Login


Login With Facebook
Latest Photos
View Photos
View Photos
View Photos
View Photos
Visitors
TodayToday384
YesterdayYesterday559
This WeekThis Week3004
This MonthThis Month5365
All DaysAll Days1633916
US


Oprah's first academy grads

FeaturedMost Hit
Oprah's first academy grads
Oprah Winfrey flew to South Africa to attend the first graduation ceremony at her all-girls academy on January 14 2012.
Oprah's first academy grads
The TV presenter set up the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls to provide world-class high school education to underprivileged girls.
Oprah's first academy grads
Winfrey greets Graca Machel, the wife of former South African president Nelson Mandela, on her arrival at the inaugural graduation of the class of 2011.
Oprah's first academy grads
Winfrey said she feels like a "proud momma" as the academy graduated its first class.
Oprah's first academy grads
The 71 graduates are heading to prestigious universities in South Africa and the United States.
Oprah's first academy grads
The students of the school are offered free tuition, accommodation, uniforms and meals and have access to its state-of-the-art facilities.
Oprah's first academy grads
The walls of the classrooms in Winfrey's academy are plastered with posters that advocate the "You go, Girl!" attitude that Oprah is known for.
Oprah's first academy grads
Winfrey opened the $40 million school on January 2 2007 in Henley-on-Klip near Johannesburg.
Oprah's first academy grads

Singer Mariah Carey was among the celebrities attending the opening of the school in 2007.
Oprah's first academy grads
The TV presenter takes the first HIV test at her all-girls academy on Janaury 6 2007.

Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy

Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy

Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy

Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy

Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy

Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy

Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy

Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy

Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy

Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy

<<

<

Oprah's first academy grads
1
Oprah's first academy grads
2
Oprah's first academy grads
3
Oprah's first academy grads
4
Oprah's first academy grads
5
Oprah's first academy grads
6
Oprah's first academy grads
7
Oprah's first academy grads
8
Oprah's first academy grads
9
Oprah's first academy grads
10

>

>>

STORY HIGHLIGHTSThe first class of Oprah Winfrey's South Africa-based academy has graduatedThe 71 girls are all accepted in universities in South Africa and the United StatesThe TV host set up the school in 2007 to give education to girls from poor backgroundsShe plans to continue championing the rights of girls to a better education

(CNN) -- Surrounded by the white-clad students of her all-girls academy, Oprah Winfrey is glowing with pride.

And just like many mothers at a graduation ceremony, the talk show queen cannot hold back the tears as the girls she calls her daughters stroll across the stage to accept their diplomas.

"I am one proud mama and for once I think I know what that feels like for real," Winfrey said before the graduation of the first class of her South Africa-based school last week. "It feels like a real sense of accomplishment. It is a triumph indeed, considering where all these girls have come from."

The TV star had every reason to be jubilant: In 2007, she had hand-picked all these students as she established the $40 million Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls to provide world-class high school education to underprivileged children from South Africa and teach them leadership skills.

Five years later, the 71 graduates of the class of 2011 -- all high-achieving young girls who had experienced poverty and personal trauma such as violence, molestation, or loss of a parent -- have all been accepted to continue their studies at universities in South Africa and the United States.

It feels like a real sense of accomplishment -- it is a triumph indeed, considering where all these girls have come from.
Oprah Winfrey

Oprah: Power, money and compassionOprah's first academy gradsOprah's first academy gradsOprah Winfrey proud of school for girls"When I look at them, I see where they've been, I see where they've come from. I know how hard it is to come up from nowhere and nothing and have almost no support and to have suffered not one or two but on average five, six traumas by the time you actually get in this school," said Winfrey."And now 100% of this class has been accepted into colleges, 10% going to the United States. I mean, that's pretty incredible."Oprah's first academy gradsOprah's first academy gradsRating the impact of Winfrey's schoolBefore the graduation, the girls received intensive financial planning counseling and assistance to help them with life beyond the academy, school officials say. A mentoring program has also been put in place to offer them advice during university.Overall, the boarding school, which spans 52 acres in the small town of Henley-on-Klip near Johannesburg, accommodates 400 South African girls of any race, color or origin, aged 12 to 18. The students are offered free tuition, uniforms and meals and have access to the academy's state-of-the-art facilities, which include modern classrooms, computers labs, sport fields and a 10,000-volume library.Elite boarding school aims to create Africa's future leaders

But for all its success and money spent, Winfrey's academy has not been without its controversies. A few months after opening, the school was rocked by an abuse scandal when one of its matrons was accused of molesting students. The women was acquitted in 2010.

Last year, a student concealed her pregnancy and then secretly gave birth at the school. The baby died and was later found in the student's school bag.

Winfrey, who lost a child as a teenager and has spoken publicly about abuse she suffered at a young age, said it was her faith in the girls that kept her "steadfast" and "stimulated" amid all the challenges.

