42 Views

Meet Zuriel Oduwole, the 11 years old Nigerian girl who interviews world leaders

SHE’S AN award-winning documentary filmmaker who has interviewed some of the world’s top leaders and just last month made history by becoming the youngest person to be interviewed by Forbes magazine.

But Zuriel Oduwale maintains she is a regular 11-year-old girl who enjoys nothing more than to play her Nintendo Wii and board games with her family.

“I do all the usual things like go to the mall with my mum and sisters and ride my bike with my neighbours,” she says, although she is more than aware her life differs slightly from most girls her age. “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 programmes like my Dream Up, Speak Up, Stand Up programme, or interviewing leaders for my documentaries.”

image
Zuriel with Prime Minister of Jamaica, Portia Simpson

Touted as the next Oprah Winfrey, Zuriel is committed to rebranding Africa by showing the positive things about the continent, and campaigning for education for girls.

Some of the high-profile names Zuriel has enjoyed exclusive one-to-one time with include Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan and her personal favourite, Prime Minister of Jamaica, Portia Simpson.

“She held my hands and prayed for me and then she put me on her lap to take official pictures with her, which was very different from all the other 13 presidents and prime ministers I have interviewed.”

Zuriel, which is Hebrew for ‘God is my Rock’, believes by leading by example, girls may be inspired by her journey and do the same. That, she believes, can show her peers and the world the need to educate the continent’s often forgotten girl child.

Zuriel’s vision for her Dream Up, Speak Up, Stand Up programme is to inspire girls to “accomplish their dreams like me” by using it as a platform to push the influential work she is doing around the globe.

When talk moves to the future of the 200 girls kidnapped by Islamic extremists in Nigeria last month, the 11-year-old said she was both “sad but relieved at the same time.”

She explains: “Sad because I can’t imagine being taken to some strange place by some strange people, but relieved because the whole world is talking about it so maybe something can now be done.”

image
Zuriel and her Family stand with Tanzania President Kikwete

Keen to prove age is nothing but a number, Zuriel wants to show parents – and the world – by “using me as an example, what their children can do”.

Zuriel began pursuing documentary-making and journalism when she was nine after entering a competition in the United States, where she resides with her Mauritian mother and Nigerian father and three siblings – two sisters and one brother. The competition asked applicants to produce a documentary “about a revolution or reaction in history”.

“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.”

In a typical day, Zuriel and her nine-year-old sister are made to watch an hour of news and asked to write – and later discuss – what they have heard with their parents.

 

“When I watch the news, I find that most of the news about Africa was always negative, so I thought I could show something that was positive like a successful revolution.”

She then began research on the Ghana revolution, the 1979 uprising which arose out of a combination of corruption, bad governance, lack of discipline in the army and frustrations among the general public. Her research took her to the African continent where she was able to interview flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings, who led a coup and later became the country’s head of state.

“I had to take my own camera to interview President Rawlings, set it up, write my own questions, shoot the clips and do the editing because that was the rules of the competition,” she says. “It was hard, but I did it. Sometimes I was working late after doing my homework to complete it.”

But her hard work has paid off. Last year, aged 10, Zuriel made history by becoming the youngest person ever to be interviewed by the prestigious Forbes magazine.

“[At the time] I didn’t understand why they wanted to interview me,” she says coolly. “It wasn’t until they said even though the work I was doing for girls’ education in Africa was not about wealth creation, it was too special to ignore. They wanted it in their women’s future leader edition.

“I think it’s pretty cool now. I understand what it means and more importantly, a few months before, Mr Aliko Dangote, the richest black man in the world, who I have interviewed, was featured in the magazine. I feel really special.”

Though Zuriel hopes to explore her chances in basketball and robotic engineering, her life-long goal is to become president of the United States.

“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.”

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!

Don't worry, we don't spam

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Latest Posts

The Shocking Story of Ifechukwu, A 16-Year-Old Girl Who Slept With 52 Men in One Night
Shocking
29 views
Shocking
29 views

The Shocking Story of Ifechukwu, A 16-Year-Old Girl Who Slept With 52 Men in One Night

PH - October 24, 2017

A 16-year-old teenage girl has been arrested along with 52 men after they were caught having intercourse with her in turns. According to the police, it looked…

How Can Buhari Rule Nigeria if He Can’t Control His Cabinet Members?
Politics
31 views
Politics
31 views

How Can Buhari Rule Nigeria if He Can’t Control His Cabinet Members?

PH - October 24, 2017

Former Aviation Minister, Mr. Femi Fani Kayode, has questioned the rule and administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. With the current crisis involving the former pension reform boss,…

List of States With Suspected and Confirmed Monkeypox Cases
Food and Health
30 views
Food and Health
30 views

List of States With Suspected and Confirmed Monkeypox Cases

PH - October 24, 2017

The federal government of Nigeria has released an update on the state of the monkeypox virus in Nigeria. Here's an infographic revealing states with suspected and confirmed…

How Minister of Interior and AGF Malami Reinstated Maina
Politics
31 views
Politics
31 views

How Minister of Interior and AGF Malami Reinstated Maina

PH - October 24, 2017

Sahara Reporters have posted a two-page document which is alleged to be the memo reinstating Abdulrasheed Maina.

