Malala Yousafzai is certainly a young woman with a lot to to say.
As a girl growing up under Taliban occupation in Pakistan, Yousafzai penned a diary for BBC Urdu from the age of 12, sharing her daily experiences under the oppressive regime as she braved the life-threatening consequences of going against the Taliban’s ban on girls attending school.
At the age of 14, those fears became a reality for Yousafzai when she was shot in the head by Taliban gunmen on her way home from school – all because she had dared to demand that girls receive an education.
Undeterred by her terrifying ordeal, the young activist used her newfound platform to share her views on equality and education with a much bigger audience. And, in 2014, Yousafzai was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her activism, making her the youngest recipient of the prestigious award in its history.
Nevertheless, there is one place where Yousafzai has been notably quiet… until now.
Despite joining Twitter way back in 2012, Yousafzai’s account has remained dormant until she broke her social media silence a few days ago.
After opening with a simple “hi, Twitter”, Yousafzai wasted no time in getting to the point: she explained that she had just finished her final day of secondary school, and that she was feeling grateful for having been granted the opportunity to safely complete her education.
In true activist form, she immediately called upon her followers to lend their support to her fight for education and equality for girls around the globe.
Graduating from secondary school (high school) is bittersweet for me. I'm excited about my future, but... 2/— Malala (@Malala) July 7, 2017
....I know that millions of girls around the world are out of school and may never get the opportunity to complete their education. 3/— Malala (@Malala) July 7, 2017
Each girl’s story is unique — and girls' voices are our most powerful weapons in the fight for education and equality. 5/— Malala (@Malala) July 7, 2017
With 662,000 followers at the time of writing, Yousafzai is rapidly increasing her reach across the world – and she is only too aware of the importance of social media in achieving her mission of reaching out to young girls and getting more people to care about their education.
“There's still a lot that needs to be done in terms of engaging people more across the globe,” she told Refinery 29.
Fans, including her father, fellow activist Ziauddin Yousafzai, were quick to show their support:
Of course! We must fight for our girls and empower our girls, so that they too, can be role models for future generations of female leaders!— Melissa A. Padilla (@meli_ale_padi) July 8, 2017
While a few famous faces welcomed her to Twitter and shared their admiration...
When asked about her silence on the social media platform until now, Yousafzai confirmed that she has been focusing on her studies – and made a conscious decision to wait until after her exams before making her Twitter debut.
Thank you to everyone for the warm welcome. I'm still reading all your replies and it may take awhile. Glad I joined AFTER exams!— Malala (@Malala) July 8, 2017
And Mindy Kaling was quick to praise her for the sensible approach...
Yousafzai will not have time on her hands for long, as she is diving straight into her summer “break” by continuing her Girl Power Trip as of this week, visiting girls in the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America.
It is then expected that Yousafzai will attend Oxford University to study Philosophy, Politics and Economics later this year.
We’re sure that she’s going to have a lot more to say, so follow along here.
Image: REX Features