PAKISTANI activist Malala Yousafzai, the youngest-ever recipient of a Nobel Peace Prize, finished secondary school of Friday and officially joined Twitter, and within 30 minutes, gained an impressive 100,000 followers, according to an Indian daily.
“We’re not sure but we’re guessing that has to be some kind of record,” NDTV wrote about an hour after Malala’s Twitter debut.
At the time of writing, an estimated 14 hours after her first tweet, the 19-year-old has more than tripled that number to hit over 367,000 followers on the microblogging site.
Malala’s maiden tweet was a simple “Hi, Twitter” post, which has since been liked 154,008 times, retweeted 32,944 times and triggered over 5,800 responses. Although she joined the Twittersphere in 2012, the activist’s account has remained dormant until Friday’s posting.
— Malala (@Malala) July 7, 2017
In her next post, Malala started a thread to explain her plans for the future, now that she’s no longer in school.
She then rallied her Twitter followers for support in her fight for gender equality and female education.
On and off Twitter, I'm fighting for girls — will you join me?✋🏾 6/
— Malala (@Malala) July 7, 2017
Malala first gained prominence in 2009 for her writings in a diary she maintained under the pseudonym ‘Gul Makai’ (meaning corn flower), which was published on BBC Urdu online. In this diary, Malala would write openly about her experiences during the Taliban’s occupation of Swat Valley in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, northwest Pakistan, where she lived.
In 2012 at age 15, the schoolgirl activist was forced to escape to Britain after she was shot in the head by the Taliban. She survived her injury and quickly rose to become a global symbol of defiance against Islamist violence and a voice for female education rights.
She founded the Malala Fund in 2013, an international organisation advocating for female education worldwide.
— Malala Fund (@MalalaFund) July 7, 2017
In 2014, Malala became the youngest-ever recipient of a Nobel Peace Prize. In April this year, she again became the youngest person to receive another prestigious award – the Messenger of Peace designation, also known as the UN’s highest honour.
According to The New York Times, the young activist who completed secondary school in Birminghim, England, intends to attend college but has not revealed where.
In an interview with Teen Vogue in April, Malala expressed some nervousness at the thought of college.
“It is quite a good moment because you live without your parents and you live in a college, and that’s the exciting part,” she said.
“After that I’m not sure what I’m going to do in terms of career, but I’m really sure that I’m going to be focused on the Malala Fund and the work we do for girls’ education, so that’s going to be my mission.”
Malala’s celebrity status was recently challenged by a Pakistani lawmaker. In a startling revelation, the lawmaker, Mussarat Ahmadzeb, an MP from the Pakistani Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, alleged during an interview that the 2012 attack on Malala was just part of a “drama” that was “scripted way before the incident.”
A PTI spokesman later challenged Mussarat’s credibility, saying the lawmaker was no longer a member of the party.