Oprah Celebrates Former Student’s Graduation from Her South African School: ‘She Never Gave Up

Oprah Celebrates Former Student's Graduation from Her South African School: 'She Never Gave Up
Oprah celebrates Bongeka Zuma. Photo: Oprah/Instagram

Ongeka Zuma, a South African national and alumna of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy, reached a major life milestone when she received her MD from Stanford University. At the recent commencement ceremony at Stanford University, her rise from humble beginnings in a rural area of KwaZulu-Natal was honored.

Oprah Winfrey spoke about her joy at witnessing Zuma’s success on Instagram after the ceremony. Reflecting on her personal connection with Zuma and other young ladies from her academy, Winfrey provided films and photographs capturing the poignant moments of the ceremony.

“This graduation is especially meaningful to me,” Winfrey said. “Having attended 22 graduations of my ‘daughter-girls’ from the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy in South Africa, each one is significant, but Ongeka’s accomplishment feels particularly extraordinary.”

From its humble beginnings as a school for young women in South Africa, Winfrey has watched some of her alums achieve great success on a global scale. Not only does Zuma’s success attest to her selfless commitment, but it also demonstrates the academy’s power to produce future medical and other industry heavyweights.

In recognition of Zuma’s dedication to healthcare and academic achievement, Stanford University, known for its demanding academic programs, accepted her into its ranks of distinguished graduates. Her background in South Africa and her time spent studying in the US represent the multiplicative effects of equal access to education and cultural understanding.

The impact of mentorship and perseverance in realizing aspirations is demonstrated by Ongeka Zuma’s inspiring success story, which reaches far beyond the realm of academia. The impact that mentoring and educational programs like the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy can have is demonstrated by her remarkable achievement, which motivates ambitious students all across the globe.

Finally, Ongeka Zuma’s graduation from Stanford University is a demonstration of the life-altering potential of education and guidance in molding the world’s future leaders, not to mention a personal victory for Zuma. Her incredible journey from a humble town in South Africa to the commencement platform at Stanford University exemplifies the academy’s purpose and the lasting influence of educating young women.


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