May 22, 2015

12 years old, 14 chiefs of state interviewed and wanting to become US president

The global initiative for women’s rights and opportunities Chime for Change, a Gucci project, is centred on people’s support and contribution. Be it that they buy a Gucci fragrance and, this way, direct a fraction of its value to get a project financed. Be it donating through the crowd funding platform. Or be it the case that they share with those around insight into the issues faced by millions of women around the world, information about solutions, success stories – shortly, they #ChimeforChange!

Or, as it is the case of passionate and dedicated social entrepreneurs, they take in their own hands the strive to better the quality of the education, medical services and social context that these women have access to. Within the framework of their projects, they supply themselves with motivation and resources of their own in order to make the world a bettered place.

It is also the case of Zuriel Oduwole, a 12 year old girl from California. Zuriel is a remarkable person: she is already two school years head of her age and, since age 9, has started off on the grown up and maturity-demanding career path of social development. Not in the literal sense of the term, of course, but in the no more than three years since Zuriel has found her calling, she has accomplished more than many professionals do in a lifetime.

It all started with joining a school documentaries competition. It was the starting point of the Nigerian and Mauritian origins girl who wanted to learn by herself how to outline, produce and edit video material. So far, the youngest person to show a self produced movie in a commercial cinema (in Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Great Britain and Japan) has made 4 documentaries.

The latest among them, A Promising Africa, has firmed Zuriel’s status and footing with premieres such as features in Forbes, on BBC, CNN or Bloomberg TV or the invitation to speak at a Columbia University event.

Additionally, for her documentaries or as standalone projects, she has interviewed 14 presidents and prime ministers, plus personalities such as American civil rights activist Jesse Jackson, the richest man on the African continent Aliko Dangote or Venus and Serena Williams.

What’s more, working on her Technology and Education documentary, Zuriel got to know up close the lack of educational opportunities that children, especially girls, in Africa are facing. Ever since, educational activism has become one of her extracurricular activities. Up until today, Zuriel has travelled to 10 countries and spoken to 21 000 children about education as key to a brighter future.

In fact, all of Zuriel’s activities have been joined under the Dream Up Speak Up Stand Up umbrella. Her younger sisters, Azaliah and Arielle shoulder in on her multiple projects, as well as in exploring new interests in what has long since become more than children’s play.

Zuriel says that ’’I’m hoping that when people see these documentaries they will see Africa is full of positive things – not just the things that are on the news like war, famine, disease.’’

Meanwhile, by learning more about Zuriel, we see that, actually, the world full of positive things.

#ChimeforChange!

Zuriel Oduwole Chime for Change

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Photos: Zuriel Oduwole, huffingtonpost.com