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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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61.

Kendikane    

I don't think I have the right to tell Ms. Winfrey what to do with her money and neither do any of us. Work hard, make $40mil and donate it to the schools, but wait, how about the homeless shelters, oh no, what about the foster kids, wait....how about new work clothes for all the battered women?? There is no one place that will satisfy everybody hence the concept of opportunity cost.

Being originally from Africa, I can tell you that $40 million will go a long way. It isn't only for the 152 girls but for all subsequent students down the line. These women will grow up and be international players or even stay at home moms.

Most people accusing Oprah of discrimination against boys don't understand that in most parts of Africa, the bulk of the work is done by women (our men are horrendously lazy). Educating women is the surest way to ensure the future of the next generation. Most families don't consider sending girls to school a priority since they leave the family when they get married hence it is said to be "watering the neighbor's garden".

Kudos to Oprah and other people who are using their celebrity to open the eyes of the world to the plight of these helpless women

2669 days ago
62.

NubianGoddez    

she can do no wrong in my eye's. she's a saint cannonize her already!!!!

2669 days ago
64.

marcee    

I'M GLAD OPRAH IS DOING THIS FOR THESE KIDS, AMERICAN KIDS ARE TO DAM SPOILED, THEY NEED TO GO TO AFICA AND SEE HOW THINGS ARE THERE AND THEN MAYBE THEY WILL UNDERSTAND. BUT I WAS READING #15
AND RAPPERS ACTORS/ATHLETE'S DO GIVE BACK TO THE COMMUNITY, IT MIGHT NOT BE 40MILLION BUT X-MAS AND THANKSGIVING THEY ARE GIVING OUT TOYS AND FOOD. AND ABOUT KATRINA VICTIMS WE ALL KNOW WHERE THAT MONEY WENT/ NOT TO THE REL PEOPLE WHO NEEDED IT!

2669 days ago
65.

mary    

It is nice that finally Oprah has put her own money behind a project for a change rather than money that her viewers have given to the "Angel Network"and she takes credit for.Just for the record Oprah did not give those cars to her audience, they were donated by the car company itself. It would have been more classy if she did not put her name on that school in Africa and let them choose a name that is meaningful to them. She is becoming a female version of Trump, has to have her name all over everything.It would have been better if she had followed Bill Gates example and just quietly helps people out.

2669 days ago
66.

Linda    

I use to like Oprah, but she has become too full of herself and I agree about who knows where the charity money really goes... I also think she is alittle prejudice...I feel she put on an ''act''.. I hope not... I liked her more when she had some humilty!

2669 days ago
67.

Linda    

I mean, I liked her more when she had some ''humility!"

2669 days ago
68.

Linda    

Anon...lately Yes I do

2669 days ago
69.

Canuck's pride    

Ezze your the man, and all of you Oprah haters need to go jerk off with Bush and is crew.

2669 days ago
70.

barry    

I am South African. I applaud Oprah for her contribution to our country even though I am not a fan of her show. Yes psps SA is rich by African standards - but we have a very high wealth differential. We also have a history of "Bantu Education" where the education of black students was institutionally and intentionally poor. I believe that this in no small measure contributes to our current socio-economic problems viz. crime and unemployment.

I also understand that this is a fulfilment of a pledge she gave to Nelson Mandela. Believe me he is a hard man to refuse.

I do understand from the poor spelling and lack of logic from some posters that there is indeed a great need for better education in the USA (and indeed America - country/continent) ;)

Meanwhile *Thank You* and "You go girl"!

2669 days ago
71.

Seriously    

A 40 million dollar school that can only accommodate 152 students????

2669 days ago
72.

rota    

Glad that oprah is doing something for South African children in terms of their education. Anyway while we are on the subject of education, tuition fees in American schools is FREAKING RIDICULOUS!!!! It's like only the rich should go to school or something. Tell me how the F*ck does a school charge $23000-35000 for tuition for up to 3 years? And forget living nad boarding costs!!The cost of an education in countries such as England is so different. Tuition costs has nothing to do with how high the school is on the ivy league tables. So for example, the cost at Oxford is basically no different to that at Bradford . So that country is basically screwed up dude..... when will we WAKE UP???

2669 days ago
73.

Lenn K    

I've gone back and forth on this issue and I have read most of the posts. I feel that the funny thing about the black community is along time ago before welfare and food stamps , blacks helped themselves and didn't sit around waiting for the government to take care of their children, feed their families, and educate their children. Now Oprah is doing something that only a few blacks with money will do and she is getting hammered. People say what about the rappers, well they've pretty much have destroyed alot youth"s head with sex, violence and bling. I don't agree with everything that Oprah does, but education is a great thing and should be the top priority in the black community after God and family.

2669 days ago
74.

malvolio    

...for all the sh*t mixed up in it, rap is, in every way, shape or form, a thousand times more honest and worthy than Oprah, who, as it has been pointed out, made her bazillions on the very industry she claims is corrupting american youth. Oprah would love you to believe she is working "from the inside" to exact real change on behalf of humanity...just because she buys her own bullsh*t --survival mechanism -- doesn't mean you have to buy into it too, after all, you're not in her employ. well, you are, in a way...fools...

2669 days ago
75.

Mz Nikki    

Ok, after having read most of these comments, i think I need to step in. To thhose of you who are generalizing "all" Black people based on the actions (and ignorance might I add), you might want to take a long hard look in the mirror. If Blacks have become more obsessed with "things" it's in part the effects of trying to keep up with the Jones', something EVERY race is guilty of.

Most of these inner city children are born to women who were children themselves, and if they ask for iPod's and $200 sneakers, it's because they have been conditioned by the constant advertising that they see on television to want and ask for them. White kids would ask for the same things, and please don't delude yourselves into thinking otherwise. Teens with disposable income (from a largely White population BTW) are a merchants dream. Go into any Mall in America and you'll see what I mean.

I said all that to say this, how many "inner city" children did Oprah really speak to, because for some reason I don't think it was very many. Just like there are rotten apples in any situation, there are diamonds in the rough who only need someone to help them want something better than what they have known all their lives. Oprah could have helped those stdents just as much as she could have helped those students over there, but she's chosen to help others outside the US. Whatever Oprah... whatever

2669 days ago
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