By Michal Ortner
Zuriel Oduwale is the youngest person that has caught the attention of Forbes Magazine, inciting an interview with the prestigious publication. Oduwale, 11-years-old, is usually the one interviewing national leaders and persons of interest. She has won awards for her journalism prowess but says that she mostly functions like any other preteen.
At the end of the day, Oduwale says that she enjoys all of the same things as other 11-year-old girls, like playing her Nintendo Wii and spending time with family playing board games.
“I do all the usual things like go to the mall with my mum and sisters and ride my bike with my neighbors,” she shared. “I am in a home school-based curriculum, so that allows me to get ahead in my school work and then I have some time to travel for my extra curricular programs like my Dream Up, Speak Up, Stand Up program, or interviewing leaders for my documentaries.”
She believes that it is her job to set the example for other girls, hoping that many more will step out and do something extraordinary. She also wants to bring awareness for those who cannot speak for themselves.
Dream Up, Speak Up, Stand Up is Oduwale’s initiative to help girls “accomplish their dreams like me,” she says. She is not afraid to ask parents and their children to use her as an example “of what their children can do.”
“I knew right away what I wanted to do even though I was only nine. It was my opportunity to find a successful revolution and show the world that Africa is not all bad,” she stated.
“When I watch the news, I find that most of the news about Africa is always negative, so I thought I could show something that was positive like a successful revolution,” she added.
“People always ask why I don’t want to be the president of an African country, but I feel if I am president of an African country, I might be able to affect one or two other countries, but if I am president of the United States, not only would I be able to affect the United States, but most countries in the world including those in Africa and the Caribbean region. That way, I can change the way girls are educated around the world,” Oduwale said of her future ambitions.
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