Oprah, Michelle Obama in South Africa

| October 13, 2011 | 0 Comments

On 24 June, Oprah Winfrey received an honorary doctorate in Education from the University of the Free State (UFS). The university – where the Reitz four racism scandal occurred – conferred the honour on the ‘Queen of talk’, Rector Jonathan Jansen told BUA News, because “it is a great privilege for the UFS to be the first South African university to honour Ms Winfrey in this way and to be able to recognise a global icon of her stature”.

An emotional Winfrey, who has close ties with South Africa through her Leadership Academy for Girls, told the audience: “I truly believe what has happened here at Free State University, in terms of racial conciliation… is nothing short of a miracle. It’s what the new South Africa is about.”

America’s official first lady, Michelle Obama, was also in-country recently. She spoke to 50 high school learners from five schools — including LEAP Science and Maths School in Cape Town — at a meeting at the University of Cape Town on 23 June 2011. Advocating the virtues of hard work and visualisation, Obama said: “More than ever before, we will be looking to all of you, our young people, to lead the way.” She then went on to say: “And I’m not just saying that to make you all feel good. The fact is that in Africa, people under 25 make up 60% of the population.

And here in South Africa, nearly two-thirds of citizens are under the age of 30. So over the next 20 years, the next 50 years, our future will be shaped by your leadership.”

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Category: Spring 2011

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