Oprah Winfrey fever hits BFN
Bloemfontein – Talk show queen fever has hit Bloemfontein with Oprah Winfrey’s visit to the city on Friday, but not even the Free State premiere will be able to meet her in person.
Volksblad learnt that Winfrey would be in Bloemfontein for less than 4 hours when she receives an honorary doctorate in education from the University of Free State (UFS).
This will be her first visit to Bloemfontein and the Free State. The UFS degree will be the first South African honorary degree for Winfrey. She already has honorary doctorates from Princeton University as well as Duke University in America.
Premier Ace Magashule
UFS spokesperson Lacea Loader said on Tuesday that it's not true that Winfrey asked to visit the UFS campus.
"The UFS invited her and she accepted. It is an honour for us that she accepted and to give her an honorary doctorate."
According to sources, the billionaire talk show queen will swoop in with her private jet from Lanseria airport to Bloemfontein airport on Friday.
The hopefuls who rely on getting a quick word with their icon at the airport, will be sadly disappointed. Winfrey will be greeted on the runway by a procession of vehicles and will disappear in a car directly from the airplane. She will travel directly to the Kovsie campus thereafter.
Premier Ace Magashule reportedly requested an audience with Winfrey, but it was denied.
He will be one of the honorary guests at the ceremony.
Loader says the UFS was bombarded with requests from people to meet Winfrey.
Hundreds of journalists
She is expected to visit the international institute for studies on race, reconciliation and social justice at the UFS before her special ceremony. The institute was established after the so-called Reitz video came to light.
Strict security measures will be followed on campus.
Everyone who was lucky enough to get a ticket for the occasion will have to be seated by 14:00. The doors will be locked and no one will be able to come in or go out. Some streets on the campus will be closed.
Hundreds of journalists are expected to descend on the Kovsie campus on Friday. Strict media protocol will be followed and the media will be led from the special media centre in the Scaena Theatre to the Callie Human Hall where the ceremony takes place.
Winfrey will return to Johannesburg after the ceremony.