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“You are the world’s most powerful girl” – John Kerry tells Zuriel Oduwole

BellaNaija.com

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As the chief foreign affairs executive in the Obama Administration, the US Secretary of State – the Rt. Hon. John Kerry in between managing global trouble and flashpoints China, Syria, Iran, Israel and Brexit, has met with 14-year-old Zuriel Oduwole in his office at the U.S. State Department in Washington DC, to honor her.

He commended Zuriel for her ‘clarity of purpose’ in her fight for Girls Education in Africa through her Dream Up, Speak Up, Stand Up project and her other secondary initiatives such as her filmmaking class for unemployed youths. She has now taught filmmaking to more than 305 youths across 4 African countries – including Namibia, Kenya, Mauritius and Nigeria. The secretary was impressed that a student from her first film class workshop in February 2016 – 24 year old Namibian Anna Kalola, produced her first documentary just 9 months later, in November 2016 in Windhoek.

“I don’t believe there is anyone out there under the age of 35 doing anything nearly as much as what you are doing,” the Secretary told Zuriel. “It is incredible you have seen clearly the importance of these global challenges, and taken bold steps to do something about them. As far as I know, you are the world’s most powerful Girl, but you probably just don’t know it! You are inspiring and empowering Africa’s youth, and that is powerful”. “I try, Zuriel replied,” but Secretary Kerry responded saying ‘No, you are not trying, you are a doer, and we like to recognize talent like yours”.

Zuriel asked Secretary Kerry what his most difficult challenge was in the last four years as Secretary of State. In one word, he replied ‘Syria’. He explained the difficulty was because of the various proxies and complexities of dealing with many factions with varying interests in the country.

Secretary Kerry told the  young, independent filmmaker, who has now met one-one-one with 23 World leaders, addressed more than 24,900 children across 11 countries on Education, and who was invited to speak at the UN last September, that because of her continued development work, she might one day be a future U.S. Secretary of State, or as many in the diplomatic circles now believe, perhaps the youngest UN Secretary-General in history.

Zuriel thanked the Secretary for not leaving out the issue of Girls Education in his programs over the last 4 years, and hopes the next US Secretary of State continues with Secretary Kerry’s policies, when he or she takes over after January 20th.

22 Comments

  1. A Real Nigerian

    January 13, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    Who?

    • Anon

      January 13, 2017 at 3:43 pm

      It’s all flattery/complimentary. He probably said the same when he met Malala. Remember, he’s a politician and a diplomat..

    • o

      January 13, 2017 at 3:57 pm

      lol!!! be nice na… lol. shes young n doing really well for her age

    • Sevenade

      January 13, 2017 at 9:34 pm

      A low-life girl is trying to beef someone who has interviewed presidents, world-renowned celebrities, etc. She has carved a niche for herself. What have you achieved? If you can’t accept that she is the world’s most powerful girl, pls, accept that she is far more influential than you.

  2. madman

    January 13, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    How can you teach filmmaking when you don’t know too much about the craft? Lmao ~

    • Ewa

      January 13, 2017 at 4:55 pm

      At least she’s making a change in her own little way. What have you done? What don’t you run in your lane and stop worrying about someone else?

    • Nahum

      January 13, 2017 at 7:57 pm

      Don’t mind them o. You are busy criticizing her, yet what have you done to make the world a better place. This is why I hate discussing with Nigerians. Over critical yet no action

    • le coco

      January 13, 2017 at 4:59 pm

      U that u knw much about ur own craft.. What have you taught.. why can’t ppl jst appreciate someone.. This young girl has achieved more in her short time than most of u commenting nonsense.. no matter how little her knowledge is.. she is helping people.. changing lives.. .. Stop with ur negativity

    • seriously

      January 13, 2017 at 6:41 pm

      Your ignorance is laughable. You will be surprise how much knowledge she knows about filmmaking because she’s investing her time acquiring knowledge and putting it into practice. Reading, and with exposure to more information, high level of technology nowadays, you can become expert at so many things without going to school for it. Some of these young kids will teach adults about history, computer coding, vocabulary, math equations etc I think this younger generation will outsmart us in so many ways. I see how much my young cousins know about the world, their environment, I’m stunned. The other day, my laptop was acting up, my 10yr old cousin literally fixed it. I asked, how did you know that he said, I watch a lot of things about computer on Youtube.

      Your comment confirms the reason Nigerian youths innovation and creativity is at a lower level to non existent. Book smart is different from using your critical, logical, innovative, imagination skills. Whether John Kerry is being the usual politician or not, it’s impressive that a young girl her age is even doing something different to make a small impact in the world. She’s thinking outside of herself, obsession with boys, makeup what majority of teenagers are doing now and even adults.

    • Damilola

      January 13, 2017 at 10:37 pm

      @seriously
      Gosh I love everything about your comment. Thanks for educating the commenter without insult. The direction technology has taken us to and where it’s leading us to is truly remarkable.

    • Oluwafunmi Oke

      January 14, 2017 at 2:30 am

      I thought you made a little sense, until I saw that one of her students from 9 months ago has already made a new film [see The Namibian Newspaper]. So, she has something she is doing right. For her age, she is doing wonderfully. Maybe you should humble ourself and find our how she is doing it so well, instead of trying to put her down. That’s what I think O. Besides, according to CNN and CNBC, she is the worlds youngest filmmaker. Me I did little research before speaking. You should too !!

  3. Tosin

    January 13, 2017 at 5:42 pm

    UNSG! Love.

  4. Tee

    January 13, 2017 at 5:45 pm

    Awon agbaya!!!!!! Did you miss that part that says she’s 14, met 23 world leaders? I bet you guys were still playing 10-10 and Baba suwe at that age, lol. Abi wetin you don achieve now sef. Anyway, time still dey for your children since your lazy self didn’t do so much. But pls learn to appreciate talent and especially hardwork of parents on their children.

    • LemmeRant

      January 13, 2017 at 7:57 pm

      Lol. @ 10-10

      Funny memories.

    • Nahum

      January 13, 2017 at 7:59 pm

      I tire

    • Engoz

      January 13, 2017 at 10:25 pm

      Lol. I don’t think I did anything productive at 14. At 14 my brain was restricted to washing plates. Good job Zuriel! I think the next generation will thrash our behinds. Can’t wait!

  5. Baby oku

    January 13, 2017 at 6:50 pm

    Gosh, I live for Bella Nija comments.

  6. tobi

    January 13, 2017 at 7:16 pm

    Well done little girl. Making headlines with out any yeyefowl eye brows on flick tings.

  7. Nahum

    January 13, 2017 at 7:59 pm

    Zuriel well done jare!!!!! You are an inspiration and may God bless you

  8. dijalolade

    January 13, 2017 at 8:02 pm

    thumbs up love.

  9. Sultana

    January 13, 2017 at 8:31 pm

    Well done! You are an awesome inspiration Zuriel! Sure you’ll achieve even more

  10. timmyblast

    January 14, 2017 at 5:55 am

    zuriel, thank God for giving you the environment to blossom

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