LONDON: In the latest episode of ‘My Next Guest Needs No Introduction,’ the talk-show host speaks on details about Malala Yousafzai’s activism and life as a college student.
After two episodes spent with former president Barack Obama and actor George Clooney, David Letterman now sat down with Malala Yousafzai to discuss her social activism and life as a college student.
The first segment of episode kicked off with Letterman tailing asking various questions from Yousafzai while she gave a tour for prospective students of her Oxford college, Lady Margaret Hall, the first women’s college at the university. “I’m from Ball State.
Anyone apply to Ball State?” Letterman joked. But back in New York, Letterman started off his discussion with Yousafzai on a more serious topic. He asked her about her language proficiency, a question inspired by the activist’s 2014 address accepting the Nobel Peace Prize, when she was 17 years old. Yousafzai responded that because she had many teachers in her family – her grandfather, father and grandfather – she learned how to deliver her message.
She said that she didn’t want to accept the prize just for herself, but for the 130 million girls worldwide who are still without an education. Girls’ education is Yousafzai’s main goal, having been the subject of an anonymous BBC blog that caught the attention of the Taliban when she still lived in Pakistan; since fleeing the country Yousafzai has instituted a school for Syrian refugees in Lebanon and is building another in Pakistan, with plans for more worldwide. During the episode, Letterman pressed Yousafzai on her ideas for her future, asking if she had political ambitions. “Me?” she laughed, “No.” After Oxford, she said, “I want to continue my work for girls’ education, that’s what I have dedicated my life to, and I want to see more young girls getting a quality education, getting empowered, and becoming leaders of today and tomorrow.”
Letterman then shifted the conversation to the state of the U.S. After Letterman mentioned Trump administration budget proposals that have slashed funding for education, Yousafzai added, “This is really tragic that this is happening, and it does worry me that these leaders, they talk about eradicating extremism and ending poverty and then they ignore education. That’s the first thing you need to do, you need to give education to the future generation and allow them the opportunity to follow their dreams and then contribute to their economies and their countries.” When initially asked about Trump, Yousafzai punted, saying, “Well I’m in the U.K., so what do you think about him?” while holding up her hands. But later, after Letterman voiced his opinion that Trump was unfit to represent anyone in the auditorium, the activist chimed in. “Some of the things have really disappointed me, like sexual harassment and the ban on Muslims and racism. You see all these things and you feel that America, being known for human rights and liberty and freedom, that country should be leading on human rights,” said her. For a comic relief, Letterman played a game with Yousafzai, asking her to choose between two words and explain which she preferred. “Kanye or Jay-Z,” noting that she likes the “latest songs” but never looks to see who made it. The episode ended on a lighter note when Yousafzai asked Letterman if she could ask him a few questions, which he assented to. “Beard or no beard?” she joked.