I first heard about Zuriel Oduwole, the 12 year old girl who was listed as Forbes youngest activist, while watching CNN. I recall watching a brief expose about her achievements. At the time, she had interviewed about 14 Head of States and Presidents, including the President of Cape Verde, Tanzania, Nigeria, Kenya, South Sudan, Jamaica, and I was floored by her drive and passion, especially for such a young one.
Zuriel, who’s mother is of Mauritian origins and father, Nigerian, has 3 other siblings. Her documentary film-making career began when she was only 9 years old! What had been a competition she had entered in the US, quickly became this awesomeness. The topic for that year’s nationwide competition was revolution and history; so she decided to cover a successful revolution in Africa, and thus, she covered the successful Ghana 1979 revolution.
Her research led her to interviewing the Head of State of the country Jerry Rawlings who had started the revolution and she was tasked with writing her own questions, videoing and editing it, which were part of the competition rules. She noted that it was hard, and had to stay up late after doing her homework, but it was definitely worth it, we believe.
She notes that there was never a daunting moment where she felt like giving up or not pursuing her goal to interview him; and after a couple of weeks of her sending emails to his office, she got a reply that the Ghanaian President was glad to have an interview with her in Ghana.
She has continued to create documentaries about Africa in order to re-brand it due to the negative coverage that the Western media tend to highlight.
Zuriel also established a charity to help young children in poor countries succeed and understand the importance of education. And she highlights that education is especially important for young girls who may often be held back in their communities. She uses herself as an example of why education is important and beneficial; and she has been an inspiration to many young girls and adults alike. With her Dream Up, Speak Up, Stand Up project, she does just that! The project has now launched in 5 African countries- Tanzania, Malawi, Nigeria, Mauritius and Ethopia.
She’s also made it a mission of showing the world the positives about Africa and her documentaries are doing just that.
For more on Zuriel Oduwole, watch the exclusive interview she had with Ndani TV below.