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Oprah's 'O'cademy

1/2/2007 4:24 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Just call it the Oprah Winfrey School for Girls.

The billionaire talk show diva opened a school in a small town south of Johannesburg, South Africa today. The school for underprivileged girls boasts computer and science laboratories, a library and theater, and was built as a result of a meeting between Winfrey and the country's former President, Nelson Mandela.

The event was attended in South Africa by celebs Mariah Carey, Tina Turner, Chris Tucker, Mary J. Blige and Spike Lee.

Of her decision to open a school in South Africa instead of the U.S., Winfrey dissed American kids by telling Newsweek, "If you ask the kids what they want or need, they will say an iPod or some sneakers. In South Africa, they don't ask for money or toys. They ask for uniforms so they can go to school."

176 COMMENTS

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1.

Tom    

For a real look at leadership, courage and philanthropy, learn about Katharine Drexel. One of the wealthiest women in America, she gave it all away to
lead the struggle for equal rights for all Americans beginning in the late 1800's.
This is an amazing story in our country's history.
http://www.katharinesfoundation.org

2695 days ago
2.

Pat    

IM sorry but I believe in helping your own before taking on another country, we have middle class families here in American that can no longer make the American dream come true for their familers so does that tell you how bad it is for the poor. We have Americans homeless,starving and without any medical assistants. I am 63 years old and have raised four sons on my own and today because of no medical insurances I am unable to work and cant get any help from the goverment. Im sorry Oprah but you were born and raised here in American.

2688 days ago
3.

CHARGERS TILL THE END    

IM GLAD SHE IS DOING SOMETHING POSITIVE WITH MONEY..NOT LIKE THESE OTHER F***EN HOLLYWOOD CELERTIES THAT THEY CLAIM TO DO GOOD FOR OTHERS::::DONALD TRUMP..PARIS HILTON...PLEASE DONT LET THIS SKANK NEAR UR KID IF SHE'S VISITING UR LOCAL HOSPITAL::::::

IM GLAD TO SEE POSITIVE THINGS FOR THIS NEW YEAR!

2748 days ago
4.

Michael Misenheimer    

I do not think Oprah has a disregard for American children at all. I think this is another attempt from the media to make something that is suppose to be inspiring and real into something dramatic. It is stupid for people to get upset over it. Oprah has overcome many obstacles and adversities in her life and she wants these girls to do the same thing. She should be commended not criticized.

2747 days ago
5.

my two cents    

FIRST!!!!!

2747 days ago
6.

Socialism has no place in this country    

Good for her!

2747 days ago
7.

Tina    

Can someone please tell me why celebrities are sooooo obcessed with Africa????? I know it is a poor country but there are things here in the US that attention too, i.e., education, children to be adopted, etc. I just don't get it.

2747 days ago
8.

Shriller    

Nice to know she's giving back to the people who made her millions. I'll never watch her again.

2747 days ago
9.

Susie Q    

why does oprah get all this hassle when saint angelina can go around using poor kids for promoting her new flick without anyone blinking?

2747 days ago
10.

SusieQ    

She's right. Yes, there are poor kids in America, but the kids in South Africa are so much poorer. You can't help them all, and this school will meen so much to these poor Afrian kids.

I think it's very easy to critize Oprah, but most of us have never even given a buck to inner city kids ourselves.

2747 days ago
11.

Jennifer    

Bravo, Oprah! I completely agree with what she says about children in our country not valuing an education. There seems to be a deeper level of appreciation among the girls at Oprah's school for getting an education. Children in our country (not all, but a good share) have never really had to suffer on a day to day basis. Everything is handed to them. But for children who need to find a way to survive on a day to day basis, when given a chance to change their situation, strive to do so and value what a wonderful gift an education is to them and to the next generation of their family. I think Oprah has tried to give to those who need help...but I am willing to bet a lot of them have squandered the money, gifts, etc. I wonder if she will return to the Katrina relocated individuals she has helped to see how they have taken care of their new homes, etc. Perhaps she has and that has led to this focusing of her money and effort else outside of the US where the help is appreciated and education is valued.

2747 days ago
12.

amy    

I applaud Oprah's grand move in opening a school for girls in Africa. There is an obvious, urgent sense of need there that isn't as much a factor in the U.S. And I can understand where she is coming from with her comment about inner-city schools, which is not so much a "diss" as it is a wake-up call.

2747 days ago
13.

anon    

not for nothing but does anyone else find oprah a racist bitch?

2747 days ago
14.

Tasha    

I'm glad she built the school. But why only for 152 girls? My high school had a class of 2000. For the $40 mil she spent, she could have had a larger class. Do they really need a yoga room and beauty salon?
She's right about inner city and even suburban kids though. They want ipods, play stations and $200 sneakers.

2747 days ago
15.

MIke    

I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks TMZ is being stupid by dissing Oprah for speaking the truth and putting her money where her mouth is. Why are you hating on the woman?

2747 days ago
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