The woman is a Powerful word. Every woman is one of a kind. Every woman is embedded with Magic to inspire.
They say everyone needs to start from somewhere! The beginning to achieve your goals is now!
Oprah Winfrey is a phenomenal personality across the Globe, one of the most successful women. A true inspiration who inspires millions out there. Oprah Winfrey’s journey to becoming who she is today is equally inspirational. Readout her Journey, achievements form nothing to a global personality.
Oprah Winfrey humble beginnings
Oprah Winfrey was born in Kosciusko city of Mississippi State in the US on January 29th, 1954. Oprah’s legal name was Orpah, named after a figure from the Bible the word means “fawn”. Awkwardly for young Orpah, people struggled to pronounce her name often switching the R and P and so Orpah became Oprah.
“Everything you believe is true for you” “Everything you believe is possible for you“
These are the same lines she often used to hear while growing up in rural Mississippi and called as a Black girl. She struggled with all the racism. Which is still adjourning us to share the right for Equality. Oprah’s grandmother was a maid; that’s all ever she knew and expected the same from Oprah. Her grandmother’s only real expectation was with Oprah that one day she will grow up to become a fine maid who will work at white people’s home.
Oprah’s early years were spent in abject poverty. She shared her childhood with lots of people and as a child, she was raised by her Grandmother in the first six years. Oprah’s childhood was decently like any other black child in rural areas, wearing potato sacks as a dress. Her grandmother used to whip her often.
She was never allowed to have any emotions, wishes as a child. Oprah’s mother Vernita Lee was also a housemaid. Once after six years, she visited her mother but she wasn’t allowed to enter the house because of skin color. She used to sleep on the porch despite these hardships and the mockery that poverty brought her from her peers.
Oprah’s early rural life also planted the seed of one of her greatest passion. Her grandmother taught her to read even before she turned three. By the age of six, Oprah moved up north to Milwaukee with her mother. It was a fundamentally different environment and her mother’s parenting style was a drastic change; from that of her strict but encouraging grandmother. The ongoing poverty and an unstable family environment were challenging enough. Oprah had been the victim of psychological and sexual abuse by her extended family member.
She lived with this secret for the longest time, she was fearful of what if the secret comes out everyone is going to hate her. Being a Tv personality she thought as soon as the secret comes out she will look like a Shameful personality.
Oprah Winfrey reveals her traumatic experience of rape, In 2012 she confessed about her experience of constant episodes of sexual molestation. It turned out as the greatest relief for her, as she mentioned people who loved her! Loved her anyway.
We often hide, don’t confess the darkest part of our lives thinking people will judge us. We try to bury our trauma within ourselves. By doing so, we make ourselves feel depressed. This shouldn’t be the case, feel free to show darkness and let it pass. At the age of 14, Oprah became pregnant prematurely giving birth to a son who died shortly. After she gave birth to a child, she never even knew how this even happened to her. At the time when that child died, her father guided her saying “this is your second chance” “this is your opportunity to seize this moment and make something of your life”
Lincoln High School in Milwaukee was the school where Oprah was enrolled to continue her education. She quickly distinguished herself with her hard work and obvious intelligence. She was placed in the Upward Bound program and soon received a transfer to a prestigious High School in an affluent neighbourhood. Oprah seemed to pick up the right track.
“You are responsible for your Life – Oprah Winfrey”
She realized this at a young age with her hardship and ever since she followed the same.
She was then sent to live with her father in Nashville & this time it was for good; like her maternal grandmother. However, her father proved to be a strict but encouraging guardian. Under his influence, Oprah’s natural tendency towards performing well in school took over. She soon found herself on the honour student list excelling in extracurriculars and by the time she graduated she had secured a scholarship using her excellent oratory skills.
Oprah’s running a very successful show for decades “The Orpah show” shares that,
“It doesn’t matter where you have come from, who you are! What has happened to you? What matters is NOW, This Moment, and your willingness to see this moment for what it is accept! Forgive the past… Take the responsibility and move forward”.
