Year 1954 - Mississippi, United States
A cute little girl Oprah is born to a single teenage mother and the father leaves the mother soon after she is born.
Her mother has to look for a job to take care of the kid and life.
So she moves to Milwaukee leaving the the little girl to live with her grandmother.
For the 1st six years Oprah lives in extreme poverty.
How extreme you might ask?
well...as much as she would often wear dresses made with potato sacks.
Her grandmother teaches her to read at the age of 2.5 years. Soon she starts to learn speaking as well.
She stands in front of mirror and speaks for hours. She talks to her toy dolls and birds. She would talk to animals considering them as her first audience.
Her interest in speaking increases so much that she starts to recite Bible verses for the church. "Little Preacher"
Realizing her immense interest in speaking, her grandmother motivates her to speak in public.
Grandma knows that the girl is God gifted and just needs some encouragement to keep going.
As she turns 5 and gets admitted to kindergarten, she is immediately promoted to Grade I because she is ahead of the kids of her age. All thanks to grandma.
Just try to see the signs of the intelligence in the girl.
A few years pass. Grandma is getting older and ill, so Oprah's mother takes her to Milwaukee.
But because her mother works as a housemaid and now also has another little daughter to take care, she is not able to give ample time to Oprah.
Understanding the lack of attention Oprah is getting, she sends the little girl to live with his father in Tennessee.
Yes, a 7 year old girl has to live away from her mother
Her step mother and his father take care of her, as they don't have a child of their own.
They would take her to libraries where her reading skills are only going to improve.
She is again allowed to skip a grade and gets promoted to Grade 3.
The parents also take her to the church regularly where she speaks publicly to improve her oratory skills.
After spending a year with her father, Oprah moves back to live with her mother where she continues her education.
Will her mother be able to give her the time she deserves?
Life is not as easy for some. We should consider ourselves privileged to have such a good life.
Why do I say that?
Because not everybody is that privileged. Not that little girl at least.
A very unfortunate event happens with Oprah while she is living with her mother.
Her mother is a working woman and that means she has to have somebody to look after Oprah in her absence.
Comes Oprah's 19 year old cousin to babysit her.
This turns out to be a very big mistake. A scare that will remain with that 9 year old forever.
Her cousin r*pes her.
Blood boils. A bare thought of a 9 year old girl being r*ped gives me shivers.
And the little girl's misery doesn't end here.
By the time she reaches 13 she is r*ped again once by a family friend and once by her uncle.
She can't share her situation with her mother either.
Unable to handle the sexual abuse any further, she runs away from her home and starts living with her father again.
But the scars of those m*lestations come back to haunt her.
She gets pregnant, her son is delivered premature and dies.
Remember she is just 13.
How cruel can humans be?
But life is not over. With the support of your parents' guiding hands on your shoulders, even the greatest obstacles can be overcome.
Oprah's father helps her forget about her son by forcing her to focus on studies. He provides her with all the guidance and support that her daughter needs.
With the knowledge she is gaining, she becomes a top student in her school; gets famous for her brilliant oratory skills.
Her interest in speaking makes her to win a speaking contest and a scholarship to study at Tennessee State University.
Time passes and it's 1970.
Oprah participates in a beauty contest organized by a local radio station. Wins it.
She is offered a job there because people at the station like her voice when she reads a script on mic for fun.
You never know what can change everything for you. Opportunities arrive in mysterious ways. Just keep trying.
Oprah accepts the job and continues working part-time while studying in her high school.
With the scholarship that she received earlier, she starts her bachelors degree in Speech Communications and Performing Arts.
And as you know by now, studying is just one part of her personality.
She is also active in extracurricular stuff and wins two more beauty contests in her college.
A TV station called the Nashville Columbia Broadcasting System (aka CBS) offers her a job as a news anchor.
What that means is that the now 19 year old Oprah becomes the first African-American female co-anchor in the CBS news.
Don't think that job of a news anchor is easy. Especially for a person like Oprah, who is full of emotions for people.
Once she is asked to attend funeral of a dead child and talk to his family in this time of tragedy...and she can't do that.
Probably this job is not for me.
When these incidents come to the knowledge of her boss, she is demoted to become co-anchor of a local talk show 'People are talking'.
She is not really happy with this decision. She fears this might impact her career for the bad.
But as they say, a door closes so another opens.
Soon she realizes that her new role is way better suited to her nature; It allows her to directly connect with the people she is interviewing.
By the year 1986, she is doing great and making reputation among masses.
She is approached by American Broadcasting Company to improve ratings of their morning show.
Oprah decides to join the show and due to her unique style, the show's rating skyrockets. It becomes one of the highest rated talk show.
She exudes charm and humility that causes interviewees to tell her secrets about their personality.
Seeing the success, the company renames the talk show to The Oprah Winfrey Show
Tasting her success in her unique way, she starts her own company called Harpo Productions, Inc. and buys rights of The Oprah Winfrey Show from ABC
She becomes the first woman in the history to produce and own her talk show.
Nothing can stop her now.
The show runs for 25 years from 1986 to 2011 and receives many Daytime Emmy Awards.
In 2003, Oprah becomes first black woman to become a billionaire.
Oprah Winfrey has seen everything from extreme poverty to become a media mogul, all because of her own merits.
She remains an active philanthropist known for her donations towards education and improvement of people's lives.
Learning: Everybody has problems in their life. But not everybody lives their life. Face the challenges with determination.
No two days are same. No two humans are same.
A little empathy towards people will take you long way.
Oprah has gone through so much trauma in her past, yet here she is, inspiring the generations.
As most media houses call her (and it doesn't seem exaggerated at all)
She is the most powerful woman.
"The Queen of All Media"
💡Did you know?
Reliance Industries founder Dhirubhai Ambani's first business venture was selling street food.
🗞️ News From India
Two news worth sharing this week and you might have already read about it.
Chandrayan Landing - India's space agency ISRO sent a lander to the moon. It successfully landed on the South pole of moon. India becomes the first country to achieve the feat of reaching the south pole.
R. Pragyananda - An 18 year old Indian boy played well to reach World Chess Championship Final but lost to Magnus Carlsen. The boy has made all the Indians and chess fraternity very proud. Our youth should be fascinated by such heroes, not the ones who imitate on screens.
In my previous issue, I shared a word puzzle. I got a few replies and many DMs on my X account.
The answer to the puzzle is STRATEGY
If you want to know the explanation, DM me on X.
📖 My Recent Read
I recently read "Building a Story Brand" by Donald Miller. A very good read.
The gist of the book is that stories win the game. And so your business should also be a story.
But remember. You are not the hero of the story. Your customer is the hero.
You are the guide who helps hero to get rid of his problems and become happy in the end.
Subtle yet effective.
😇 Calling it the wraps
That's all for this issue. If you like this, please share it with your friends.
That will motivate me to bring more such interesting stuff to you.
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Take care of your family. Spend the time with your loved ones.
Stop impressing those who don't give a shit about you. They don't matter.
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Till next time 🙋🏻♂️