Discover Zuriel Oduwole
Zuriel Oduwole, a much celebrated persona, is leaving footprints in the sands of time at an early age. She continues to stun the world with her exploits, one of which is fighting for the education of the African girl-child. She is reported to be the youngest documentary/filmmaker in the world.
She is American-born and bred, with Nigerian roots; born to a father of Nigerian descent and a Mauritanian mother of Jewish descent.
A few years after she was interviewed by the famous personality news/ magazine, Forbes, in August 2013 at the young age of 10, she got herself a feature on CNN. She is an award-winning documentary/ filmmaker, writer and conference speaker. Zuriel was also the first 10-year-old to be qualified as a correspondent at a World Press Conference in attendance with other correspondents from CNN, Reuters, among others.
How exciting can that be? Zuriel, who currently lives with her parents in California has done so many things to cause people to wonder as they relish her success story. She received an invitation to the African Union’s 50th anniversary celebration, a big deal many for many. Not just that, Zuriel, whose Jewish name means, ‘For God is my Rock,’ has succeeded in adding to her portfolio; interviews with important people around the globe and eight presidents. Some of these people are the Williams’ sisters who are acclaimed tennis female champions, Serena and Venus Williams. She also interviewed Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote. More feathers to her cap.
Tirelessly seeking to make the world see Africa in good lights, she has carried on a project called, ‘Africa Project,’ to address issues and challenges faced by the girl-child. She hates to see the girl-child struggling to survive. In an interview, Zuriel had admitted that her interest in filmmaking began with a school project when she was nine and had enrolled in a competition titled, ‘National History Day.’ Being the youngest in the competition, she had decided to make a documentary to showcase Africa to the world in a better way. It was this project that exposed her to the educational hardship faced by the African girl-child.
In an interview with bioreports.net, she had indicated that, “I like to show the rest of the world the positive things about Africa through my documentaries. One of my documentaries won an award in the largest county in the United States. My documentary has also chronicled the impact of the OAU on Africa. Do you know I write my own scripts, produce my own documentaries, shoot my own scenes, do my own voice over, edit my own documentaries, and co-direct my documentaries? I am an African child – a Nigerian girl-child.”
She believes that the media’s sometimes harsh views and portrayal of the happenings in Africa is unfair and feels the strong need to help the African girl-child through another brilliant programme, ‘Dream up, speak up, and stand up.’ Her desire is for the African girl-child to receive education.
Zuriel believes in hard work and being an example to others. So far, she is setting a good pace. Zuriel is multilingual and speaks Chinese (mandarin), and a bit of the three major languages in Nigeria; namely, Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo.
She is a globetrotter, having visited several countries including Antigua, Australia, Egypt, Fiji, France, Ghana, Grenada, Mauritius, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa, Switzerland, Tanzania, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.
By age 11, she has interviewed 14 presidents, including former President Goodluck Jonathan, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, President Fonseca of Cape Verde, President Joyce Banda of Malawi, President Kikwete of Tanzania, President Kufuor and former President Olusegun Obasanjo. Perhaps, Zuriel would be CNN’s next Christine Amanpour! With her supportive parents, she would go far in life!
The young star has also featured in the list of ‘Top 100 most influential people in Africa,’ a publication of New African Magazine. This was as a result of her recognised pursuit for the education of the girl-child, soon to be women.
Again, Zuriel made her country proud by becoming the first African child to be given honorary ambassadorial position by a foreign government. Tanzania’s first lady, Salma Kikwete, was said to have bestowed on her the position in 2013. She was also made Global Ambassador for the Ethiopian Airlines, which would be her official career to aid her campaign for girl-child education.
Zuriel is reported to have set the record of interviewing 14 incumbent presidents and some prime ministers at the young age of 11. She has also made the famous women’s magazine, ELLE’s ‘Global 33’ list.
One of her films, ‘A Promising Africa,’ is reported to have been aired in five countries namely; Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, the United Kingdom and Japan.
Education advocate and Film maker