Child ambassador Zuriel Oduwole is Africa's most influential 11yr old | Welcome to Linda Ikeji's Blog

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Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Child ambassador Zuriel Oduwole is Africa's most influential 11yr old

You read about her here a few weeks ago. The remarkable 11 year old Nigerian girl has been named one of the most influential young people in Africa. (Zuriel Oduwole pictured above with Jamaican Prime Minister - Portia Simpson Miller)

Her journey began about a year and a half ago, when this relatively quiet and unknown young ‘pre-teen’ girl, proudly Nigerian, but a true Pan-African child with parents from both Nigeria and Mauritius, began with a simple mission – to show the rest of the world that African leaders are capable of solving their own problems, such as managing a successful economic and social turnaround. Continue...



She was 9 years old back then, when she embarked on this mission, first to interview the enigmatic President Jerry [John] Rawlings of Ghana for her school assignment on documenting a successful revolution anywhere in the world, on film format. In the process of her research, she found out about the challenges of Girl education and the obstacles to girl child development, in Africa. She then followed this trend on global news program, specifically on BBC.

Her mission immediately changed. She made it a cause to learn more about the challenges of the Girl Child in Africa, but also try to find a simple solution, one as understood by a 9 year old.
By age 10, she had focused more on meeting with and talking to African political and business leaders about the need to fight for educating the African Girl child, which she saw as an investment in Africa. She asked them for a commitment in their respective countries to doing more to change the perception of Girls education,in some cases from an afterthought, to a primary focus. 

She was subsequently interviewed for a full feature by Forbes Magazine making her the youngest person in the world to be accorded this privilege, in recognition of her accomplishments. By age 11, she had been received in formal audience with [9] African Presidents and heads of state, all of whom are still in office today. This is an amazing feat by any measure, considering the work and effort it takes to schedule such meetings across Africa’s multi-lingual international language barriers of English, Portuguese, and French. She has also unfortunately fallen into the category of those who miss high profile meetings, in this instance apre-arrangedinterview with a current African President, but for good reason; - because of conflicting schedules with her school work.
Zuriel’smany interviews in front of her camera covers varying subjects andissues of education, health, and even the Millennium Development goals, on which shemade the subject of a documentary.  Her interviewees have included the Presidents ofkey African economies such as Kenya, Nigeria and Tanzania, as well as those of South Sudan, Liberia, Cape Verde and Malawi. 

Recently in October this year, she was invited to Tanzania, and bestowed with an honorary Ambassador title for the largest foundation in East Africa by the First Lady, Mrs. Salma Kikwete. This was in recognition of her advocacy work for the Girl child. A new computer Lab in the country’s oldest school was also dedicated,opened, and named after Zuriel during her visit.

In between, she stopped by the annual Clinton Global Initiative in New York last September, and also had a one-on-one interview with America’s most celebrated civil rights leader – Reverend Jesse Jackson. On the side of the September 2013 UN General Assembly, she met with and interviewed the head of the Danish Delegation, to find out how DANIDA [Denmark’s overseas development unit] impacts and helps women and girls, across Africa.

Despite all these great strides, Zuriel Oduwole,who has been featured in international news broadcasts, graced the cover of national magazines, andmade several international and regional publication features, has kept her sights firmly on continuing to do [2] simple things that seem to define her immediate goal. These are making the case for educating and inspiring the African Girl child through her Dream Up, Speak Up, Stand Up program, now launched in Nigeria, Malawi and Tanzania. The second isshowing the world the positive things about Africa, through her compelling ‘world class and award winning documentaries’, [some featuring her interviews with Africa’s leaders], which she writes, directs, and co-produces. Essentially, she is RebrandingAfrica.
The Caribbean Region – Her Next Stop
She has now turned her focus away from African leaders towards the America’s, at least momentarily, while keeping Girls Inspirationissues central in subject. Zuriel has just met with the leader of the largest island country in the Caribbean and the only female head of governmentin the CARICOM region, Prime Minister Portia Simpson Millerof Jamaica. The Prime Ministerin an intimate and detailed interview was dazzled by Zuriel’s questions, impressed by her poise, and so overwhelmed by her ability to focus on issuesat such high level that she herself broke with protocol. ‘She hugged, kissed, prayed for, and then carried her on the lap’ for the formal photograph before the press, after the interview.
“She is our brilliant child from Africa”, she declared!
Issues discussed during the interview covered the emerging dominance of Jamaica in World athletics, including the phenomenon known as “Lightning Bolt” [Usain Bolt], the Girl Child in Jamaica, Tourism in the country, and the Prime Minsters role in encouraging Girls within the fifteen country Caribbean Community [CARICOM] region to aim for higher leadership positions. While she plans to meet with Usain Bolt in a future interview schedule, there are already confirmed meetings and interviews, with other Prime Ministers, in the Caribbean region.
They want to tell their stories of growth & development intimately and exclusively, through Zuriel.
It all makes this remarkable young Nigerianarguably the most powerful and influential 11 year old in the world today, and sheis African. She just might be building her way to accomplishing her long term dream of becoming the President of the greatest union in the world – the United States of America, just as another African has done currently. Soperhaps, she can help Africa and the Caribbean region even further, as she has so eloquently puts it in her many interviews.


