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Oduwole takes child education campaign on world tour, premieres docu-film

Ademola Oduwole; Patricia Oduwole; Zuriel Oduwole, and Edward Ngoya, during Zuriel’s documentary premiere at Transcorp Hilton… in Abuja. PHOTO: LUCY LADIDI ELUKPO

The premier of Zuriel Oduwole’s documentary held last week at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, with a lot of dignitaries in attendance. The documentary, which lasted over an hour, centres on the determination of a 14-year old girl to effect changes in the lives of less privileged children across the world.

All she has done, those she has met, countries toured and the aim of her project are all communicated to her audience through her power of narration. Presented in a clear, articulated manner, young Oduwole carries her audience along in her numerous journeys across the world – from Tanzania to Brazil, Kenya, Ethiopia and down to Nigeria, her native country. Oduwole’s monologue is often interrupted with the meeting of a personality, who appends signature on her football.

While speaking on her motivation for the project, Oduwole stated that she was moved by the realisation that a lot of children within school age, especially in Africa are out of school.

According to her, “Some of them are younger; others older than I am. They are out of school, deprived, denied, lacking in basic cares, sometimes, orphaned.”

In fact, the underprivileged children featured prominently in her documentary as she attempts to identify with them in most of the countries in Africa, where such sights abound. So, moved with compassion and the determination to chart an assuring future for her peers, young Oduwole begins the journey that brings her in contact with many world leaders and heads of state.

Through her organisation, Dream Up, Speak Up, Stand Up, over 20 world leaders were interviewed on issues affecting children and girls. Going from one country to the other, the child education advocate undermines the rigours of travels and breaks geographical barriers as she takes world policymakers on the need to secure the future of children across the world, particularly the poor and the deprived.

“To get interview with heads of state, I often send them letters through their offices and wait for their response. Some times they say ‘yes;’ some times, they say ‘no’, and I continue.” she informed.

Born in the U.S. to a Mauritius mother and a Nigerian father, Oduwole’s documentary also captures her meeting with some prominent Nigerians, including the renowned playwright, poet and Nobel laureate in Literature, Prof. Wole Soyinka, former Governor of Rivers State and now Minister of Transport, Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi as well as the Osun State governor, Rauf Aregbesola.

Unfortunately, the young girl expressed sadness over passing away publisher of The Guardian, Mr. Alex Ibru, who died on November 20, 2011. From her account, she visited Rutam House, Lagos, a few years back to see the late publisher, whom she had read about and whose philosophy she admired, which she said was centred on giving voice to the voiceless.

“But it was too late,” she laments in her documentary.

Oduwole aspires to become a Robotics Engineer in the nearest future and later in life become the President of United States of America so she could make policies and take decisions that would change the lives of African children for the better. Until then, however, she said she would not relent in her campaign for the girl-child education until needed actions are taken.

While speaking on the impact of the tour on her education, she said she has missed nothing, saying that although she might not be physically present in school, she was nevertheless studying through the Internet.

At 14 and eldest of the four children of her parents, young Oduwole said she does what every other 14-year does, adding that the only difference being that whenever she sees something she doesn’t like, she speaks up about it in order to draw the attention of relevant authorities to it.

In this article:
Alex IbruZuriel Oduwole


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