It was an educative, informative and interesting time, awhile ago, at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta International School (FUNIS), as students were held spellbound by the young, talented and dynamic Zuriel Oduwole, who challenged them never to give up on their dreams to attain greatness in life. Delivering a motivational talk titled, Dream Up, Speak Up and Stand Up, was the 12-year-old girl Nigerian, based in the United States of America.
The 8th Grade student of Connections Academy, revealed that she would love to become an author, an athlete and President of the United States of America and that “dreaming is important because your dreams, along with your actions, could help determine the future and if it is big enough, it could determine the future of many other people as well”.
The Global Ambassador of the Ethiopian Airlines, said the likes of Dr Martin Luther King, Jnr, the American civil right activist fought for the empowerment of the African child because in the past, African-Americans were being discriminated against and this awareness had now culminated into the emergence of the first black American President, Barack Obama.
She added that President Nelson Mandela also had a similar belief in his dream for South Africa, when he fought against the apartheid of South Africa, which led to its eventual collapse. On the value of education for the girl-child, she said the call is arousing more interest with another young, a Pakistani girl speaking on the issue, despite being attacked by the terror group, Taliban, in 2012.
Zuriel charged the students never to give-up when they fall but should rather rise from such experience and wax stronger because successful people often fall before succeeding in life. Those whom she said did not give-up after failing include Colonel Sanders, founder of KFC outfit, who was turned down after 1009 attempts to sell his recipe, as well as Walt Disney, the founder of Disney World, who was turned down 302 times before making success out of his Disney World.
She charged them to make God the strong foundation on which they would build their dreams, disclosing that just as her name Zuriel suggests; “God is my rock, God is her foundation”, she stated.
We caught up with Zuriel and here is what she had to say;
:Looking at your journey so far, is there anything you think you would have done better or that you would like to change?
Z:I have no regrets or anything I would love to change except for wishing that I wasn’t doing and I try to see if there is anything that I can improve upon, anything I can add to a speech, and anything I can do to help improve the life of the girl-child.In Nigeria, I still see a lot of girls on the streets, trying to sell things and I think what Nigerians could do is to do their best to get all the girls in Nigeria to get educated.
Q:What is the motivation behind the girl-child education and Rebranding Africa Campaign?
Z:What motivates me is the girl-child because I see problems that they are facing everyday and because I am a girl-child and specifically, an African girl-child. I don’t like seeing those things. So, I want to do something about that problem.
Q:Do you have a role model?
Z:My role model is Jesus Christ because I follow Him in the right ways of life.
Q:What parting words do you have for the students of FUNIS?
Z:My parting words for the students of this school are that they should stay educated and make sure they make good grades.
Ademola Oduwole (Zuriel’s Father)was also there. Excerpts:
Q:this part of the world, Sir, parents place more emphasis on certificates
before allowing their kids to venture into anything that is not traditional. What is your take on this, Sir?
:Culture is a major issue that we cannot overcome in a day, or a week, a month, a year or 10 years or so. It has to look at the upbringing as well. But again, we can’t turn down the culture because they are some serious value of culture of respect of honour but there are also new opportunities. The world has changed. For instance, 30 years ago, there were no computers as they are today and then the computer revolution has happened. So, parents can’t say, be a doctor, be a lawyer. How about be a Software Engineer, be a Software Designer, be a Computer Programmer or a Graphic Artist? Those things were not available 30 years ago. So, parents need to educate themselves a little bit about what is going on out there and that would help kids because times have changed but a lot of us parents haven’t changed with the time. So, we are still trying to hold the kids back and say you have to be a lawyer, or you have to be a doctor. No, you don’t have to be.
Last Updated on May 2, 2014 by admin