Media frenzy in Bloem as Oprah comes to town

2011-06-24 12:42

Only students at the University of the Free State (UFS) will be allowed to ask American talk-show host Oprah Winfrey questions after her graduation ceremony at the university’s Bloemfontein campus today.

UFS Rector, Professor Jonathan Jansen, said that Oprah requested 90 minutes to address the students and staff of the university and allow them to ask questions.

The ceremony is expected to start at 2pm today amid strict security measures.

Roads at the university campus were already closed by noon yesterday. A tight schedule and secrecy has been been wrapped around Winfrey’s visit, the programme and the arrangements.

The ceremony takes place in the Callie Human Hall at the campus that can accommodate 4 500 people.

A frenzy created by local, national and international media rocked the university grounds by 11am this morning.

By 1pm, a queue that stretched for metres had formed outside the Callie Human Hall. A rumour that US First Lady Michelle Obama is possibly going to accompany Winfrey has also spread like wild fire.

Obama is currently on a weeklong visit to Africa.

The Bloemfontein Airport was abuzz since early morning with fans hoping to see a glimpse of Winfrey.

During a press conference on the campus, UFS spokesperson, Lacea Loader, said the graduation programme would start at 2pm.

Winfrey is the only one receiving a honorary degree from the university today.

A pre-graduation programme includes musical items from among others the Bartimea School for the Deaf and Blind.

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