‘Women Will Save South Africa’ Oprah Winfrey Tells Johannesburg Crowd

dpa, Berlin

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Oprah’s advice: “When people say you’re full of yourself, you say ‘Yeah baby I’m so full my cup’s running over!'”

JOHANNESBURG

“Women will save South Africa!” US talk show host and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey said Thursday at an event marking late president Nelson Mandela’s centenary and a global anti-gender violence campaign.

“I want to say this to the women, for a long time I was afraid when people would say to me ‘she’s so full of herself,’ — until I recognized that unless you are full you don’t have enough to give to anybody else,” Winfrey told hundreds of people gathered for her speech in Soweto.

“When people say you’re full of yourself, you say ‘Yeah baby I’m so full my cup’s running over!'”

Winfrey, herself an abuse survivor, was joined by Mandela’s widow, Graca Machel, and Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the executive director of UN Women, at the Mandela Foundation event in Soweto, which is also marking the international campaign — 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence.

Also speaking is Graca Machel’s daughter, Josina Z Machel, a human rights activist who lost sight in one eye after being badly assaulted by her ex-partner.

Winfrey — whom many Democrats in the US have urged to run for president because of her huge popularity as well as philanthropy — was a personal friend of Mandela, who became South Africa’s first democratic president after spending 27 years in prison in his fight against the racist apartheid system.

Winfrey also has another connection to South Africa — a girls school she established on the outskirts of Johannesburg.

She spoke movingly about the pupils at the school, some of whom have gone on to Oxford and other prestigious institutions of higher learning despite having come from impoverished or abusive backgrounds.

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