U.S. cable network Fusion has given the greenlight to a one-hour special set to document the journeys of five graduates from the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa.
A Fusion Original production, O Girls (pictured) features host Kimberly Brooks as she revisits five young African girls from the academy’s inaugural graduating class a decade later, some of whom are graduating from college in the U.S. and others who have remained in South Africa in an effort to make a positive impact on the surrounding community.
The one-off will also explore the challenges and traumas each girl experienced prior to joining the academy – from violence and sexual abuse to the deaths of family members.
Featured in the film are graduates Bongeka, Thando, Charmain, Debra and Mpumi, who open up about dealing with those traumas and the personal pressure to succeed after life at the academy and the challenge of balancing their new lives in the U.S.
Brooks will also sit down for a one-on-one conversation with Oprah Winfrey to discuss how education has enriched the lives of each girl, alongside an array of topics from the origins of the academy to Winfrey’s relationship with students.
Brooks serves as a producer on the film, with Mark Lima and Keith Summa serving as executive producers.
O Girls premieres Jan. 15 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Fusion.
“Throughout the documentary, we see how Oprah’s dream of making a difference has impacted so many lives,” said Mark Lima, VP of news specials for Fusion, in a statement. “Kim’s dedication to this project and her passion for authentic storytelling is evident, as she shares the successes of these bright, young women.”