10 facts about Malala Yousafzai that will inspire Nigerian girls
Malala Yousafzai is just like the girl next door. The only difference is that she is the girl that was shot for going to school. Malala stood up for education and was shot by the Taliban in Pakistan.
Today, she is a Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate. She is known mainly for human rights advocacy. Many of Malala’s quotes have been used across the world to inspire, encourage and lift girls and women in countries where they are denied education and rights to live as they wish.
These 10 facts about Malala will inspire girls in Nigeria to aspire great things.
- Malala was born on 12 July 1997 in Mingora, a town in the Swat District of north-west Pakistan. Her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai named her after Malalai, a Pashtun heroine. Ziauddin, who has always loved learning, ran a school in Swat adjacent to the family’s home. He was known as an advocate for education in Pakistan, which has the second highest number of out of school children in the world, and became an outspoken opponent of Taliban efforts to restrict education and stop girls from going to school.
- In 2009, Malala became an education activist. She shared her father’s passion for learning and loved going to school. In 2009, as the Taliban’s military hold on Swat intensified, Malala began writing a blog for the BBC Urdu service under a pseudonym, about fears that her school would be attacked and the increasing military activity in Swat. Television and music were banned, women were prevented from going shopping and then Ziauddin was told that his school had to close.
- In 2011, Malala received Pakistan’s first National Youth Peace Prize and was nominated by Archbishop Desmond Tutu for the International Children’s Peace Prize. In response to her rising popularity and national recognition, Taliban leaders voted to kill her.
- On October 9th 2012, as Malala and her friends were going home from school, a masked gunman entered their school bus and asked for Malala by name. She was shot with a single bullet which went through her head, neck and shoulder. Two of her friends were also injured in the attack. Malala survived the initial attack, but was in a critical condition. She was moved to Birmingham in the United Kingdom for treatment at a hospital that specialises in military injuries. She was not discharged until January, 2013 by which time she had been joined by her family in the UK.
- In 2013, Malala became a global advocate for the millions of girls being denied a formal education because of social, economic, legal and political factors. Malala and Ziauddin co-founded the Malala Fund to bring awareness to the social and economic impact of girls’ education and to empower girls to raise their voices, to unlock their potential and to demand change.
- The 2013, 2014 and 2015 issues of Time Magazine magazine featured Malala as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in the World.’’ She was the winner of Pakistan’s first National Youth Peace Prize, and the recipient of the 2013Sakharov Prize. In July that year, she spoke at the headquarters of the United Nations to call for worldwide access to education, and in October the Government of Canada announced its intention that its parliament confer Honorary Canadian citizenship upon Malala
- In May 2014, Malala was granted an honorary doctorate by the University of King’s College in Halifax. Nova Scotia.
- Malala accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on 10 December, 2014 with Indian children’s rights and education advocate Kailash Satyarthi. Malala contributed her entire prize money of more than $500,000 to financing the creation of a secondary school for girls in Pakistan.
- In 2015, Malala decided to call herself a feminist after hearing famous American actress Emma Watson’s speech at the UN launching the HeForShe campaign.
- In 2017, Malala revealed she would like to join politics and become the Prime Minister of Pakistan someday. After surviving the murder attempt on her, her life’s motto was to do something special for her country.