If you've ever wondered what life's like for Malala Yousafzai since she headed to Oxford University, there's a pretty good chance you're going to like what you're about to hear. Because, according to a friend of the world-famous Pakistani girls' education advocate, her favorite pastimes aren't that different from countless people around the world ― namely, Malala and her best friend at Oxford like Beyonce, and staying up late while eating Indian food, and it doesn't get much more relatable than that.
Malala, 20, survived a Taliban assassination attempt in Pakistan in 2012, which was carried out because of her public advocacy for the education of women and girls. She was shot in the head, and barely survived the experience; subsequently, while continuing to work as a public speaker and advocate for her causes, she began attending school in the United Kingdom, and is now a student at Oxford.
She's also a friend of Varaidzo Kativhu, a YouTuber and fellow Oxford student who she's reportedly very close with. It was Kativhu who dished some details about her friendship with Malala in an interview with The Times of London this week, revealing some of their musical and culinary tastes.
In addition to their shared love of Beyonce, according to Kativhu, the two friends and classmates are also into Rihanna, and spent Valentine's Day a couple months ago grabbing some plantain at a Caribbean restuarant.
"We're both from Birmingham, from backgrounds with similar traditions. And we're both on the R&B vibe," she said, according to Business Insider. "Sometimes we stay up all night listening to Beyoncé and Rihanna and eating Indian takeaway. On Valentine's Day we went out for plantain at my favourite Caribbean place."
Kativhu also called Malala her "closest friend," in describing what her time at the elite university has been like.
"A year and a half in and now I have friends from Eton, Harrow and St Pauls. I wear a cape to my exams! I know about grass rules! My closest friend is Malala Yousafzai, the Nobel prize winner."
Malala was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014, although she wasn't the only recipient ― she shared the honor with Kailash Satyarthi, an Indian children's rights activist. This made her the youngest-ever Nobel laureate, and just a handful of years later, she began her college career at Oxford. Malala is reportedly in her first year at the prestigious university, while Kativhu is in her second.
As far as Malala's reported love of Beyonce is concerned, there's good reason to think the appreciation is mutual. Back in 2013, the music superstar wished Malala a happy 16th birthday, posting an Instagram of herself holding up the following handwritten message.
Your bravery and perseverance have touched the world.
You are the true definition of a survivor.
All my love and respect.
The message was signed "Beyonce," with a "Happy Birthday Malala" for good measure. Also, in 2015, both Beyonce and Malala took part in a festival in support of girls' education, an event also attended by then-first lady of the United States Michelle Obama.
Malala has actually appeared in a couple of Kativhu's YouTube videos, most recently her 20th birthday vlog, which is embedded above. Kativhu turned 20 earlier this month, and from the looks of things, she celebrated the big day to the fullest.
In short, it sounds as if Malala's life at Oxford isn't that different from the life of countless college students, except perhaps for the university's elite reputation, and its notoriously challenging exams. But once all the tests and schoolwork are over with, it's nice to know she still gets to unwind with some Indian takeout food, and some Beyonce pumping through the speakers.