United States television talk-show queen Oprah Winfrey admitted on Wednesday that she nearly gave up her $40-million school project in South Africa after people at first failed to understand her vision for it.
"My biggest struggle here ... was getting other people in this country to understand my vision," Oprah told the network. "For a long, long time it was cumbersome and difficult. And I gave up about three years ago."
But she changed her mind after officials were going to name it after her anyway and "I had to have some control over what's going to happen", she said.
"I think there's some residual apartheid effect here," she said, adding that many "people didn't [believe] that African girls should have such beautiful surroundings" at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls at Henley-on-Klip, south of Johannesburg.
"Everybody is calling it lavish. I call it comfortable," she said. "Why would I build tin shacks for girls who come from tin shacks?"
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