2 Nigerian Athletes Ranked Among Top 10 Junior Rowers in Africa
Sports
20 views
Sports
20 views

2 Nigerian Athletes Ranked Among Top 10 Junior Rowers in Africa

PH - October 24, 2017

Two Nigerian junior rowers, who participated in the just-concluded Africa Rowing Championship in Tunisia are now among the top 10 athletes in Africa, the Nigeria Rowing Canoe…

PHOTOS: Cristiano Ronaldo’s Son Greets Lionel Messi At The Best Fifa Awards Ceremony.
Sports
28 views
Sports
28 views

PHOTOS: Cristiano Ronaldo’s Son Greets Lionel Messi At The Best Fifa Awards Ceremony.

MT - October 24, 2017

Real Madrid Star, Cristiano Ronaldo’s son met his father’s “rival”, Lionel Messi who greeted him at the 2017 Best Fifa football awards in London. The Barcelona player…

Why PDP Can’t Win 2019 Presidential Election – Governor Dickson
Politics
34 views
Politics
34 views

Why PDP Can’t Win 2019 Presidential Election – Governor Dickson

PH - October 24, 2017

Bayelsa State governor, Seriake Dickson, yesterday dimmed hope on the chances of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) rebounding in the 2019 presidential election. He expressed doubt that…

Young DELSU Graduate Becomes The Youngest King In Ijaw Nation. [Photos]
Art, History and Culture
26 views
Art, History and Culture
26 views

Young DELSU Graduate Becomes The Youngest King In Ijaw Nation. [Photos]

MT - October 24, 2017

A young graduate of Delta State University (DELSU), Abraka, has become the youngest king in the entire Ijaw nation – filling the vacuum created by the death…

Photos From The Wedding Of Bukola Saraki’s Daughter, Tosin Saraki
Politics
35 views
Politics
35 views

Photos From The Wedding Of Bukola Saraki’s Daughter, Tosin Saraki

MT - October 24, 2017

The wedding of Tosin, the daughter of Senate President, Bukola Saraki, to her husband, Adeniyi Olatunde Olukoya, took place in Ilorin, Kwara state yesterday October 21st. See…

Don Jazzy Jokes About Tiwa Savage’s Farting Skills – “Your ‘Mess’ Fit Kill Person”
Entertainment
28 views
Entertainment
28 views

Don Jazzy Jokes About Tiwa Savage’s Farting Skills – “Your ‘Mess’ Fit Kill Person”

MT - October 24, 2017

It’s not news that Don Jazzy likes to joke a lot, especially on social media and he has taken it up a not after took to Instagram…

Billionaire Kidnapper, Evans Looking All Cleaned Up As He Appears In Lagos Court Today (Photos)
Shocking
32 views
Shocking
32 views

Billionaire Kidnapper, Evans Looking All Cleaned Up As He Appears In Lagos Court Today (Photos)

MT - October 24, 2017

Suspected kidnap kingpin, Evans, faces second arraignment as he appeared at an Igbosere High Court on Lagos Island amid watertight security. Nigeria's most famous and richest kidnapper,…

How Paul’s Greed And Pride Lead To Physical Fight With Peter And Breakup Of Psquare
Entertainment
38 views
Entertainment
38 views

How Paul’s Greed And Pride Lead To Physical Fight With Peter And Breakup Of Psquare

MT - October 24, 2017

P-Square soon became a group to reckon with musically as they won the Benson & Hedges sponsored Golden Tunes music competition in 2001, which was subsequently followed…

Tiwa Savage On How Far She Has Come – “I Am Proud Of Myself”
Entertainment
24 views
Entertainment
24 views

Tiwa Savage On How Far She Has Come – “I Am Proud Of Myself”

MT - October 24, 2017

Nigeria pop Queen Tiwa Savage has announced to the world in very clear terms that she is proud of the person she has become. Tiwa Savage who…

Two Legends: Lionel Messi And Nigeria’s J.J. Okocha Pose Together
Sports
28 views
Sports
28 views

Two Legends: Lionel Messi And Nigeria’s J.J. Okocha Pose Together

MT - October 24, 2017

Two football legends, Lionel Messi and Austin J.J. Okocha pictured together. Okocha shared the photo with the caption below:

Falz, Tekno Spotted With Lagos State Governor Ambode
Entertainment
27 views
Entertainment
27 views

Falz, Tekno Spotted With Lagos State Governor Ambode

MT - October 24, 2017

Nigerian music star falz and Tekno were spotted together with Governor of Lagos State, Governor Akinwummi Ambode at an event over the weekend. See more photo below….

Jeremiah Gyang Makes Comeback At Buckwyld ‘n’ Breathless Concert
Entertainment
35 views
Entertainment
35 views

Jeremiah Gyang Makes Comeback At Buckwyld ‘n’ Breathless Concert

PH - October 23, 2017

Nigerian singer Jeremiah Gyang reminded his fans why they fell in love with him during his mainstream comeback at the Buckwyld ‘n’ Breathless concert on Sunday night. Gyang gave…

Mr 2kay ‘Robbed At Gunpoint’ In Hotel Room
Entertainment
50 views
Entertainment
50 views

Mr 2kay ‘Robbed At Gunpoint’ In Hotel Room

PH - October 23, 2017

Singer Mr 2kay was robbed at gunpoint in his hotel room after the Buckwyld n Breathless concert on Sunday, October 22. The alleged robbery took place at…

Asa Talks Losing Virginity At 28 In Revealing Chat With Funmi Iyanda
Entertainment
39 views
Entertainment
39 views

Asa Talks Losing Virginity At 28 In Revealing Chat With Funmi Iyanda

PH - October 23, 2017

In this revealing, newly released 2015 Interview, Nigerian singer Asa sat with Funmi Iyanda to discuss her album “Bed Of Stones“. They also talked about the singer’s personal journey as a…

Loading...