"I've always believed in the girls," she said. "I've known that no matter what we were going through, the girls were worth it -- no matter what happened, the end of the day the girls, the investment in the girls, which is really an investment in the future leadership of this country."

Africa's emerging leaders launch 2020 growth vision

The 57-year-old media mogul, who now runs her own channel, appropriately titled OWN, said her next mission is to continue championing the rights of young girls to a better education.

She aims to use the experience garnered over the past five years as a "force for change" to give educational opportunities to more girls from poor backgrounds in other countries and help raise the next generation of female leaders and entrepreneurs.

"You want to change the world, you change a girl's life," she said. "What I intend to do now is ... take that model and to use it in the world to change the lives of 250 million girls around the world who can't get an education, who don't have any asset other than their bodies to use, and therefore they're sold for dowries, they're sold off into slavery, they're married at 11 and 12 years old."

You were born in the year that apartheid ended in this country. That means that you are a child of freedom -- there is no bar.
Oprah Winfrey

Winfrey, who overcame economic hardship as well as racial and gender challenges to become one of the world's most successful and influential women, says education can help girls from all backgrounds to raise their aspirations.

"In the beginning, I think we had teachers who were like, 'oh, the girls, they come here disadvantaged.' So we've eliminated that word 'disadvantaged,' because disadvantaged allows other people to look at you like you have some kind of disease, and they lower their expectations for what you can be.

"I said, 'nobody has a disadvantaged brain. Nobody is here with a disadvantaged mind. Nobody has a disadvantaged spirit.' "

For this "proud momma," the possibilities are endless for her girls.

"You were born in the year that apartheid ended in this country," Winfrey tells her school's students. "That means that you are a child of freedom. There is no bar."

Authors: CNN Inside Africa

Source

Namibians to Take part in Miss Southern Africa UK

Two young ladies, Miss Kavezembi Ngupahua and Miss Pekarua Cally Tjiraso will represent Namibia in the Forth coming Miss Southern Africa UK to take place on Saturday 10th November 2011 in London Kave..

Behati shares stage with Jay Z, Kanye West

  Behati shares stage with Jay Z, Kanye West ...models advised to remember their roots Elvis Mboya Miss Namibia beauty pageant organiser Connie Maritz advises Namibian models pursuing lucra..

Namibia’s top celebrities for 2011

Namibia’s top celebrities for 2011   Elvis Mboya   Many Namibians believe there are no “real” ce..

An open letter to Gazza

An open letter to Gazza   Dear Lazarus “Gazza” Shiimi,    Allow me to address you respectfull..

Who are the most powerful celebrities in Namibia?

Does Namibia have REAL celebrities?  Here are the Editor’s choices – Have your say... Frank Fredrick,..

No money at Channel O...but exposure priceless

No money at Channel O ...but exposure priceless   Elvis Mboya   The Channel O Video Music Awards, just..

Why nightclubs keep closing down

Nightclubs in a slump    Elvis Mboya   NIGHTCLUBS in the nation’s capital appear to be experienci..

American Music Awards 2011 Winners

The American Music Awards were held tonight in Los Angeles. The big winner was Taylor Swift, who beat out Katy Perry, Ad..

The Award winning Beauty Pageant Miss Southern Africa UK returns to London on Saturday 10th December 2011

The Award winning Beauty Pageant Miss Southern Africa UK returns to London on Saturday 10th December 2011

DIARY OF A SCRIBE: Ras Sheehama preaches love, freedom

Ras Sheehama preaches love, freedom   Elvis Mboya    Reggae legend and freedom fighter, Ras Sheeham..

DIARY OF A SCRIBE: Ultimatum for radio stations

CRAN issues ultimatum to radio stations   Elvis Mboya   The Communications Regulatory Authority of Namib..

DIARY OF A SCRIBE: Khanyi apologises, withdraws demands

Khanyi apologises, withdraws demands   Elvis Mboya   SOUTH African socialite Khanyi Mbau has apologised..

DIARY OF A SCRIBE: UB40 bankrupt, Nam organiser owes million

Unpaid bills haunt UB40 organisers ...Close to N$1.8 million in question   Elvis Mboya   THE brother t..


Content Disclaimer

All Content including Text, Images, Photos, Videos etc. used are not necessarily owned by us. The site uses freely available content from the public domain including but not limited to RSS feeds, Youtube, Internet search engines, most particularly google and yahoo in order to aggregate relevant material.

We do not claim any ownership of such content, all rights to such content belong to their respective owners.

Such content is never used for making direct profit through distribution under our brand name or by selling to a third party, and are only used for viewing on the web with a link back to the original source.

If you see content that belongs to you and want credit or want such content removed, please feel free to contact us.

English Afrikaans French German Portuguese
Quick Contact