Let me begin this entry by saying that I am in no way, shape, or form a part of the anti-Oprah brigade. Quite the opposite, actually. I respect Oprah Winfrey and more importantly, I fear her. With that being said, please, please, please don’t have me killed or even worse, blacklisted in the media and kill my career before it even begins, Ms. Oprah “You Took Nas’ Song ‘If I Ruled The World’ To A New Level” Winfrey.
Now, moving on to the point of this post.
The talk show host kicked off the new year with the opening of a $ 40 millon for disadvantaged South African girls that she paid for out of her on pocket.
The campus, located south of Johannesburg, spreads across 52 acres and includes classrooms, computer laboratories, library (someone has new members of their book club), a yoga studio, and beauty salon. The school is called the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls. On the school, Winfrey said,”When you educate a girl you begin to change the face of a nation. The school is going to change the trajectory of their lives.”
When asked about children in inner city schools in America, Winfrey told Newsweek, “I became so frustrated with visiting inner-city schools in the U.S. 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.”
I take issue with Oprah uplifting one group by putting down another. I think there is some truth to what she’s saying, as I myself have witnessed this in school.
I get the point she’s trying to make, but I think everything ought to be placed in its proper context. It is unfortunate that a lot of children from poorer backgrounds are more concerned with material possessions than they are for their own education. However, you have to take into account the factors that have led children (and adults) to that way of thinking. We have a very materialistic culture that’s far different from South Africa. Oprah should know, since she regularly talks about her ‘favorite things’ on her show.
Please don’t hate me, Oprah.