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68 comments:

Anonymous said...

Proud of the girl child!

Adaejyk said...

Good & thumbs up 2u girl. May God protect u & may u continue 2 grow in Gods knowledge & wisdom. Amen.

Anonymous said...

Really?

Last to comment!

Unknown said...

Wow! Sooo pretty.

Anonymous said...

I'm proud of her








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Anonymous said...

Gud for her. Lindodo Hw u dey na? Joy n

Unknown said...

I don't mean 2 hate bt I'm pretty sure dat girl is from a wealthy home... good 4 d cutie tho, now if dis morrafucking lectures want me to impact positively on dis fucked up country, dey should call off dis bleeping strike b4 I 4get my damned mat. number! Bullshit!

Anonymous said...

ahh ahhh>>> This is too long to read nah! Any ways good fro her!>>>

Lady Gaga goes nude on stage during her performance! CLICK HERE to see it

BONARIO NNAGS said...

Nice one,she is a source of inspiration to her peers.

~BONARIO~says so via NOKIA3310

★★PRINCE CHARMING™★★ said...

Kudos kid!

Anonymous said...

Woohoo 5th commentator yaga

Anonymous said...

Wow! Amazeballs! Inspiring

Fati said...

I can imagine how proud and privileged her parents must feel to have such an amazing child!!!!go Zuriel!

ST. KIZITO BOUTIQUE IG: @stkizitoboutique said...

Ooh, I so love this girl. I think I'm gonna wife her when the time is right. #dreamup #speakup #standup

Anonymous said...

I'm filled with admiration for the young teen.
~D great anonymous!

B B said...

Inspiring! Pursue your passion in Life vigorously N u will be celebrated.Malala and Zuriel weldone! Authentic B Foundation......Inspiring d u in You.

Anonymous said...

This is really fantastic! She found her calling at a young age and is pursuing it viciously. I do have a question though: is she a Nigerian-American? I ask because the article mentions she wants to be president of the United States, which is a title only US citizens can hold. America doesn't need her as a president anyway, it's Africa that will truly bebefit from her service, leadership and expertise.

Anonymous said...

Stories like this make me very ashamed of myself. An 11yr old making her own mark in the world meanwhile me that I'm 25 what do I have to show for it except my school certificates. U rock girl, more power to ur elbows. Also pray that as u meet these influential people, u don't get exposed to first hand corruption at your young age

Bloomandgrownaija said...

Speechless!

Anonymous said...

Hmmm!I love this girl#so inspired... God please give me children that I will be proud of. Good,lovely and well behaved children Amen

Anonymous said...

May God continue to use her in the right direction. Congrats

Anonymous said...

She is a pre teen, she is no a teenager yet, she is just 11yrs old, God bless u child.

Anonymous said...

People like you, are the bedrock of nigeria problem! You can't simply compel yourself to read a great and positive write up! "It's too long"!!! When you were in primary school you were probably singing "we are the leaders of tomorrow"! You make me really sad!

Anonymous said...

Oboi u wowo oh!

Anonymous said...

Only the necessary financial resources and d political foundation enabled her go this far. My little cousin in d village cant even interview my father who is just a regular rich man, let alone the president of a country.

Tiana said...

Here in dis world money works for money, I admire her, but am sure she went dis far or even strted cos she came frm a wealthy family who could put up wit d xpenses nd its gud cos she is using her gift well, nt spending d money on clothes nd sheos. God keep u nd strnghts u child!

Anonymous said...

Too funny

Anonymous said...

This girl is from a wealthy home, its nt as if other nigerians don't tink positively......bt no body gives u d oppurtuinity. How did she meet al those people, she no dey go school? All dis tins na packaging. She is nt smarter dan any oda kid on d street, she is just priviledged. Kudos shaa

Anonymous said...

