Lifestyle

LONDON: Malala Yousafzai has become a millionaire with the earnings from her best-selling memoir and speaking engagements, The Times claimed on Wednesday.

Four years after the teenager was shot on a school bus in the northern region of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, a company set up to manage the rights to Malala’s life story has made a pre-tax profit of £1.1 million.

Malala will pay £200,000 in UK taxes on her earnings last year, a British tabloid reported earlier.

She has become a sought-after speaker since her horrifying ordeal, and a report by the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington DC claims she is paid a whopping £114,000 per speech.

Her book, I Am Malala, which tells the story of her life in Pakistan, was published in 2013 in Britain under an estimated £2 million deal and has since sold at least 1.8 million copies worldwide.

However, according to a spokesman for Malala, the young activist has donated much of her earnings: “Since the publication of Malala’s book, Malala and her family have donated more than $1 million (£750,000) to charities, mostly for education-focused projects across the world including Pakistan.”

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The world’s youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner – who was 14 when she was shot in the Swat Valley after her support for girls’ education angered Taliban militants – is a joint shareholder of the company, Salarzai Ltd. The firm, whose other joint shareholders are her father Ziauddin Yousafzai and her mother Toor Pekai, had £2.2m in the bank by last August, The Times reported.

The firm, which was set up in 2013, is separate from the charitable Malala Fund which aims to help girls safely complete secondary education worldwide, according to The Times.

In her book – I am Malala – the Pakistani activist explains how she was ‘hypnotized by this talk of the big world beyond our valley’, but saw her future would be limited because she was a girl – even though her father wanted her to live freely.

When she was ten, the Taliban took control of the region, forbidding girls to attend school. Against a backdrop of violence, she spoke out against their diktat and was shot on her way home in 2012.

But Malala survived and was airlifted to Britain for treatment, where she rose to fame after settling in the West Midlands with her family. She now attends the private Edgbaston High School for Girls.