Zuriel Oduwole is a 14years old African American of Nigerian Origin that has interviewed world leaders. You can read her recent activity by clicking here . Oduwole has met with 19 Presidents and Prime Ministers in line with her education advocacy work. Some of these include the leaders of Jamaica, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Liberia, South Sudan, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Guyana and Namibia. She has also appeared in popular television stations including CNBC, Bloomberg TV, BBC and CNN. In 2013, Oduwole was listed in the New African Magazine‘s list of “100 Most Influential People in Africa”.
In the event which was titled “Lunch with Zuriel Oduwole”, was made up of high achieving students, young teachers and young entrepreneurs, all of whom are either students or were recently students, the event hosted at the Coral Blue Restaurant in Lagos as a mini summit over lunch, gave birth to “child-like” solutions which can be deployed in a short period of time, and involving community leaders.
I never knew that they were preparing a special award for me but when I kept on seeing emails and messages like ” Hello, this is Zuriel Oduwole and I am looking forward to seeing you at the event today” – it sounded different but I assumed it was a random message. Another suspicion came when we were been checked in and asked to write our names. When I was busy penning down my name and I wrote Okoye Somtochukwu Lady Diana, the look on one of the female volunteers face was suspicious because she smiled and said “Oh! You are the Somto”. I have never met her before, so I was wondering why she was so excited that “I am the Somto”, I was just suspecting everything, the manner in which Zuriel and her parents were looking at me -oh ! I also thought it was my hair that was dragging attention (the puff puff style).
Okay, when Zuriel wanted to present the award to me, she stood up and said “There is person here that we will like to specially give an award to because of her contribution in the Educational Sector”….. Everywhere was quiet.. then she said – the person is Somto. I smiled and moved up to take it as everyone began to clap.
It was at that moment, that each and every person at the event wanted to know who I was & what I do in order to know why I was the only one awarded – I didn’t do much. I just do the things I love doing.
During the program, I got interviewed by the TV station that covered the life event. It was later published at Guardian Newspapers and the ShalomtruthsMagazine. I was asked about the challenges I face in my University education and how I think it should be changed.
This was my reply;
The educational sector is doing quite well but there are some people that are messing it up. For instance, back then during my 100 level departmental examination in school.
We had barely written for 1:10 mins out of the 2hr: 30mins that was scheduled for the examination when a lecturer heard a little noise in the hall and ordered the entire class of about 100 students to stop writing and asked all of us to submit our answer booklet. The students were innocent because we did not even know who exactly made the noise.
This man doesn’t understand that he is ruining the future because for most of that knew what to write, we were stopped before the time and this is turn has a multiplier effect on our CGPA. He is not disciplined to know that he cannot just stop an examination like that based on his personal feelings.
Later on, this same lecturer came into our class and told us that we failed wholly in the examination. So, how does he expect us to pass when we didn’t even finish. This particular lecturer in my department is fund of that, and he barely even comes to class, he is very unserious with his job and I think people like him should be removed from the system in order to make it better.
We were asked to share our ideas on the issue of girl child Education but my answer was contrary to the original belief. This was what I wrote down;
I hail from the Eastern part of the country and over here, the challenges we face are not that of the Girl Child education. It is a different scenario here as we face the problem of Boys not going to school. Owing to the lifestyle of the Igbos, they are involved in the Mater-Servant trade(Nwa boy) whereby the boys serve their Oga for a particular number of years lets say 5- 10years and at the end of it gets settled with some amount of money in order to start his own business.
More so, I wish to invite Zuriel Oduwole to come to the Eastern part of the Country especially Anambra State in order to carry out some of her projects and I will be willing to assist.
My award was a package, that tells me to “Bring out the good recognition”.
This is the magazine of one of the young girls at the event. Mercy Ebuetse is the owner of Shalomtruths Magazine, she is a young entrepreneur, blogger and a Civil engineer. You can see her picture by Clicking here. I also met Tolu Enaife, you can see her pictures by Clicking here too
Many young people with creative minds were interested in meeting each other and knowing more about themselves. This gentleman at the picture approached me and told me that he is a journalist and he will like to work with me in order to interview me and publish in his next magazine.
This young guy also approached me and said he wanted to learn from me. I willingly accepted the request and began to tell him the factors that influenced the things I do. He acknowledge my hairstyle and said he likes the way I look really simple and NATURAL.
The program was titled “Lunch with Zuriel Oduwole”. So, at the end, we all had lunch.