Twee uit Oprah-skool oor Afrikaans

May 7, 2007 at 2:08 pm 5 comments

05/05/2007 19:25  – (SA)  – Rapport
Twee uit Oprah-skool oor Afrikaans

Kultuurverskille en boelies het glo meegebring dat twee van die leerlinge aan Oprah Winfrey se spogskool vir meisies sedert die vakansie weier om terug te gaan.

Die twee maats, Michelle Conradie en Gwenneth Mans, se ouers wil nie oor hul besluit praat nie. Rapport het egter verneem die kletskoningin het by geleentheid self vir me. Amanda Conradie, ma van Michelle, uit Amerika gebel om te sê haar kind word “geviktimiseer”.

Nou sit Michelle en Gwenneth glo by die huis terwyl hul voormalige klasmaats twee weke gelede weer agter hul luukse skoolbanke by die Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls ingeskuif het.

Me. Frances Mans, Gwenneth se pleegma, het bevestig haar kind is by die huis, maar het gesê “ek wil nie daaroor praat nie”, waarna sy die telefoon neergesit het.

Conradie antwoord nie haar telefoon nie.

Rapport verneem egter die lewe by die weelderige skool met sy ses gesonde maaltye per dag, moderne klaskamers en spoggerige slaapkamers het vir die meisies net te erg geword.

“Hulle mag byvoorbeeld nie Afrikaans praat nie. As hulle gevang word, word hulle van sekere van hul regte ontneem. Dis die meisies se eerste taal en dit word nie toegelaat nie. Dis belaglik,” sê die bron. “Die stelsel by die skool werk nie vir almal nie.”

Mans is glo besig om vir haar pleegkind ’n ander skool te soek.

Die skool se bestuur weier om daaroor te praat.

Mnr. John Samuels, bestuurder van die skool, het gisteroggend gesê: “Ek kan nie kommentaar lewer nie.”

En op ’n vraag of hulle die probleem uitstryk, het hy gesê: “Watter probleem? Hoe kan ons iets uitstryk as daar nie ’n probleem is nie?”

Die skool was verlede maand in die nuus toe ouers gesê het hulle wil hul kinders meer as net die voorgeskrewe een keer ’n maand besoek. Maar Samuels het toe gesê alles is in die kinders se belang.

Ook in Februarie is berig ’n meisie is aangesê om die skool te verlaat nadat sy die een of ander siekte opgedoen het.

Maar nie al die leerlinge by die skool het klagtes nie. Me. Colleen Jefferies, tante van Taryn-Leigh, sê daar is geen probleme waarvan hulle weet nie. “Taryn het in die drie maande daar só ’n volwasse mens geword. Dis ongelooflik. Sy is baie gelukkig by die skool.”

Die skool het Winfrey R268 miljoen gekos. Sy het die 152 minderbevoorregte meisies wat daar skoolgaan, self uitgekies.

Gavin Prins

06/05/2007 21:19 – (SA)

Johannesburg – Two Afrikaans-speakers have not returned to Oprah Winfrey’s upmarket school for girls after the holidays, apparently because of cultural differences and bullying.

The parents of the two friends, Michelle Conradie and Gwenneth Mans, don’t want to talk about it.

But Rapport newspaper has heard that the talk show queen on occasion phoned from the United States to tell Michelle’s mother, Amanda Conradie, that her daughter was being “victimised”.

Michelle and Gwenneth have been sitting at home for the past fortnight, while their former classmates returned to the posh Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls.

‘Not allowed to speak Afrikaans’

Frances Mans, Gwenneth’s foster mother, confirmed that her daughter was at home, but said “I don’t want to talk about it” and put down the phone.

Conradie did not answer calls to her phone.

Rapport’s information is that life at the school with its six healthy meals a day, modern classrooms and fancy bedrooms had just become too much for the girls.

A source said: “For instance, they’re not allowed to speak Afrikaans to each other, even though it’s their home language.

“If they’re caught, certain privileges are taken away. It’s ridiculous. The school’s system doesn’t work for everyone.”

Mans is looking for another school for her daughter.

The school management is tight-lipped about it all.

Academy manager John Samuels said: “I cannot comment.”

When asked if they were attending to the problem, he responded “What problem? How can we attend to a problem if there isn’t one?”

The school was in the news a month ago when parents said they wanted to visit their daughters more often than the prescribed once a month.

Samuels said at the time that it was “in the girls’ best interests”.

There was also a report in February that a girl was told to leave because she had contracted an illness.

Most pupils ‘very happy’

However, there also are positive reports from the pupils.

Colleen Jefferies, aunt of Taryn-Leigh, says there aren’t any problems that they know about.

“In her three months there, Taryn has become such an adult, it’s unbelievable. She’s very happy at the school.”

Oprah’s academy cost her a cool R268m, and she personally selected the 152 less-privileged pupils to attend it.

Gavin Prins

06/05/2007 21:19 – (SA)


Entry filed under: Afrikaans, Global Village, Identity, Language, WTF.

++Peter to +Katharine ++Peter to ++Rowan

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. jimi4life  |  May 7, 2007 at 6:38 pm

    gee vir hulle karre oprah!

  • 2. Thornyrose  |  May 26, 2007 at 2:37 am

    It will take an even longer time for this new “giveme” generation to realise that they will have to one day work for the things they want and that it will not always just be ‘given’ to them like it is now than it took their parents to realise that reality.

    Sad very sad indeed


  • 3. pat  |  October 15, 2007 at 7:15 am

    Of course they have to work, everyone knows that. They have suffered more than most Americans will ever know in their lifetime, What is so wrong with them having a nice school. Give me a break. It’s easy to judge if you’ve had an easy life. How dare you, i bet you never lost your parents to AIDS or live in poverty. God bless these young women, at least they have got an opportunity to succeed at life and not be a casuality of it.
    Pray for them.

  • 4. Ms Malebo Magongoa  |  November 7, 2007 at 5:59 pm

    I wish my daughter was lucky enough to be admitted to the academy but unfortunately she was not. All the best to those girls who have succeded to be admitted to the academy and to their mothers

    Thank you Oprah

  • 5. Johan  |  February 9, 2008 at 3:42 pm

    With this little information, it is impossible to take sides or to even imagine the cause of this incident. I can only think of other incidents that could be similar: Afrikaans kids who spoke Afrikaans at a predominately black school gathering and the resentment to Afrikaans as previously looked upon by black South Africans as being a reminder of their oppressors caused serious tension and name calling. One must realise that there is just as much alive and well Apartheid amongst black people (severe reversed Apartheid !) and all people will have to have a change of heart. Too often black people play the Apartheid Card because it is a popular card and easy to use. It is long overdue that all people should think clearly and logically rather than to act just on old grudges and forget the hate. If South Africana could only work as well as they can fight, this country will be a wonderful place for everybody.
    I thank you. Tensions like this one at he Oprah School cannot be tolerated and it is correct to remove tension before it can escalate.


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