At just 15 years old, Zuriel Oduwole has met no fewer than 24 presidents and prime ministers as she carries out her mission to advocate for girls’ education in Africa. When talking to African leaders, the Los Angeles teenager stresses the need for “making policies so that girls are able to go to school until at least the age of 18 so they don’t get married when they are 12 or 13,” she explained to Agence-France Presse. Zuriel, born in the U.S. to parents of Nigerian and Mauritian origin, visited Paris last week where she was able to address thousands of young people at a solidarity concert, speaking about how poverty affects girls all across Africa.
Ironically, Zuriel, who describes herself as “unstoppable,” has never attended school and instead has been home-schooled by her parents since the age of 3. At the tender age of 9 years old, Zuriel was able to interview former Ghanaian president Jerry Rawlings for a documentary, which ignited her career as a campaigner. “I saw a lot of children, especially girls, out on the streets selling things, and I see that a lot whenever I visit other African countries like Nigeria, Ethiopia and Tanzania.” Just last month, she was named one of Africa’s 100 most influential women by Forbes magazine, and next year she is planning on attending a prestigious university like Harvard or UCLA. But her ambitions reach way further than higher education. Inspired by Africa’s first woman president, the Liberian leader Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Zuriel says she has her sights set on becoming president of the United States. Despite all this, Zuriel claims she can still find the time to be a normal teenager. “I play sports, I play football and basketball, I have friends I hang out with. I just happen to do all of these projects on the side.” See her in action and hear her talk in the video below.
— AFP news agency (@AFP) September 19, 2017
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