BFN abuzz over Oprah's arrival

2011-06-24 08:13
Bloemfontein - Huge excitement was evident at the Bloemfontein campus of the University of the Free State on Thursday in anticipation of American talk show host Oprah Winfrey's visit to receive an honorary doctorate on Friday.

Campus security was beefed up, while students and staff were busy with last minute arrangements for the ceremony in the 4500 seat Callie Human Hall.

Tickets for students to attend the event were taken up within hours of the announcement, and public tickets were sold out on the same day.

The UFS would be awarding an honorary doctorate in education to the "global media icon, philanthropist and public educator" to recognise Winfrey's accomplishments as media leader and philanthropist with vision in the field of education and development.

Fan park

"It is a great privilege for the UFS to be the first South African university to honour Ms Winfrey in this way and to be able to recognise a global icon of her stature," Rector Jonathan Jansen said in a statement.

Winfrey was expected to stay in Bloemfontein for only a few hours to receive the doctorate and to talk to students.

Some 60 news journalist and photographers were expected on the campus, with very strict rules and movement arrangements. Those attending the ceremony were expected to be seated in the hall an hour before the ceremony starts.

Although not a stranger to South Africa due to her Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls at Henley on Klip in Gauteng, the popular American talk show host was creating a buzz in the Free State capital.

The UFS student radio station has promoted a "fan park" area with big screens for fans who missed out on tickets.


The event has also influenced local newspapers and radio stations which have run with promotions such as "What would you say to Oprah, if you could meet her?" and "We're looking for the biggest Oprah supporter" on their web pages.

Placards welcoming Oprah to Bloemfontein are also up on lamp posts in the streets.

On the Facebook page of the local newspaper Die Volksblad many readers have poured out their support for Oprah.

Elzaan Du Preez said she and Oprah shared a birthday.

"She's big in the small things!! She truly inspires - no movie like the colour purple!!"

Chantel Viljoen said she was probably the biggest "fan" in South Africa. "Sy is regtig n engel vir mense. (She is really an angel for people)."

No Media

Hendrika Bosman-Fitzgerald said Oprah's popularity was because she gives with love.

"Sy gee met liefde en is altyd nederig al is sy beroemd (She gives with love, and is always humble even though she is famous)."

Manager of the Bloemfontein Airport Johan Scholtz said the request was that no media be allowed at the airport.

A private vehicle would pick up Winfrey at her private aircraft on the tarmac and bring her to the UFS.


  • Don - 2011-06-24 09:00

    Tell someone who cares!

      Rolie - 2011-06-24 09:21

      In my opinion she is racist towards SA whites.

      Brownskin - 2011-06-24 10:57

      rolie domkop pls tell me, how did you come to you opinion?

      Matt - 2011-06-24 13:43

      Oprah is so full of herself, she's practically a worshipper of herself - she started out a Baptist, got influenced by new-age stuff, add popularity and voila, she's made up her own belief system and apparently we're all meant to follow it... there have been articles before on this very issue!

  • - 2011-06-24 09:01

    Oprah is amazing! The 'thing' about her is that she remains 'grounded', treats everyone the same, shows great pleasure in giving....she kind of conveys the fact that she knows her roots and is grateful for the way her life has turned out. How can one not be somewhat in awe of her and all she does...she has obviously worked hard to get to whre she is today. Like I say, she IS amazing!

  • alexander.lombard - 2011-06-24 09:27

    Ai daar is nie veel in Bloemfontein om die mense aftreking te gee nie. Oprah maak op vir die droogte op die rugbyveld.

  • Jacques - 2011-06-24 09:29

    Biggest buzz if from steers,spur, ocean basket, nando's, kfc...Oprah will visit them all!!!!

      Matt - 2011-06-24 13:30

      Don't tempt her Jacques, her plane back to USA won't take off

  • Robbie - 2011-06-24 09:33

    I wanna puke...

      Jacques - 2011-06-24 09:51

      Related to Luke??

      Toni - 2011-06-24 12:42

      Jaa!! Dis reg. Puke with hatred. Get out of your little dark corner and smell the rose. 98% of the whites support her, so puke if you can but you are left behind. Life has changed. Remove your blinkers meneer.

      Matt - 2011-06-24 13:29

      @ Toni - actually I'm yet to meet a fellow white who doesn't loathe her

  • willieman - 2011-06-24 09:41

    @Rolie i feel sorry for you this is got nothing to do with race or hate ,you just want to polirise us like malema

  • BraSam - 2011-06-24 12:59

    @Rolie You can only polirise if you have power, malema has some, do you? i may not support malema's idiologies but your statement does. Take care

  • Hamrammr - 2011-06-24 13:02

    Ahhh Levi, our plan is taking shape- look at how they are bowing to their new master bwahahahahaha!!!

  • zulufox - 2011-06-24 16:48

    Blacks love her because she represents everything whites never associate with Blaks... Sweet success, she is SUCCESS personified...

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