Pick of the week
He Named Me Malala Tuesday, 7.30pm, Nat Geo People (628) “There’s a moment when you have to choose whether to be silent or to stand up,” says Malala Yousafzai, now 18. As the world knows, at 15 this extraordinary Pakistani student defied the Taliban by standing up for the right of all girls to be educated. The extremists singled her out on a school bus travelling home to Mingora in the Swat Valley and shot her in the head. “They thought the bullets would silence us. I am the same Malala,” she says. Ironically, her activist father, Ziauddin, named her Malala after the Afghan folk heroine Malalai who rallied Pashtun fighters against the British in 1880 and was killed. This inspirational documentary by Davis Guggenheim ( An Inconvenient Truth) paints a moving portrait of what Malala has been through and her dogged determination to keep up the fight which, incidentally, started well before she was shot. Aged 11, she wrote a diary, then a blog, observing the anxiety girls felt about being denied an education. The youngest recipient of a Nobel prize (in 2014), she and her father have always been close. He encouraged her to speak up for what she believed. Courage runs in the family. Ziauddin was an outspoken critic of the Taliban. Articulate, brave, funny, Malala is a born leader. She and her family, including two cheeky brothers, now live in England. She has just passed her final exams with flying colours.