Amazing 12-year-old campaigner for girls’ education
Zuriel Oduwole’s mission is an extraordinary one. Only twelve-years-old, she has attracted international attention with her Dream Up, Speak Up, Stand Up campaign to bring about improvement in the education of girls in Africa so that they too can help the development of their various communities and bring about often much-needed changes.
She realised that the recent FIFA World Cup in Brazil would be a golden opportunity to spread her message further. She travelled from the United States to Ethiopia and then to Brazil, aiming to take two footballs across three continents and five countries and have them signed by fans, footballers and others. Mauritius has been the final leg of her journey, when she stayed for ten days at LUX* Grand Gaube. Gender Development Minister, Mireille Martin, was the one here to add her signature.
The Mauritian connection
Zuriel herself is a child of the world. Born in Los Angeles, her mother is Mauritian and her father Nigerian. She was listed in New Africa Magazine last December as one of Africa's 100 Most Influential People of 2013 and featured by Forbes August 2013 as a future leader, at age 10. New York Business Insider named her in April as the most powerful 11-year-old in the world. Recently, the Gucci Foundation invited her to their one year anniversary on Chime-For-Change, in New York.
She has met with and interviewed 11 African presidents and prime ministers, and spoken about the need to educate the continent’s girls, so they are more productive in their communities. In May, she was featured on BBC TV, where she talked about her projects. She also appeared in a re-run edition of Moments with Mo, taped earlier in February, on DSTV Channel 165, which is broadcast across Africa.
Her biggest sponsor has been Ethiopian Airlines, whilst in Mauritius she was hosted during her stay by LUX* Grand Gaube. The LUX* Group’s CEO, Paul Jones, has been an enthusiastic supporter. “LUX* Resorts is often asked to sponsor activities but Zuriel’s visit has been something exceptional. Zuriel is a powerful and effective advocate of her cause and we have been proud to support her visit here. But, more than that, it has been a privilege. This has been a stay that we, and LUX* Grand Gaube in particular, will remember for years to come. And we can expect to hear much more about this young lady in the future.”