I LOVE Oprah Winfrey! Oprah is a legend. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve always been fascinated by her spirit. I’ve been watching her on TV for what seems like my whole life. My mum always watched her talk show, she was a big fan, so Oprah was introduced to me through my mum, very early on in my life.
Obviously when I was really young, I didn’t understand most of the topics that was discussed on Oprah’s talk show. But I mainly watched because I was interested in her. She had energy, she had power, she was a woman. I wanted her to sit on my sofa and listen to me, not the I had an amazing story to tell, I just knew she would listen. But most of all, I wanted to know everything about her.
As I’ve grown up, I’ve continued to watch her Talk show until it finished a few years ago. And thanks to her openness on her show, I got to know her, I heard what she had to say and how she felt. Some things surprised me, other things made me sad. But my interest in her has never gone away, and I admire her very much for what she has accomplished for herself, and for what she has done for others.
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” – Oprah
Next month Oprah will star, along side Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling in Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time. I haven’t read the book, but based on the trailer, this looks like it’s a cross between Alice in Wonderland and the Golden Compass. The film is directed by the amazing Ava DuVernay. I am so excited for this film.
You might not be aware, but for over 30 years, Oprah and The Walt Disney Company have had a long lasting working relationship. Oprah’s Talk Show first aired in 1986 on Disney’s abc network, and was on air for 25 years!
You will recognise Oprah’s voice as Tiana’s mother, Eudora, in Disney’s The Princess and the Frog. Oprah, along with the rest of the cast be creators of the film, we’re involved in something very special. The Princess and the Frog gave us Disney’s first African American Princess! It was long over due, but better late than never, and it’s a fantastic modern fairytale, with classic 2-D animation and a catchy soundtrack written by Randy Newman, and directed by legends Ron Clements & John Musker.
Last year Oprah Winfrey became an official Disney Legend, along side Mark Hamill and the late Carrie Fisher. When receiving her award, Oprah said Disney always allowed her “to be me” when it came to her talk show, and she was very grateful for that.
Oprah’s success is her own achievement. Like a lot of women now, she has lived her life just as she chooses, despite society’s expectations of women. Oprah has been with her Partner, Stedman Graham for over 30 years, never marrying, and never having children. Oprah became the first female African-American to be worth $1 Billion, and continues to see her name on Forbes magazine’s “World’s Richest People” list.
“The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams.” – Oprah
Oprah donates a lot of her time and money to charity, and has created many charitable foundations in her name, from America to Africa! I think this was certainly recognised when she was given the highest honour, any American can achieve, the Medal of Freedom. It was awarded to her by President Barack Obama in 2013, and most likely her most cherished award. The Medal of Freedom is only given to individuals who are recognized for making ‘an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.’
Recently Oprah was awarded the Golden Globes Cecil B. De Mille award, which is given “to a talented individual for outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment.” And taking into account the recent events in Hollywood with the #MeToo movement, Oprah gave a very powerful, unforgettable, and emotional speech:
“What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have. And I’m especially proud and inspired by all the women who have felt strong enough and empowered enough to speak up and share their personal stories. Each of us in this room are celebrated because of the stories that we tell. And this year we became the story. But it’s not just a story affecting the entertainment industry. It’s one that transcends any culture, geography, race, religion, politics or workplace…
…So I want all the girls watching here and now to know that a new day is on the horizon! And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say, ‘Me too’ again. Thank you.”
I hope we see more of Oprah on the big screen, and I hope she continues to give her time and support to those causes she believes in. She may have just turned 64 years old (and looks like she’s just turned 50) but I have no doubt, she’s not going anywhere, anytime soon… 2020 candidate maybe?