Cape Town: Chat show queen Oprah Winfrey, who doesn`t have children, says the first graduates of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls gave her an opportunity to play a mom.
After handpicking 72 underprivileged girls from South African shantytowns five years ago and helping them get higher education, the 58-year-old said she has been able to experience all the ups and downs of motherhood.
"We are texting all the time. I was on the phone last night for an hour with one of them," dailymail.co.uk. quoted Winfrey as saying.
Now, five years later, after implementing the idea inspired by Nelson Mandela, the girls are in American colleges.
"What is the single, life-changing, trajectory-changing moment for me was being exposed to a world of education that offered me insight into how I saw the world, and I just wanted to do that for somebody else. That`s all," said the 58-year-old, named the richest woman in Hollywood.
According to Forbes, Winfrey has devoted $400 million to the girls` education in the US and abroad, building a school in Meyerton, South Africa.
Her journey is chronicled in a two-hour documentary titled, "The First Graduating Class: Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls", which will air on the OWN, Sunday.
She says she wanted to make a point of donating her time and energy, not just money, to the cause.
While shuttling between US and South Africa, she developed meaningful relationships with the girls, and was now facing something akin to Empty Nest syndrome while watching them getting ready for college life.