Eleven-year old Zuriel Oduwole was listed as one of the 100 Most Influential Africans in New African Magazine recently. In case you’re wondering what makes a girl her age an influential figure on the continent, below are some facts that should give you an insight:
1. Zuriel Oduwole is the first Nigerian African Girl-Child educational campaigner.
2. At age eleven, Zuriel had interviewed nine incumbent heads of state; all of whom are still in office today. She has also interviewed African billionaire Aliko Dangote, and tennis queens Venus and Serena Williams among other popular figures. As a result, she has drawn comparisons to Oprah Winfrey and Larry King for her remarkable ability in interviewing notable personalities.
3. Zuriel is reputed to be the first African child to be appointed honorary ambassador position by a foreign government. She was conferred with an ambassadorial status in Tanzania by the country’s first lady, Mrs. Salma Kikwete in 2013.
4. Zuriel’s name is of Hebrew origin, which means “God is my Rock”. She holds a belief that if she can walk a mile, she can inspire other girls to walk a mile and half.
5. Recently, Zuriel was announced as Global Ambassador for the Ethiopian Airlines. The airline will be Zuriel’s official carrier across three continents to help her with the campaign for girl child education with world leaders.
6. Zuriel stands out as the first ten-year old to be accredited as a correspondent at a World Press Conference in attendance with other correspondnets from CNN, CNBC, and Reuters.
7. Zuriel is officially the first ten-year old to feature in Forbes Magazine.
8. Zuriel’s parents are from Mauritania and Nigeria.
9. Zuriel began her mission at age 9 when she had to interview Ghanaian President Jerry Rawlings as part of a school project. It was on that project she discovered the educational disadvantages of the girl child.
10. Through her Dream Up, Speak Up, Stand Up initiative, Zuriel is empowering young girls and re-branding the image of Africa.