Tererai Trent

It is achievable -Tinogona! The theme of this book and a potential title.

I just love stories about overcoming adversity in the pursuit of a meaningful and inspiring life, especially about women who are marginalised and poor. I am grateful for her courage to share this masterpiece story of her awakening journey, with so much humility and poignancy. It moves you to tears and action; you are inspired to make a difference with your life.

Tererai lived in a poor rural village in Zimbabwe. She was a child bride at 11 to an abusive husband, she had 5 children by her early twenties, and no formal education or future prospects. But she possessed a Great Hunger that consumed her. She recognised the importance of having an education, even though she didn’t know how to read and write growing up. Her dream was to study her way to a PhD degree in America. And that speaks volumes, the value she placed on getting a formal education, as a means out of poverty is powerful. The tenacity of her self-belief is truly remarkable and is really the moral of the story.

I enjoyed reading about her Zimbabwean roots, in particular her Shona heritage and culture. She sheds light on the plight of women and young girls not only in Zimbabwe but sub-Saharan Africa. She acknowledges the key role of women in her community, as sacred sisters Sahwira (Shona meaning friend for life) who guided and supported her on her journey. She places importance in having a Sisterhood, a recurring theme based on the African proverb ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.’ There is power and purpose in female friendships and it lies in our collective empathy, empowerment, and experiences to influence, motivate and lift each other up.

My takeaway message from her story is about the awakening within, to dig deep and discover what our Great Hunger is. What is it that we are called to do? What do we feel most passionate about and want to make a difference? We need to recognise that the Little Hungers have taken up enough time and energy.

Our dreams are not fund dependent, age dependent, or even skill dependent. Rather our dreams are built on what we believe about ourselves and the part we play in the great universal consciousness.

I highly recommend this book not only for her insight and wisdom but her story amplifies our vision at Marama Alliance UK. It is also a timely and personal reminder about:

Giving yourself permission to seek your purpose in this world is a sacred and social act.

Oprah’s foreword is eloquent, particularly her introduction of Dr Tererai on her show.

I see you (Sawubona). I am here (Ngikhona). It is a profound acknowledgement that makes one feel valued and visible. Woman to woman, I see you. I know you.

To my special Zimbabwean friend Bertha and ALL my sisters, I see you - thank you for your friendship.

Book Review Written by Leonora Sinclair (MAUK Committee Member).

Our Shared Shelf Book Club invite you to share your thoughts and feedback here or on our social media Instagram. Tell us what you think!

Also visit for Miriama' Suraki's own take on the book and share the love there!

Our March book is titled - The Clapback: Your Guide to Calling out Racist Stereotypes (grab your copy on Amazon for £11.99)

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