Oprah Inspires SA in Stirring Madiba Tribute Speech: Never Give Up

Oprah Inspires SA in Stirring Madiba Tribute Speech: Never Give Up

During an inspirational keynote address on Thursday afternoon in Soweto, Oprah Winfrey received several standing ovations for her stirring speech.

The speech was broadcast live on TV, telling South Africa’s youth to never give up, to be resilient and to find their strength in telling their stories.

Oprah spoke at a packed auditorium in Soweto as part of an event organised by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, titled”Is’thunzi Sabafazi” (Dignity of Women).


Speaking about the 10 days she got to spend with Nelson Mandela before she built her Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls school, she said: “We are Mandela’s children, and we are his legacy. And his legacy speaks to us each time we choose unity over division. His legacy speaks to us each time we decide that we are going to fight for equality over domination and love over hate”.

“The spirit of him abides with every man, every woman who listens with humility; everyone who says yes to breaking down a barrier, and not to putting up a wall. Who educates, rather than retaliates. He is with us every single time everybody casts a vote for democracy and casts a vote for freedom – he lives,” said Winfrey.

About her school she built in 2007 she said “I built a school to give girls who look like me, who came from backgrounds like me, who didn’t have the means but had the brainpower and the will to succeed, I wanted to give those girls a chance. And I will say that the experience of watching these daughters of South Africa find their voice and find their grace has made me think long and hard about the universe that our young leaders and graduating into today.”


Some of the girls, many of whom were in the audience on Thursday, she said have gone on to graduate from universities in the United States. Two graduated from Oxford, some from the University of Johannesburg, as well as NMMU, UCT, Wits, Pretoria and Stellenbosch.

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