Oprah Winfrey's 'daughter', Thando Dlomo: bio, facts and life story

Oprah Winfrey's 'daughter', Thando Dlomo: bio, facts and life story

Thando Dlomo is one of the first success stories from Oprah Winfrey's Leadership Academy. However, the actress being referred to as the media mogul's 'daughter' has left some envious and others confused. Does Oprah Winfrey have a daughter?

Oprah Winfrey's daughter, Thando Dlomo's, bio, facts and life story
Thando Dlomo was a student at Oprah Winfrey's Leadership Academy. Today, the two share a mother-daughter bond. Photo: Violeta Meyners and @thando_d (modified by author)
Source: Instagram

The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls (OWLAG) cost the talk show host $140 million. Founded in 2007, the school takes in the brightest underprivileged girls from all nine provinces in South Africa. Thando Dlomo was one of those girls, and this is her story.

Thando Dlomo's profile and bio summary

Full nameThando Dlomo
Date of birth22 October 1993
Age30 years old (as of 2023)
Birth signScorpio
Place of birthBenoni, Gauteng, South Africa
Current residenceLos Angeles, California, United States of America
Height in feet5'4''
Height in centimetres162
Eye colourBrown
Hair colourBlack
ParentsThokozile Elizabeth Zwane (mother)
Alma materUniversity of Southern CaliforniaJohnson C. Smith University
ProfessionTelevision producerJournalistActor
Social mediaInstagramX (Twitter)

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Where is Oprah Winfrey's 'daughter', Thando Dlomo from?

Thando was born in Benoni, South Africa, on 22 October 1993. She grew up in a one-room shack in the backyard of her grandmother's employers.

According to reports, Dlomo's mother was around, but her grandmother, Janet Tshabalala, was the primary custodian. She was a domestic worker in a Johannesburg suburb who could barely afford her granddaughter's school fees, food, and other necessities.

Is Thando Oprah Winfrey's biological daughter?

Thando is not the biological or adopted daughter of Oprah. She is an alumna of Oprah Winfrey's Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa, where she built a close relationship with Oprah.

The journalist and speaker first met Oprah Winfrey in 2006 when she visited her modest home while filming the documentary Building a Dream ahead of the opening of OWLAG. Dlomo and 71 other young girls would start their high school careers the following year.

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The TV producer shared how The Color Purple star was by her side for more critical moments of her life, including the death of a loved one. When she was 15, her mom died from AIDS, a disease she was unaware her mother had.

The grief did not hinder her progress. She completed her high school career in 2011 and left for the United States of America in 2012 to study at Johnson C. Smith University, where she got her Bachelor's Degree in Communication and Media Studies and Theatre.

Oprah Winfrey's 'daughter' enrolled at the University of Southern California in 2017 for her Master of Science in Journalism. The philanthropist Oprah was a speaker at her graduation, where she publicly referred to Dlomo as her 'daughter'.

Thando's father was absent for most of her life, but eventually, she reached out to him. She attributes her decision to reconcile with her father to the advice she received from the billionaire businesswoman.

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While studying at USC, she received a call that he had taken ill, and she was to return to South Africa. Before she could book a flight, she was informed of his passing. Yet again, she was unaware of her parent's illness until it was too late.

Thando Dlomo and Oprah
Winfrey refers to Dlomo as her 'daughter-girl'. Photo: Paras Griffin
Source: Getty Images

Thando Dlomo's net worth

Oprah Winfrey's 'daughter-girl's net worth is rumoured to be R9 million. She is primarily an associate content producer at Entertainment Tonight but has ventured into acting.

According to her IMDb profile, Thando had a part in the film The Woman King and appeared in the series Sistas. She was also part of the cast of Shaka: King of the Zulu Nation, but production was cancelled a few days after they started shooting.

Is Oprah Winfrey married or have kids?

The 69-year-old and her partner, Stedman Graham, have been together for nearly 40 years. In an interview, she explained their decision not to tie the knot and said:

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"We would not have stayed together, because marriage requires a different way of being in this world. His interpretation of what it means to be a husband and what it would mean for me to be a wife would have been pretty traditional, and I would not have been able to fit into that."

The couple briefly engaged in 1992 but mutually decided it was not their best route. Stedman was previously married for about a year and had a daughter, Wendy, who was born in 1975.

Is Oprah Winfrey married or have kids?
Stedman Graham and Oprah Winfrey have been together for almost 40 years. Photo: Kevin Mazur
Source: Getty Images

Does Oprah Winfrey have a child?

The media mogul does not have any children. She reportedly said she never wanted kids because she believes she would not have been a good mother and does not have patience.

However, the humanitarian embraced motherhood in another way. She continually refers to the girls at her Leadership Academy as the daughters she was meant to have. The OWLAG girls even affectionately refer to her as Mom O.

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Does Oprah Winfrey have a child?
Television personality Oprah Winfrey and the graduates from the inaugural class of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls. Photo: Michelly Rall
Source: Getty Images

Although she has chosen not to have children, the Emmy Award-winning talk show host did give birth to a child when she was 14. Her son, whom she later named Canaan, was born prematurely and died in the hospital a few weeks later.

Who was the father of Oprah Winfrey's son?

Over the years, Winfrey has been open about her childhood abuse. When she was nine, she was molested by several family members, including her 19-year-old cousin and an uncle. The abuse continued until she was 14. The 69-year-old never revealed the names of her abusers.

How many family members does Oprah Winfrey have?
Oprah with her step-mother Dr Barbara Winfrey, Stedman Graham, and father Vernon Winfrey. Photo: Adriane Jaeckle
Source: Getty Images

How many family members does Oprah Winfrey have?

The American star has one surviving half-sister, Patricia Lofton, who came into her life in 2011. Her mother had given Lofton up for adoption immediately after birth and never revealed her existence. She has two children: a daughter, Aquarius and a son, Andre.

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Thando Dlomo's story of triumph over adversity using education is a testament to what Oprah Winfrey's school aspires to achieve for all its learners. As a bonus, the philanthropist remains the mother figure in Dlomo's life.

READ ALSO: Vanessa Bryant's mom: Sofia Laine's biography and facts

Briefly.co.za shared lesser-known facts about Vanessa Bryant's mother, Sofia Laine. The 41-year-old was married to NBA star Kobe Bryant for almost 19 years before his tragic passing following a helicopter crash in January 2020. The incident also claimed the life of their second daughter, Gianna.

Laine made headlines when she sued her daughter and Kobe's estate for money following his unexpected passing. This strained her relationship with her daughter. Has Bryant reconciled with her mother?

Source: Briefly News

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