Parents

Oprah Winfrey's Wish For Her 'Daughters' Is Simple But Powerful

It's short and sweet, but nonetheless touching.
04/04/2016 04:24pm ET | Updated April 5, 2016

In two simple words, Oprah Winfrey beautifully summed up her wish for her "daughters" at the academy she opened for girls in South Africa.

As part of The Huffington Post's new interview series Talk To Me, the philanthropist sat down with graduates from The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls, whom she calls her "daughters." During their conversation, Winfrey opened up about love and the lessons she learned from Maya Angelou and offered the three young women important advice she's learned over the years.

"I want you to live the fullest, truest height of expression of yourselves. You are going to fall," she said. "The very nature of moving through life is at some point you’re going to stumble, but when you stumble it just means oops, detour. Got to move in another direction."

Winfrey also shared how often she has been the only woman and "certainly the only black person" in boardrooms even to this day. She made sure the three young women knew that they, too, deserved a spot in such places. One of the graduates, Zimkita Mpumpula, thanked Winfrey for encouraging her and changing her life before asking the talk show host what her biggest wish was for other girls at the academy. Winfrey simply answered, "Your happiness."

"Your success, however you choose to define that, is my reward, and your fulfillment as a human being," she said. "I started out doing this as a gift to Nelson Mandela, as a gift to the country of South Africa, as a gift to each one of you. And it turned out to be the greatest gift I could have given myself."

The touching exchange resulted in a few tears -- and a request from Winfrey for some tissues.

"Barbara Walters always loved when she could make people cry," she said. "Y'all are doing it. You got a little Barbara in you, girls."

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