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Spelman Alumnae Featured in 'O Girls' Documentary

January 2017

Bongeka ZumaRecent Spelman graduates Bongeka Zuma and Debra Ngcobo are featured in the documentary film "O Girls" that highlights the personal journey of five students from the inaugural class of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa. 

The documentary, which premiered on January 15 on the Fusion channel, follows the young women as they mark new milestones and reflect on the transformational power of an education. Winfrey, global media mogul and philanthropist, started the school in 2007 to give academically talented girls an education and break the cycle of poverty.

The film catches up with the Academy graduates a decade later, as they reflect on how that opportunity has fueled a desire to give back to their community. Winfrey was in the audience at Spelman’s Commencement exercises on May 15 to see Ngcobo and class of 2016 salutatorian Zuma receive their degrees. Spelman has a special relationship with the Academy. In addition to accepting Academy graduates as students at the College, Spelman women have participated in internships at the school, tutoring students and serving as resident assistants.

Spelman alumna Debra NgcoboNgcobo, a LifeWorks and Inclusion Coordinator at Discovery Communications in Silver Spring, Maryland, is passionate about learning and considers herself a "budding polymath – a young woman constantly in search of herself by exploring an array of disciplines." She says, "My interests extend themselves to law and politics, business, entertainment production and traveling.

Zuma is pursuing a doctor of medicine degree and plans to practice as an OBGYN. Her long-term goal is to get involved in global health and establish an organization like Partners In Health on her own continent. Read her Rolling Out interview about life after Spelman.

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