An inspirational educational activist, Ziauddin Yousafzai is the father of Malala Yousafzai, the youngest-ever recipient of the Nobel Prize. A local schoolteacher in Pakistan, he rose to prominence in the late-2000s when the Pakistani Taliban began destroying girl’s schools and banning them from receiving an education. Ziauddin and his daughter Malala took a stand and began their activism to prevent this human right from being taken away from thousands of young women in the country. Since then, Ziauddin has become a hugely sought-after BAME speaker whose unique experiences make for a fascinating listen.
In 2009, his daughter Malala was banned from school by Pakistan’s Taliban leading the pair to fight back. Knowing that the BBC was looking for a blogger to give a student’s perspective on the story, Ziauddin volunteered his daughter for the task. As the pair’s status grew the New York Times filmed a documentary on Malala and her story. As the conflict heightened Ziauddin was separated from his daughter who was sent to stay with relatives in the countryside. During this time Ziauddin began to receive death threats for his numerous criticisms of the militants. Soon after, Malala nearly lost her life in that now-famous assassination attempt.
Growing up Ziauddin struggled with a stutter but took it upon himself to overcome it to prove to his parents he could talk properly. His father was also an educational activist who campaigned for equal opportunities for all, and Ziauddin followed in his footsteps. In 2018, he wrote his autobiography Let Her Fly where he describes his fight for educational equality for all.
Now, Ziauddin spends most of his time working on the Malala Foundation which he co-founded with his daughter. The foundation works in regions where girls do not have equal access to education and strives to give women everywhere the right to 12 years of free, safe, quality education. His work in this area has seen him awarded two honorary doctorates from universities in Canada. When hired as a BAME speaker, Ziauddin is always impassioned when discussing educational rights and his dedication to his life ambition leaves a lasting impact on audiences.