Magazine article American Libraries

Oprah Opens $40-Million South African School with State-of-the-Art Library

Magazine article American Libraries

Oprah Opens $40-Million South African School with State-of-the-Art Library

Article excerpt

Celebrities lined up January 2 in the small town of Henley-on-Klip, in the Gauteng province of South Africa, to back Oprah Winfrey as she opened her new $40-million Leadership Academy for Girls. Designed to raise girls from poverty to positions of leadership, the academy is equipped with a state-of-the-art library. Built on a 52-acre campus, the 28-building complex also includes computer and science labs, a theater, and a wellness center.

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Nelson Mandela, whom Winfrey credited with inspiring her to build the school, attended the opening ceremony. Other celebrities in attendance included Sidney Poitier, Tina Turner, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Chris Tucker, and Spike Lee. The guests were asked to bring a personally inscribed book for the library. Donations ranged from self-help manuals to titles in the Harry Potter series. Winfrey said she brought the celebrity entourage because "these people have the power to do things; they have voices which can be heard in the U. …

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