Oprah Winfrey Teary-eyed at School’s First Class Graduation in South Africa
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Oprah Winfrey Teary-eyed at School’s First Class Graduation in South Africa

Johannesburg : South Africa | Jan 15, 2012 at 7:51 AM PST
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Oprah Winfrey Celebrates First Graduating Class of Leadership Academy

Report By: Nina Rai

HENLEY-ON-KLIP, South Africa,

15 Jan., 2012

For people all over the globe, Oprah Winfrey is the most powerful ‘Diva’ of the media world. However, for hordes of her students who participated in the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy in South Africa, she is simply but heart-warmingly “Mom Oprah.”

And like any proud parent, Oprah Winfrey too grinned and shed tears of joy as she watched her brood of seventy two “daughters,” at their school’s first class graduation ceremony on Saturday, Jan 14, 2012.

The young girls were all attired immaculately in white uniforms with white heels to match. They even warbled a song of appreciation and celebration in Zulu, one of South Africa’s languages. And when each student stepped forward to accept her diploma, there were loud cheering from family, friends and Oprah Winfrey.

Check Pic: Oprah with Students

In the course of her graduation speech the media mogul declared emotionally that she felt a sense of great pride which was “overpowering.” “I have been on a mission my whole life to be able to give back what I have been given. Today I am fulfilling that mission,” she declared touchingly.

Video: Oprah’s speech

It may be noted that the $40 million Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy in South Africa was inaugurated in the year 2007. It is located on the outskirts of Johannesburg in the small town of Henley-on-Klip.

But, ever since it kick-started, the academy has faced numerous hurdles and challenges. There have been claims of abuse from a school official as also the scandal with regard to the birth of a dead baby belonging to one of the academy students.

However what is laudable is that even amidst swirling controversies, baring three; all students of the original class of the Oprah Winfrey Academy are graduating. To top it, all of them have been accepted into College.

One of the students, Kekana who graduated as one of the top students, in her graduation address declared simply "Mom Oprah, thank you for showing us that we're not just girls, but girls who have greater purpose in this world."

This heart-warming statement of the student caused tears of joy to well up in Oprah’s eyes. Later Oprah Winfrey emphasized that although the journey at her academy may be an end in itself for these students, but she expected them to achieve even greater glory ahead in college and beyond.

For more details check source: ABC News

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Nina Rai is based in Mangaluru, Karnataka, India, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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  • 'Mom Oprah' Cries at Graduation of 'Daughters' in SA | EURweb

    Submitted By: NinaRai | 7 months ago
    To most people Oprah Winfrey is known as one of the world’s most powerful media moguls. But to the students who attend her Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy in South Africa, she’s simply “Mom Oprah.” Like any parent, Winfrey beamed and cried as she ...

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