Lisa Wilkinson interviews Malala Yousafzai.

“I believe in tolerance, and that we should forgive people, and help them to be better, and give them love so that they do not pick up guns tomorrow.”

“So you have forgiven the men that shot you?”

“Yes, I have forgiven them.”

This was just one extraordinary exchange that emerged from the 10-minute interview between The Today Show host Lisa Wilkinson and Nobel Peace prize winner Malala Yousafzai.

Malala has a girly smile and a penchant for hot pink, but as soon as she opens her mouth, the illusion of youth disappears. She speaks with confidence and wisdom beyond her years. It is no wonder this intelligent, passionate and engaging young woman has become a global ambassador for gender equality and education in the middle east.


The video poster for the new feature film He Named Me Malala.

In October of 2012, Malala was shot on the bus en route to school by Taliban insurgents, who were targeting her and her family for their support for female education in the region. Prior to this, at just age 11, Malala had been smuggling information out of the Taliban occupied Swat for a BBC blog and later, a New York Times documentary.

But it was the assassination attempt and her spectacular recovery to spread the message of gender equality that has made Malala the most famous teenager in the world.

You can watch the full interview below. (Post continues after video)

Lisa Wilkinson has interviewed everyone — from Hollywood celebrities to many prime ministers — but even she seems awestruck in her interview with Malala. (To be honest, even Harry Potter star Emma Watson gushed her way through her interview with Malala at the global premiere last week — no one is safe!)


The magic of Malala seems to affect everyone in her presence and beyond — something she is apparently unaware of as she seats serenely with hands folded in her lap, politely awaiting her next question. It is inspiring to watch how unfazed Malala is about the media frenzy that follows her every move.


Malala and her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, of whom she credits her confidence, education, and beliefs.

Lisa and Malala speak about everything from her father and his influence on her life to where she keeps her hoard of international awards — which include everything from a Grammy to a Nobel Peace Prize.

Malala is warm, friendly, and exceptionally eloquent in her delivery, barely missing a beat as she shares her dream for education for all children across the globe. And whilst she is still softly shy and reserved, Malala takes no prisoners as she speaks frankly about her home in Pakistan, the shooting, and the terrorism that is sweeping her homeland.

In her final question, Lisa asks Malala — how do all the little girls out there, who are inspired by her and want to be more like Malala, follow in her footsteps?

“Well my advice to all girls and every child is that they should believe in themselves and believe that their voice really, really matters; and that they should come forward and contribute to their society. We need them.”

Tremendous advice from a tremendous young woman.

You might also like…

He Named Me Malala: The new documentary that explores the life of Malala Yousafzai.

What Emma Watson said that inspired Malala Yousafzai.

Malala: “Books are a better investment in our future than bullets.”