Celebrity News

Oprah moved to tears after meeting Kiwi fans

The media mogul makes a special connection with her fans in Aotearoa
Oprah Winfrey

Media superstar Oprah Winfrey was moved to tears at an intimate meet and greet with fans prior to her Auckland show last night, revealing she was surprised and humbled to learn she’d touched the hearts of women in New Zealand, so far away from her American home.

At the hour-long Visa Entertainment VIP event for 100 fans at Vector Arena, the talk-show queen listened intently as Kiwi women from all walks of life gave thanks for the positive inspiration she’d had on their lives.

“I was on other side of the world and I didn’t know you were watching,” Oprah said, visibly moved. “When I stood on that little stage of my television show in Chicago, I had no idea. Hearing some of you tell me that I raised you through your TV, when I hear stuff like that, I want to cry.”

Oprah – who was born in poverty in Mississippi and defied all odds to become the most successful media woman of all time and America’s only black billionaire (she’s worth a whopping $4.5 billion) – said she loved her four-day trip to New Zealand and felt an affinity for its land and people.

“Just flying in, I felt it and I felt blessed,” she said.

“I have travelled lots of places in the world and seen a lot, and in this part of the world, you got it right,” she said.

“There’s a sense of contentment here, and people are connected to the land in a way I haven’t seen before. People have the right level of ambition. You are living the best lives. You should write the New Zealand journal and tell people.”

Oprah was ecstatic at receiving her signed All Blacks jumper from coach Steve Hansen.

For many Kiwis present, seeing Oprah was on their bucket list, but asked if she had written her own, she said no.

“I live a very elevated life and I get a bigger pleasure having great avocado on toast then travelling around the world. I have a deep appreciation for every day. I don’t get more excited about birthdays and Christmas – I live every day in a really joyful state. I’m fully present. I’ve lived such a humongous life, but I am just as excited to be on the Auckland walkway or see the kauri [in the Waitakere Ranges].

“Actually, I love, love, love trees. I thought maybe I’d like to go around and find the world’s greatest trees – a tree tour might be on my bucket list. But I’d probably see three and then go that’s ok,” she laughed, before adding she’d like to see New Zealand’s giant Tane Mahuta.

After a photo with Oprah, the lucky Visa Entertainment fans were treated to a backstage tour, before joining 12,000 people to watch her one and only New Zealand show, “An Evening with Oprah.”

Radiant in a purple top and white skirt with bright flowers, she opened the by proudly showing off an All Blacks jumper she’d just received from coach Steve Hansen. “Every one of the guys signed it just for me!” she crowed, delighting the sell-out crowd she had in the palm of her hand for the next two and a half hours before a rousing standing ovation.

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