South Africa: Oprah girl sets off on opportunity of lifetime

By benim
In Children & Youth
Jan 12th, 2011
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While most of her peers were enjoying their last few days of freedom before schools open next week, Lithamsanqa Gqosha, 12, was gearing up for a year filled with new opportunities.

After numerous tests and interviews, she was accepted at the school – in Henley on Klip, south of Johannesburg – which caters for academically gifted girls from disadvantaged homes.

“I was very nervous during the selection process, which was tough. I couldn’t believe it when I was told I was through,” she said.

The last-born of three children, the Grade Seven pupil was optimistic about her first stint at boarding school.

“I feel excited but I’m scared at the same time. It’s all so overwhelming, especially because Oprah’s show is one of my favourites on television,” she said.

“I know it’s a great opportunity for me and I want to make the best of it and make my family proud.”

Lithamsanqa’s mother, Ntombomzi, said: “This is proof that God is powerful and plays a role in all our lives.

“It is wonderful, but there is already some longing because she is my last born and we have a very strong bond.

“We are grateful to Oprah . God works through her.”

Father Melikhaya Gqosha was equally proud.

Lithamsanqa will not be in completely unfamiliar surroundings at the school. Her “homegirls” Zandile Mgoqi, Inaminkosi Ncapayi, Aviwe Mandyanda, Asisipho Tyawana and Avukile Zoya, are seniors there.

Zandile and Inaminkosi are in the school’s first matric class.

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