Zuriel Oduwole


The phrases “Action” or “Cut” and “That’s A Wrap” are truly synonymous with the entertainment industry, specifically filmmaking and motion picture development.
But these scenes do not occur, without the backing and funding from studios, production houses or deep pocket independent producers and directors.

A new generation of powers behind the industry is emerging – Black Women, and this month, 15 of such influencers are profiled in a new feature in LA Magazine, and they are directors, movie funding gatekeepers, producers, program executives and writers from big-name players such as Paramount Pictures, BET Networks, Extra!, AEG, City National Bank and Revolt.
And then a certain 15-year-old documentary filmmaker called Zuriel Oduwole, youthfully perched at the top left of the group portrait, made the cut.

She made her first film at the age of 9 about the Ghana Revolution, and her fourth film at the age of 12, showed in 2 movie theatre chains overseas and screened in Ghana, the UK, Nigeria, South Africa and Tokyo – Japan.
It made her the youngest producer in the world to show their self-produced and self-edited film in a commercial movie theatre chain. Indeed, a new dawn is breaking in Hollywood.

Girl-child education advocate and filmmaker Zuriel Oduwole spoke alongside Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Ndaba Mandela at an event organised by one of France’s largest social development NGO’s Printemps Solidaire.

The event brought more than 500,000 youths to the Champs Elysees, in celebrating the power of youths in changing the perception of social issues across the globe.

Zuriel shared her experiences as head of Dream Up, Speak Up, Stand Up (DUSUSU) Foundation. She spoke about balancing being a youth, with her interests such as Girl Education advocacy and Filmmaking. Ndaba Mandela, the Grandson of the South African icon Nelson Mandela and head of Africa Rising Foundation, spoke about the importance of a good Legacy, having come from one himself – Mandela.

Melinda Gates commended Zuriel for finding her passion early, and working to make a difference in the lives of girls across the globe. Zuriel shared her idea of building an e-school platform for girls in the rural parts of Africa.

Zuriel Oduwole in a chat with Melinda Gates

Zuriel Oduwole in a chat with Melinda Gates

L-R: Zuriel Oduwole, Bill Gates and Ndaba Mandela

L-R: Zuriel Oduwole, Bill Gates and Ndaba Mandela

Source: Bellanaija

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.