Pakistani Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai was on Monday invited by Indian author Twinkle Khanna for a virtual interview. Many remember Malala Yousafzai from the 9th of October 2012 incident when a Taliban gunman shot her as she was on her way to school. Yet, most people remember Malala for her charity works and activism after surviving the bullet.
Who is Malala Yousafzai?
Ever since late 2012, Malala Yousafzai became an advocate for girls’ education and set on a journey to enhance the status of education in Pakistan and women’s rights. Malala became not only the youngest person in the world to win the Nobel Peace Prize, but also to give a speech to the United Nations, and even publish her first book, ‘I Am Malala’. The Pakistani activist has now become a symbol of hope, bravery, and optimism for all school-going girls and women in general.
"20 million girls may never be able to go back to school. #COVID19 has been a striking set back, but it can not be an excuse. We need a profound commitment" – @Malala on #GlobalGoals during #SDGs moment 2020 @UN. pic.twitter.com/XzC5YiLIAG— UN Web TV (@UNWebTV) September 18, 2020
Interview with Indian author Twinkle Khanna
“Malala is a symbol of hope, bravery and optimism. She has been recognized globally for her work for the rights of women especially their education”, Khanna said in the live interview.
While sharing the interview clip, Twinkle Khanna wrote, “Tweak turns one today and to kick off the celebrations we have the wonderful Malala with us. This was a surreal day. It was meant to be an audio interview that turned into a video. I also managed to jab my eye with a kohl pencil, in a hurry. I shouldn’t have really bothered with it, because she made me cry and that kohl only ended up as a smudge. Here we are, talking about using your voice, your platform, to make a difference.“
Over the course of the interview, Malala talked about how she handles being a famous student and shared, “Becoming well known at a very young age was challenging. I did not have anyone to guide me and I had to learn everything myself. I was not like, you know, a TV celebrity. So even the fame and support I got was different. It was like Malala, you are an inspiration for us. So for me, it was like thank you so much for supporting me and thank you for standing up with me. And if they would ask for a picture, why not.”
“I never treat it as celebrity fame but in college, I was a bit overwhelmed with how it was going to. Later it was fine in Oxford. I am sure they have seen celebrity students before as well.” continued Malala.
She then proceeded to talk about what she does for fun and said, “For me, fun means spending time with friends whether that’s going out to a restaurant and having lunch together or going to see a movie. There are many societies in Oxford so I sometimes go to the cricket club. I have also played for my college.” Host Khanna – on live television – can be seen to be particularly impressed by this.
Malala proceeded to talk about the time when she used to get death threats. When asked how she would respond to them, Malala replied, “It was announced on the FM radio by the Taliban spokesperson that from the 15th January 2009, no girl can go out and go to school. I was 11 and it was shut down on schools because they did not believe in women’s rights. For a woman not to be able to get an education means that she is more vulnerable to get married early. She is more vulnerable to be a victim of domestic violence and many things. So for me, a life that way was the worst thing that I could imagine. That is why I started speaking out for my rights and for girls in Swat Valley.”
Malala further added, “I said to myself, Malala, you must be brave. You must not be afraid of anyone. You are only trying to get an education. You are not committing a crime.” Khanna can be seen to be thoroughly touched by Malala’s statement.