Her Early Life: Malala was born on July 12, 1997 (18 years), to the family of Mr. Ziauddin Yousafzai and Mrs. Tor Pekai Yousafzai, in Mingora, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa town in Pakistan. She came from a family that advocated seriously for the right of everyone to be educated. Her father ran a chain of schools and as a result, Malala was opportune to embrace early child education, learn to stand up and defend her basic right, thus, creating room for her very early quest for the need to educate every girl-child. This kind gesture of hers was welcomed by many and very well supported by her father but it only earned them a death threat by the Taliban group.
HER PASSION FOR GIRL-CHILD EDUCATION:
As one named after a heroine of Maiwand, MALALAI, Yousafzai became too passionate about the education of female children especially after the local Taliban had banned girls from attending school. She advocated for education for women in her native Swat Valley.
This singular act by the local Taliban moved Malala to deliver her first speech titled “ how dare the Taliban take away my basic right to education” in September 2008.
Due to the fear of being attacked by the Taliban, Malala changed her name to GUL MAKAI early 2009 in other to blog for the BBC about the threats and educational denial confronting them as young girls, seeking a way of rescue for her and other girls.
As a role model and an educational activist, in October 2011, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a South African activist, nominated Yousafzai for the International Children’s Peace Prize of the Dutch international children’s advocacy group Kids Rights Foundation. She was awarded Paskitan’s first National Youth Peace Prize in December 2011. In October 2012, she received Paskitan’s third-highest civilian bravery award. In November 2012, she got the Mother Teresa Awards for Social Justice, Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards , Global Trailblazer in April 2013, Humanitarian Award from Harvard University and Honorary Master of Arts degree award by the University of Edinburgh. She was equally named the Pride of Britain in October 2013 and Glamour magazine Woman of the year in 2013, to mention but a few. Still in 2013, Malala was named one of Time Magazine’s influential persons and also won the European Parliament’s Sakharov prize for freedom of thought. Her autobiography tittled “I am Malala, the girl who stood up for education and was shot by the Taliban” was released that same year.
Malala Yousafzai has been adopted as member of international organizations and agencies like UNESCO, UNICEF and global education agencies.
HER ORDEAL WITH THE TALIBAN GUNMAN:
Malala became more recognized, the dangers and death threats against her were published in newspapers and even slipped under her door. The Taliban leaders unanimously agreed to kill her.
On 9 October 2012, the singular act which has made Yousafzai a trailblazer and attracted world’s attention and interest about her occurred. On her way home from school, a masked gunman that had boarded the same bus with the school children shot Malala but thanks to God and kindhearted people that rescued her life in that critical state of health. By March 2013, she started school again and this time, she got more support, fame, endorsement and encouragement more than ever.
AS AN ACTIVIST:
Malala Yousafzai is indeed a typical example of our leader of tomorrow, if given the chance. Despite the assassination attempt on her life, upon recovery she went further to set up the Malala fund to help empower and unlock the potentials of every girl-child under her watch.
To promote this course globally, she made a trip to Nigeria on her 17th birthday, to see the then President of Nigeria, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan over the April 11th 2014 abduction of the well over 200 school girls in Chibok, North-East Nigeria. A trauma, every well meaning Nigerian is still grappling with till today.
As young and upcoming future leaders, we wish to appeal to the Nigerian government to give us a chance, allow our voices to be heard and address properly, our worries over increase in out-of-school children especially girl-child. Globally, we need maximum protection from been abused generally as children, and on a more serious note the struggle of Malala must not die. Her dreams for us in this country must be kept alive and those with the same attribute be encouraged. We need a compulsory education system in our country (Nigeria) especially girl-child education in the North-East.
A contribution from:
CHIDUBEM Divine -Grade 4
ATAUYO Felicita -Grade 4
GARBA Amina- Grade 5
MOSES Faith –Jss1
STEPHEN Sharon –Jss1
OHIOWELE Amelia –Jss1
ADELEYE Richard –Jss3
ADIM Alvin –Jss3
DAVID Roselyn –Jss3.
Supervised by: Mrs Joy Nwateh-Leonard