Malala Yousafzai: A child human rights and education activist

by Yahaya Balogun

The indefatigable strong young 16 year old Pakistani schoolgirl, Malala Yousafzai is the first youngest person to be nominated and won a EU peace prize for human rights, she is also the first youngest individual among the 100 most influential persons in the world in year 2012. Her eloquent voice resonates for millions of voices around the world. She also share her story among people whose irrepressible and doggedness; symbol of courage and conviction have given hope and aspiration to children and women deprived of education by ignoramus around the world.

Education, according to her opens doors to light in place of darkness; peace in place of wars; love in place of hatred. The teenage girl mesmerized her audience and delegates at the United Nations in 2013, where she delivered a heart rendering speech on the need to educate children and women in the world including the children of the Taliban. Taliban who conspired to silence her to make her a martyr failed, instead Malala succeeded in becoming a color of hope and symbol.

Her reference to world figures like Matin Luther king of United States, Mandela of South Africa and Mother Teresa of India and a host of others, who have shaped the world is a testament to her vintage position as agent of change in this auspicious period in world history. Despite her ordeal in the hands of the Taliban after being shot in the head, she said, she has forgiven them and wants a better life for them and their children through education having realized that education is a strong weapon for change. Malala declared that she draws her inspiration from Prophet Muhammed and Jesus Christ (PBUT) and her parents who preached forgiveness, love and peace to mankind.

To the Muslim world, Malala is a golden gift that should be embraced to deconstruct the mind of those with the mindset of Islam as a religion of war. Malala posited that Islam is a religion of peace, humanity and brotherhood. At her tender age, in her debut memoir, titled: “I am Malala”, she hopes to raise awareness for more than 61 million children around the world who are being deprived of education. The book is a must read book for all and the extremists who have lost their meek of human kindness.

Her relevant citation about Nigeria, where Boko Haram and child marriage hold sway in debarring education for girls is a food for thought for these extremists and the government of Nigeria. Malala, a teenager relayed her fearless message to the Taliban and the terrorists through her speech at the United Nations that she has conquered fear as “weakness, fear, hopelessness died; strength, power and courage was born”. She concluded to the admiration of the world that: “One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world. Education is the only solution. Education first”.

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