Malala Yousafzai tells Vogue about wanting to go to McDonald’s at university and the significance of her headscarf | Ents & Arts News


Malala Yousafzai has said that she “finally” found time for herself while at university, as she appeared on the front of British Vogue magazine.

Ms Yousafzai, who is the youngest Nobel Prize Laureate in the world at 23, completed her philosophy, politics and economics degree at Oxford last year.

Reflecting on her time at university, she told the publication: “I was excited about literally anything. Going to McDonald’s or playing poker with my friends or going to a talk or an event.

Malala is on the front of the latest British Vogue. Pic: Nick Knight/Vogue
Malala is on the front of the latest British Vogue. Pic: Nick Knight/Vogue

“I was enjoying each and every moment because I had not seen that much before.”

In 2015, she was shot in the head by the Taliban, after she campaigned for girls to receive education in her home country of Pakistan.

She said she had “never really been in the company of people my own age because I was recovering from the incident, and travelling around the world, publishing a book and doing a documentary, and so many things were happening”.

“At university I finally got some time for myself.”

Ms Yousafzai added that her fame impacted her schooling in Birmingham, with people asking her about encounters with figures such as Barack Obama or Emma Watson.

“I wouldn’t know what to say. It’s awkward, because you want to leave that Malala outside the school building, you want to just be a student and a friend,” she said.

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Ms Yousafzai is photographed wearing a red head scarf on the front page of the magazine, and goes on to talk about the importance of the item of clothing to her.

She said: “It’s a cultural symbol for us Pashtuns, so it represents where I come from.

“And Muslim girls or Pashtun girls or Pakistani girls, when we follow our traditional dress, we’re considered to be oppressed, or voiceless, or living under patriarchy.

“I want to tell everyone that you can have your own voice within your culture, and you can have equality in your culture.”

Editor-in-chief of British Vogue Edward Enninful said: “When it comes to people I admire, Malala Yousafzai is right at the top.

Malala has met with world leaders as part of her work as peace laureate. Pic: Reuters
Malala has met with world leaders as part of her work as peace laureate. Pic: Reuters

“At 23, the world’s most famous university graduate has already lived so many lives. Activist, author, tireless campaigner for girl’s education, daughter, sister, student and survivor.

“Her friend Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, puts it so well: ‘She has a North Star, which always impresses me’. Me too. But who is the young woman behind the myth? Over the course of three days in April, British Vogue spent time getting to know Malala in London.

“I hope you all love getting to know this extraordinary person as much as we did.”

See the full feature in the July issue of British Vogue available via digital download and on news stands from Friday 4 June.

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