Ur brain needs to be fixed, idiot

Anonymous said...

ℓ☺ℓ true talk hun

ary said...

Proud of her and wish people; the right people supported her cause. Her and Malala Yousufzai make me believe their is hope in adversity. Even in little children.

Anonymous said...

COMPLETELY AGREE WITH LAUREN THOMAS AND TIANA...I HATE THIS CUTESY FUCKING NONSENSE OF "CHILD PRESIDENT" OR CHILD AMBASSADOR. THERE ARE SERIOUS MOTHERFUCKING PROBLEMS IN THIS WORLD NEEDING REMEDY AND I DON'T NEED SOME RICH KID WASTING THE TIME OF OUR ALREADY INATTENTIVE AND INEFFICIENT LEADERS. BELIEVE ME, NOTHING WILL COME OF THIS. THIS IS JUST A WASTE OF TIME. STOP LAUDING THIS GIRL. SHE DOESN'T KNOW THE REALITIES OF THE WORLD. SOMEONE IS JUST FEEDING HER LINES. I HAVE AN AMERICA-BASED NGO AND I DON'T THINK I COULD GET AN AUDIENCE WITH ALL THESE PEOPLE.....WE HAVE SERIOUS WORK TO DO FOR THE GIRL-CHILD! IT'S NOT SOME PASSING FANCY OR PET VANITY PROJECT!!!! SO STOP IT LINDA! STOP IT ZURIEL. GO FACE YOUR STUDIES.....GET THE APPROPRIATE DEGREE (AT LEAST MASTERS LEVEL) TO REALLY GET TO WORK ON THESE ISSUES. RIGHT NOW, YOU'RE JUST PLAYING DOCTOR!!!!!!

MAMA IFU/OLLY

Anonymous said...

ŦŔƱSŦ ♍ε̲̣̣̣, this girl ιƨ from a very wealthy home that's αℓℓ. Keep soaring Zurry girl! Ɠ♡D's protection i decree upon your life. Keep shinning!

Anonymous said...

One of the few people you hear of and u suddenly smile like a proud nigerian....kudos girl

Anonymous said...

@lauren thomas,abeg sista we know say u don dey university,I sure say na 100lvl u dey sef,can u just ensure dat for once ur comment is not filled with talk about asuu strike..abeg

BOSS BEAT ENTERTAINMENT said...

Am proud of her but considering the fact she is from a rich home will help her financially and am sure dere are people dat could do dese beta but no moni to showcase demselves. Goodluck once again

wemimo said...

She can become American president if she was born rite dere in America..doesn't Mata whre re parents emigrated from..

geegee said...

Our problem is urs.she is nigerian n I don't see anywhere wwhere she has interviewed a nigerian senator or minister n dats cos we don't care until it is "foreign" and successful and then we start to claim "she/he is our own n every1 then starts rushing to do an interview. How many 11 year olds in nigeria will be given audience even when the child is a genius.our leaders don't care n that's why it seems we only become "smart" when we have schooled abroad.

Mzz_Mary said...

Well said
*congrats lil gurl

Anonymous said...

Lol no be small wowo u dy here dy talk of strike like if dy call it off ur GP will increase from the 0.01 dat it is. Olosho looking 4 customers

Anonymous said...

Wife her say who die? By dat time ur dick never get grey hair? Fool

Anonymous said...

Amazing!
May God continue to strengthen her, and maay she not loose focus as she grows older. Amen!

Anonymous said...

All this long thing for this small girl,u lost me @ the headline jor lol #didi

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Yerima wld be interested in wifey her! As he does nt see any usefullness in d girl child apart frm being unda a man

Anonymous said...

Wow! That's all I can say, soon she's gonna be on oprahs couch or vice versa. Cool

Anonymous said...

Wow! Soon she's gonna be on oprahs couch or vice versa. Future leader

Anonymous said...

This is what you should be posting on your blog, now maheeda or lady gaga nude pic. (Sbeeeeee)

Anonymous said...

Shez my lil cousin I didnt knw its goin to go this far, when i encouraged her to start it at 1st since she gat d brain. God wil continue to direct her

Anonymous said...

You can imagine what would have befallen this child, if she was given out in early marriage.
This is surely a learning point for our Senators.

Anonymous said...

Shut up joor!!! Like say u even finish am, ITK.come on go n start frying ur mama's akara. Leaders of tomorrow ko!!

