In January 2007, Oprah Winfrey opened up the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in Johannesburg, South Africa. Ten years later, she is reuniting with young women from the school’s first class to see where life has taken them. Thankfully, we will get a chance to view that reunion and the conversations that come from it in the Fusion documentary, O Girls.
“I wanted to help girls like me, if only” Winfrey says in the documentary trailer. And as seen from that preview, the impact obtaining an education from the Academy has had on the young women is momentous. “How do you say ‘Thank you’ to somebody who saved your life?” one young woman asks, tears falling down her face in the preview clip.
The documentary follows five young women from the class, and also features an interview with Winfrey, done by Fusion correspondent and Harpo alum Kimberly Brooks. The women, who went through everything from sexual abuse and violence to the loss of family before entering the Academy, talk about overcoming those obstacles. They also discuss the pressure to succeed after graduating from the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy, and what it’s like for the women to adjust to life in the United States after spending most of their lives in South Africa. According to Entertainment Weekly, some of the women featured are prepping for college graduation.
“My work with these girls feels as natural to me as if they were my own children,” Winfrey shared during her interview with Brooks. “For me, this is what mothering was meant to be.”
O Girls is set to air on January 15 at 8 p.m. ET on Fusion.