Who is ZURIEL ODUWOLE
On June 10th 2020, a process began to recall California’s current chief executive – Governor Gavin Newsome. He was elected in the year 2019. Who would have thought that possible for a California Governor – a Democrat, to be recalled in an election process in just 2 years in a Democrat-leaning state, but again, it is California – a state with a population of about 40 million citizens. That is almost 40 million very diverse and highly optimistic views and opinions to consider every morning – if you are Governor.
“What I have l learned, is that the power of ONE person, matters. More importantly, today, is the power and the voice of we youth; those of us aged 18 – 25. We can truly make a difference”, 18-year-old Zuriel Oduwole shared, as she made her first media address about the current state and issues of California.
She laid out the reasons for this belief. “In 2017, I spoke at an event in Paris, at the Place De La Concorde as part of a program to talk about the power of youth in an election season. On the first day of the week-long event organized by Printemp Solidaire, over 500,000 youths showed up, to listen to us all speak. But guess what. Just ten days later, France elected its youngest President since the Republic was founded more than 200 years ago, in the person of President Emmanuel Macron”.
Today, here in what was once called the “Wild Wild West” a little over a hundred years ago, the voice of the youth [that was totally unheard of back in that era] can and could make all the difference, in deciding who would be the next Governor of our great state of California. The incumbent, or a fresh set of hands, she said as she closed her statements.
Some have already begun to ask if this precocious young lady would formally consider running for Governor of the world’s 6th largest economy, an economy that tops that of France, and also Canada. Perhaps it’s her experience and suave on the world stage, where she has met personally with over 30 world leaders [Presidents and Prime Ministers].
At the age of 13, she led a peace initiative in New York between Guyana and Venezuela, over the disputed Essequibo oil Territory, first sitting with President David Granger of Guyana to speak in a childlike manner, about whom the real casualties of war would always be – children, all of whom always have no-decision in the start of such a war.
A year later at the age of 14, she was honored at the State Department by US Secretary of State John Kerry, for her global initiatives since the age of 10, that advocate for out-of-school girls across the globe, especially in Africa.
The global COP23 conference on Climate in Bonn – Germany was her next global stage at the age of 15. She spoke on behalf of the world’s youth about the effects and reality of rising sea levels and a “changed climate” from what we were all used to – something Californian’s are all too familiar with, with the wildfires and droughts.
It was at the age of 16 in 2018 that she met with President Filipe Nyusi in Mozambique, a country with a high rate of girl marriage, to talk about the importance of girls being educated, showing herself and her achievements as an example of why. A year later in the summer of 2019, Mozambique formally outlawed child marriage.
At 17, Zuriel sat down with her first Arab leader – President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi of Egypt, during the Arab blockade of Qatar, to discuss a wide range of issues, covering peace and stability in the region, and the voice of youths, especially young women in Egypt and the Arab world. It was the first time an American teenager was meeting an Arab leader, on national television – a very symbolic development in the middle-east.
Now just 18, she is lending her voice yet again but now domestically in the United States, at a critical time in California’s history, a state where she was born and raised, while probably at the same time perhaps – witnessing the making of US history.
Written By: Ellen Racketien