Biafra Nigeria World Weblogs


BNW: Biafra Nigeria World Magazine



BNW: Insight, Features, and Analysis

BNW Writer's Block 

BNW News and Archives

 BNW News Archive

BNW: Biafra Nigeria World


BNW Forums and Message Board


Biafra Net

 Igbo Net: The Igbo Network

BNW Africa and AfricaWorld 

BNW: Icon

BNW: Icon


Flag of Biafra Nigeria

BNW News Archives

BNW News Archive 2002-January 2005

BNW News Archive 2005

BNW News Archive 2005 and Later

« Losing Weight while Gaining Fatso | Main | Justice According to the Vindictive Witch of Aso Rock »

September 16, 2006

Oprah’s Heart Glows for Girls in South Africa

by Odo Akaji (United Kingdom) --- Oprah Winfrey Recently, Oprah Winfrey visited South Africa. The talk show legend and philanthropist was in South Africa to personally interview the first intake of a Leadership Academy for Girls she helped build in Soweto at a whopping cost of USD40, 000,000. According to informed sources, this huge gesture was in fulfillment of a promise she made to the revered former President of South Africa, Nelson “Madiba” Mandela, on her first visit to South Africa in December 2002.

On that occasion, she had promised Madiba that she would put USD10, 000,000 in building a Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa. She ended up spending USD40, 000,000 in order to get an institution with top-notch facilities that would translate her dream for the girls into a robust reality.

Oprah’s choice of the historic town of Soweto and her preference for girls from underprivileged background is quite instructive. Soweto was where children literally offered themselves for slaughter to the evil Apartheid machine. It is not surprising too that her interest is in little girls from disadvantaged homes. That she took out time to personally interview the girls meant she was unafraid of revisiting her own humble beginning, having come from a similar background and having been raised by her grandmother as is the case for some of the girls that would attend the Academy.

In a country where children are being orphaned at a very high rate by the scourge of HIV/AIDS, Oprah’s intervention could not have come at a better time. Little girls in South Africa are the most vulnerable group of those who are being adversely impacted one way or the other by the AIDS pandemic.

Again, it is good that this is coming at a time, when girl child education is beginning to attract the attention it deserves across Africa and the developing world. Hitherto, the education and empowerment of the girl child was grossly neglected, especially in Africa. Now, the tide is changing. And this is for the overall good and progress of the world.

In January 2007, about 150 little girls would have the opportunity of becoming the pioneering students of Oprah’s vision; Oprah Winfrey Academy for Girls. Everything in the Academy is free. The challenge the girls would face is to be of proper conduct. They are expected to work hard, be determined and focused and become really distinguished in future. It is hoped that some of them, if not all, would go on to the best universities in the world and there after become leaders of their communities, South Africa and the world in various areas of life.

The number of young girls being taken as pioneers may seem insignificant considering the number of kids in South Africa who need to be educated and empowered in like manner. However, the quality of training they would receive would mean that their impact would be greatly felt wherever they are found in later years. It needs to be stressed though that more of such schools should be established in Africa as there is a correlation between leadership and development. The continent remain in dare need of quality leadership and catching them young as Oprah has implied in this her pet project is the best approach.

Oprah has set an excellent example for the rich and famous Africans both at home and in the Diaspora. For in Oprah we have the most influential woman in the history of television who has already demonstrated by her credible achievements what a woman and an African American woman is capable of, not satisfied to give high value for money “motivational talks”, but she had actually rolled up her sleeves to spend from her hard earned wealth. Africans not just South Africans are grateful to her and would be waiting and watching to see who would match her very wise initiative.

Odo Akaji
United kingdom

Posted by Administrator at September 16, 2006 01:54 AM


BNW Writers A-M

BNW Writers N-Z



BiafraNigeria Banner

BiafraNigeria Spacer


BiafraNigeria Spacer


BiafraNigeria Spacer


BiafraNigeria Spacer


BiafraNigeria Spacer


BiafraNigeria Spacer


BiafraNigeria Spacer


BiafraNigeria Spacer


BiafraNigeria Spacer


BiafraNigeria Spacer


BiafraNigeria Spacer


BiafraNigeria Spacer

BiafraNigeria Spacer


BNW Forums


The Voice of a New Generation