Gugu Ndebele, the Executive Director of The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls. Picture: Brendan Magaar/African News Agency(ANA)

Cape Town - Gugu Ndebele is an incredibly humble leader and teacher who has taken on a job that comes with an immense responsibility.

On 1 February this year she was officially appointed as the Executive Director of The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls (OWLAG), thrusting her into the spotlight of this prestigious school and the pressure that comes with reporting to Oprah Winfrey.

None of these challenges appear to be intimidate her as Gugu is focused on the girls at the school and providing every single resource available to ensure their success.

She says: "We had over 6 000 applications for Grade 8...and this is for 66 seats."

Half of them don't qualify, and this is not because of a lack of passion, drive or good grades but because the school only accepts girls that come from a household with an income less than R10 000.

Gugu says: "When they come in, in spite of everything, they are confident and putting their best foot forward."

She is a teacher at heart and before taking over the reins at OWLAG, Gugu was the CEO at Save the Children with over 30 years of experience in education and social development experience under her belt.

Education is her life's work, and now with the young girls at OWLAG she describes the task at hand as "pressure but also a privilege".

Gugu says: "I have three children of my own but I have 310 children that I can thrust into the world and they become the best that they can be.

"As a school we have an opportunity - if you're talking of a shortage of women in science or engineering - we have that opportunity with our girls to fill that gap," she adds.

Even with the eyes of the world on the school, because of its founder, the much loved US media mogul, actress, talk show host, television producer and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey, Gugu is not daunted by the external pressures and expectations to succeed. She is focused on changing the lives of underprivileged girls in South Africa and helping them to one day change the world.

WATCH: Gugu Ndebele the Executive Director of The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls/ Video: Brendan Magaar/African News Agency (ANA)