Oprah rewards O-Paragons - TV icon lauds 'dream girls

CLASS OF 2014: Oprah Winfrey and her Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls pupils during the graduations PHOTO: SUPPLIED
CLASS OF 2014: Oprah Winfrey and her Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls pupils during the graduations PHOTO: SUPPLIED

OPRAH Winfrey slipped into town to preside over the fourth graduation ceremony at her girls school in the Mid-Vaal on Saturday.

A tightly guarded affair, without the fanfare associated with the popular US media mogul, Winfrey deferred attention to her crop of graduates.

The ceremony was started with a procession of the academic staff followed by the class of 2014 and the singing of the national anthem.

The bespectacled Winfrey in a stylish green kaftan with silver embroidery sat next to the principal, Melvin King, and David Wylde, chairman of the board of trustees.

The graduates were kitted in white gowns with green satin sashes bearing the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy For Girls name and white pumps.

Addressing the graduates, parents and staff, Winfrey evoked the memory of president Nelson Mandela with whom, she said, she planned the academy back in 2002.

"You're our dream girls. You're exactly what Madiba and I talked about," she quipped. "Even in our imaginations, we had no idea it could look this good, even in flat shoes."

Winfrey awarded pupil Khethiwe Dlamini the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Award for her qualities and academic excellence. Dlamini is also president of the student representative council class of 2014.

The 2014 class then performed US singer John Legend's Dare To Dream accompanied by a band before Winfrey and King dished out awards to overachievers including Dominique Tarr and Angelica LeRoux who excelled in multiple classes and certificates to the 58 strong matric class calling itself O-Paragons.

In conclusion, Winfrey referred to Leymah Gbowee of Liberia who authoredMighty Be Our Powers: "This I know for sure, wherever you go in the world mighty be your powers. Bless you girls."

mofokengl@sowetan.co.za

 

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