‘She never gave up’ – Oprah rejoices over graduation of former student from her SA school

Oprah celebrates Bongeka Zuma. Photo: Oprah/Instagram

Bongeka Zuma, an alumna of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy in South Africa, was among the honored students during Stanford University’s commencement ceremony on Sunday. Zuma graduated from Stanford as a Doctor of Medicine.

The following day, Oprah Winfrey took to Instagram to celebrate Zuma’s accomplishment. “One of the great joys of my life was to see her walk across that stage! Knowing where she’s come from, a small community in KwaZulu-Natal, and how strongly she believed in becoming a doctor.”

Winfrey added videos and photos from the special ceremony. The media mogul’s pride was evident as she reflected on her journey with Zuma and other young women from her academy.

Further, she said “I’ve been to 22 graduations for all my daughter-girls who came from the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy in South Africa to colleges and universities across the United States. This one was extra special.”

Zuma first graduated summa cum laude from Spelman College in Georgia before earning a master’s degree from Oxford University in England. She now celebrates her Doctor of Medicine from Stanford University.

“She never gave up,” Winfrey noted, “and with a support team of good friends, fellow OWLAG sisters, and professors, we all celebrated her achievement with great pride. Congratulations, Dr. Zuma. Well done! Well done!”

Zuma was part of the inaugural graduating class of Winfrey’s boarding school, which opened in 2007. She was among just 152 students selected from over 3,000 applicants.

Winfrey told People in 2019 that she started her boarding “to build a school for girls who are like me.”

“They’re the daughters I did not have,” Winfrey explained. “I never thought that that mothering instinct was something for me. I like babies, but I like them like, ‘Hi baby, okay, now go over there.’ ”

“I like children when they can actually speak to me and tell what is the problem,” she said.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: June 20, 2024


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