Some of you may know me some of you may not but let me tell you a little bit more about myself. My name is Alia Malik, I am of Indian origin and I grew up most of my life in Zambia, a country located in Southern Africa. Growing up in Zambia gave me a different perspective of life—one that only people living in a developing country could understand. My experience in my home country was very different than those of the people growing up in a first world nation, or even from that of my own experiences as a student in the United States and the UK where I am currently living. I grew up in Ndola, a town located on the Zambian Copperbelt region, which had traditionally been a prosperous region until the economy began crumbling. Simultaneously, much like other nations in Africa, Zambia was plagued by HIV/AIDS. Not to mention that there is also limited access to education.
Through my college years at Northeastern University, I often found myself wondering: what kind of path would I like to embrace after my undergraduate experience? Then In those four years the answer to that general wonderment became simple. As a Bachelor of Arts graduate in International Affairs, I am very passionate about being able to bring voice to a problem and I find that the more complex the issue is the more I am motivated to find solutions for these problems, especially in the continent of Africa where I grew up .However, as an economics minor, I also have an interest on how the economy is run and what causes all these problems that many developing nations face and what we can do in order for them to become more sustainable and prosperous in the future.
So after my graduation I went back home to Zambia for the summer and I decided to make a documentary to raise awareness about the youth of Zambia to show people around the world the potential that young Zambians have and what they are able to achieve if they are only able to access basic educational facilities, it also highlighted the main problems Zambia faces when it comes to education. Zambian Chalkboards not only helped me create awareness in Zambia to the Zambian people but it was seen worldwide by many people. Even journalists from the BBC were impressed and commented saying “Good documentary on this problem, an excellent start”. I was then also selected by Northeastern University as a founding member of the Young Global Leaders committee to represent Zambia. Young Global Leaders is a select group of alumni composed of the universities most powerful and influential young alumni leaders. My whole experience producing this documentary was a truly humbling experience and this is when I found my calling and realized that we as Zambians who are fortunate to go abroad and get an education should be actively involved in trying to raise awareness for the youth of Zambia who have so much to offer if only they are given the tools. The future of Africa lies with the youth so we need to address these problems sooner rather than later so we can see a bright future ahead.
In September 2012 I moved to London to start my Masters Degree in Globalisation and Multinational Corporations at SOAS, University of London. This has been an amazing experience and I have learnt so much within this one year and have met other young passionate Africans who share the same goals and aspirations as me. I was also extremely fortunate to visit the United Nations offices in Geneva and the OECD in Paris with the CISD program at SOAS, where we attended many conferences. The talk of African Development was brought up in all these meetings and being a young Zambian I was able to be actively engaged in these conversations and suggest new ideas of how we can tackle the problems that many African nations are facing due to the lack of basic education. Being a part of the Diaspora for African development was the best decision I have made not only is my work being recognized but I actually feel like everyone in the organization shares the same passion and drive and that is to see a bright future for Africa.
I am very excited to be travelling back to Zambia this summer so follow my blog on @zambiayouth as I have a lot of exciting things planned :)!
Alia Malik, a member of the UK Zambian Diaspora, is currently pursuing a Masters in Globalisation and Multinational Corporations at University of London, The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). She is very passionate about Zambia and its development.
Alia is particularly interested in the Youth of Africa and Education. She has produced a documentary called ‘ZAMBIAN CHALKBOARDS’, to raise awareness of Education in Zambia and hopes to one day make a difference. She grew up in Ndola, Zambia, where she completed her high school education. From there, she went on to university in Boston at Northeastern University in America where she completed her undergraduate degree in International Affairs with a minor in Economics. Alia Malik is also a founding member of Northeastern University’s Young Global Leaders group representing Zambia. Young global leaders is a select group of alumni composed of the university’s most powerful and influential young alumni leaders.