A college student who managed to snag a selfie with Oprah Winfrey is now the proud owner of a shiny new cellphone while warming hearts throughout social media.
It all started when the 65-year-old media mogul paid a visit to Atlanta’s Morehouse College, the historically African-American college that is alma mater to the likes of Martin Luther King Jr., Samuel L. Jackson and Spike Lee.
Winfrey was on hand to be honoured by the school’s Oprah Winfrey Scholars — recipients of a scholarship fund she established in 1989 — with Winfrey making a surprise announcement that she’ll be donating an additional $13 million to the program.
After Winfrey engaged in a “fireside chat” with Morehouse students, freshmen Zachariah Smith and Olufemi Yessoufou ran alongside Winfrey’s car as she was driving off, finally catching up with her at a stoplight where she graciously posed for a selfie with the pair.
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Today I was blessed with the opportunity to sit down and have a conversation with @Oprah Winfrey. After the assembly, my brother @zcs_5 and I caught her car and had another conversation with her. We hope to see her again soon and thank her for making this possible. #oprah #morehousecollege @morehouse1867
“Hey Oprah,” says one of the students, posing with Winfrey. “That’s me,” she tells the two, seeing herself in the phone as she’s being filmed, noticing the screen of the phone is apparently cracked. “That’s me in your cracked phone,” she quips.
Speaking with BuzzFeed News, Yessoufou says he didn’t take offence to Winfrey’s jibe at all. “She showed us that she’s one of us,” he explained. “That’s a joke me or one of my brothers would have made to each other.”
However, Yessoufou couldn’t have imagined what happened next. The day after he posted the video on social media, Yessoufou received a DM from someone on Oprah’s team telling him that Winfrey wanted to send him a new phone.
“Oprah already has this phone for you, and it’s my job to make sure you get it,” the message read.
“For her to go out of her way to send me a phone was amazing,” he told BuzzFeed News.
The Twitter response to Winfrey’s interaction with the students and her generosity have been off the hook, judging by this sampling of tweets: