Friday, 20 November 2009

The Big "O"

And indeed, a lot of you saw the title and rushed over cause I know what you were thinking this entry was about, you sad perverts. lol

But no, I am referring to Oprah. Indeed she is the biggest "O" I know. Oprah is not just a woman. Oprah is not just a name. Oprah is a brand. This woman has taken what her mama gave her and created a brand unrivalled and probably unmatched by any other brand out there. I don't think there is any credible person in the world today who has never heard about Oprah Winfrey. And whether you idolise her for her 23 years on television, her foray into film acting, her philanthrophy, her unique Oprah-ness, you will agree that this woman has made and left an indelible mark on the world. And whether you know her because of the aforementioned, her yo-yo weight issues, for Stedman (poor fella), her huge heart, her emotional outbursts, we all know Lady O. And in some small way, we all admire, respect and love the Big O.

Oprah announcing the end of her show in 2011 is the end of an era. What was the world like B.O. - Before Oprah. Before this force of nature took over the world, what on earth did we do? We sat around and watched shows with mainstream, middle of the road tv hosts, who I guess in their own way, did their bit for the media landscape. But this little black girl, from the South, challenged the middle of the road media and managed to not just enter the homes on the other side of the road, but she took over the whole damn highway and that is power. Oprah's power lies in the way she has managed to breach so many boundaries as a woman, a black woman, an average looking woman - cause let's face it, she ain't no Miss America and many times it's the pageant-ness that gets you through the door first, and the talent later.

Oprah opened the doors for so many after her. Someone had wrote that while Barack Obama paved the way for black leaders to seize the mantle of power in America, Oprah had paved the way for Barack Obama and as she stood crying at his inauguaration, it was almost like the passing of the torch.

But she has not gone just yet and though I myself have not watched an episode of the show in ages, I know Oprah's legacy is a rich one that goes way beyond American culture. Oprah is a global citizen and we have cried with Miss Oprah and laughed with Oprah and cheered with Oprah. It really is odd to think about tv without her. But the amazing thing about it is, she will still be there even after her show cause her brand is far reaching and you just cannot get rid of the Big O. No way, man.


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