Barry9ice said...

good way to start in solving the decayed economic situation of African & d Carrebian as a whole by educating the children, put a stop to gender inequality but embrace gender equality.

Anonymous said...

Its because she's 4rm a rich home

tan said...

Correct

Bonita Bislam said...

Nice one kiddo

Unknown said...

I believe she was only able to go this far because she is priveleged to come from a rich home, even at that she has a dream many like her that came from wealthy homes are wasting away, for a young girl she really tries but seriously let's face it it can't totally be her idea someone must be behind it.We all went through age 9 and we all know what was important to us back then. Its not activism

Unknown said...

I believe she was only able to go this far because she is priveleged to come from a rich home, even at that she has a dream many like her that came from wealthy homes are wasting away, for a young girl she really tries but seriously let's face it it can't totally be her idea someone must be behind it.We all went through age 9 and we all know what was important to us back then. Its not activism

Unknown said...

I believe she was only able to go this far because she is priveleged to come from a rich home, even at that she has a dream many like her that came from wealthy homes are wasting away, for a young girl she really tries but seriously let's face it it can't totally be her idea someone must be behind it.We all went through age 9 and we all know what was important to us back then. Its not activism

Unknown said...

I believe she was only able to go this far because she is priveleged to come from a rich home, even at that she has a dream many like her that came from wealthy homes are wasting away, for a young girl she really tries but seriously let's face it it can't totally be her idea someone must be behind it.We all went through age 9 and we all know what was important to us back then. Its not activism

Anonymous said...

That's true! But she's doing well and getting exposed as well so when she gets to that put you're now! She'll be a genius at erything she does! So don't hate mama! Sponicobabani

Unknown said...

Libers will not kill me ooo. Choi!!!
She has very gd financial support dats y she can go dis far. All d best Zuriel.

Anonymous said...

Haba madam privilege we hear now! Didi

Adekanbi Olayiwola said...

I have read your many comments on this wonderful little girl. Most positive, and a few angry for no reason. I was privileged to hear her speak at the Lagos Business School in March this year, and her family was there. No, she is definitely not from a Rich Home.. rara. There are sponsors, from an airline that flies her, from 2 hotel groups that identify with her, and her school is 100% behind her with sponsorship support.
The reality is she is brilliant, had an opportunity at school, and took it.
Lets encourage our children, and not vent our anger, frustrations, failures, disappointments etc on her. You want to vent, go to Aso Rock and sleep there till they hear you. Find your platform. This Girl has found hers. May the LORD show her the way each day, and clear the plank in the eyes of those who are just angry a her, because of their own failures. I want my kids to be like her !!!

Adekanbi Olayiwola

Anonymous said...

Wow....great to read this article. I would like to jump in here gently but with pride in what Zuriel has done, because I know the family a little bit. We go to the same Church. They have one Honda car, and live in a rented place. So, to those who are just saying what they know little about, Zuriel is not from a rich home or wealthy home. If she is, it is the rich love and wealth of attention her Parents give to her, that allows her to blossom.
Not everything is about money or connections.
To the "Angry Birds" out there, take a 'small piece' of paper, and write the names of all those this year, you have encouraged, supported or prayed for [Im sure its a small list - if any]. Then take a 'large piece' of paper and remind yourself of all those you have put down, discouraged, or stepped on, because of your ignorance.
One day, you would have to account for your journey on this earth.
Well done Zuriel. You make us Africans very proud, from your Forbes magazine feature in August, to your feature in This months Todays Woman magazine cover.
Abena

Anonymous said...

How won't she be recognised and brought so much fame n attention am sure her parents are one of the very rich Nigerians, they should try n take a poor child educate him or her and make that child and ambassador.....why should good things be for only the rich......well such is life

Captain Patrick Amusan said...

People. Let us stay positive and celebrate this wonderful little Girl. For most of us, if we are honest, wouldn't we wish she was our child? Besides, there are already 3 blogs testifying she is not from a rich home. But if for any silly reason she is, so what. She is doing something positive. Except she is not from a Rich home. I just saw an old article about her earlier in the year, doing fundraiser for her work. Lets stay positive !!!!
Patrick Amusan

Anonymous said...

Lauren,u rili like attentn in dis blog,smh...tryn so hard 2comment on every post

Anonymous said...

Prayers are being sent to you little woman, May God uphold you in his palm and keep you save, breaking records and attaining great heights.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:45 you're just an illiterate sad sap!

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