Starting from the bottom local news, it was during Oprah’s final year of high school that she got her first taste of working in media after winning a beauty pageant.
She secured part-time work as a news anchor. At the age of 17, she continued to anchor at WBAL. soon she was hired at WLAC TV where she was the youngest anchor in that station’s history as well as their first black anchor.
In her short life up to this point, she had already gone from potato sacks to breaking ground for women. After graduation, Oprah moved to Baltimore’s wjz-tv in 1976, after working a lot she did face difficulties and was replaced because of her skin colour.
Sometimes you got to take a step backwards to take two steps forward she was asked to join Richard share on the talk show “people are talking” in 1978. It was Oprah’s first foray into the format and it would forever change her life.
During her time on AM Chicago show that Oprah was approached to star in the film the colour purple producer and music legend Quincy Jones had seen around the program and thought that she would be a good fit for one of his projects.
It was Oprah’s film debut. despite her relative inexperience, Winfrey turned in a star-making performance; one that earned her an Academy Award nomination for best supporting Actress. The film was a huge success both with critics and at the box office and Oprah star power significantly increased.
The Oprah Winfrey Show signed to a record-breaking syndication deal with King World and was being broadcast across the nation and just like that Oprah Winfrey became the top daytime talk-show host in the country.
For many that’d be enough! But part of what makes Oprah Winfrey such a force to be reckoned with and the reason that her brand has continued to expand is that she refuses to stop moving.
Hence 1986 Oprah founded her own production company Harpo Inc which she used as a place to produce stories she thought were worth telling. Media empires her as successful brand-driven Personality in the history of entertainment. Everything she does, whether its; Oprah’s Book Club, Oprah’s Favorite Thing O magazine or the Oprah Winfrey Network
Over the years Oprah has continuously found new ways to connect with her fans and the TV.
Her remarkable success is The Oprah Winfrey Show
The Oprah Winfrey Show ran from 1986 to 2011 during that time the show produced four thousand five hundred and sixty-one episodes.
It also took home 47 Daytime Emmys all before the year 2000 when Oprah opted to forego submitting the series for Emmy consideration TV Guide lists it among its 50 greatest TV shows of all time. Today it remains the single highest-rated daytime talk show in the history of American television after 25 seasons on the air.
You’d think that Oprah might want to retire but instead, 2011 was the year that she found an own her very own speciality television network. It got off to a bit of a slow start but by 2015 the channel was being broadcast into an estimated eighty-one point nine million households in America.
When Oprah faces adversity she adapts, overcomes and finds a way to succeed. She opened the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for girls.
By 2004 she ranked among the 50 most generous Americans. While accomplishing everything she has Oprah has also managed to give back in a major way. Flash forward to 2012 and she donated an estimated 400 million dollars to at occasional programs, scholarships, museums, disaster relief, following Hurricane Katrina Oprah has been directly involved with all of the above.
Although materialistic metrics weigh a lot smaller in comparison to Oprah Winfrey’s philanthropy, according to FORBES as of JULY, 2021 her net worth soared to $2.7 billion and she is literally the wealthiest female entertainer in the world!
Among the endless list of her valued assets, her $42 million Global XRS Private Plane and $52 million Promised Land attracts the most attention of her admirers.
Over the course of her career, Oprah has changed the face of popular media becoming an empowering icon for multiple generations in the process but she’s not finished yet.
“Each of us comes to this earth with a deep potential that earns to be fulfilled with a love to be set free we all crave connection we search for common ground.”
Oprah has recently announced her intention to produce original content for Apple and continues to expand her brand with new projects while she has publicly stated that she’s disinterested in politics she remains committed to changing the world through her philanthropic efforts.
“What I know is if we do our jobs right we’re going to replace shame and we’re going to replace stigma with wisdom, with some compassion, and with honesty”
The humblest of beginnings Oprah ascended to become one of the single most influential figures in entertainment.
The list of awards and her achievements is never-ending. isn’t it how women are UNSTOPPABLE!
Also Read, Indu Jain’s story, The former TOI Group chairman, who transformed the media industry