Meghan ‘Omowale’ Markle proudly embraces Nigerian ancestry in three-day visit with Prince Harry

Meghan 'Omowale' Markle proudly embraces Nigerian ancestry in three-day visit with Prince Harry

Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex proudly visited her ancestry with husband, Prince Harry.

It has always been a thing of joy for people from other parts of the world to discover that their ancestry is linked to the giant of Africa.

In the case of Meghan, 42, she announced in one of her podcast episodes in October 2022 that she is forty-three percent Nigerian through a DNA-based test. Surely, this revelation gave her a sense of belonging and looked forward to visiting Nigeria someday.

Fast forward to 2024, the mother of two and her husband, the Duke of Sussex, 39 had a great time in Nigeria.

The couple who stepped away from royal roles in 2020 arrived in the capital of Nigeria, Abuja on Friday following an invitation by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Musa to spend time with wounded soldiers.

A clearer picture of the invite correlates with the Invictus Games Foundation (a sporting competition for injured service men and women to

promote mental health initiatives) founded by Prince Henry in 2014.

Friday – Day 1

The couple’s first visit was to the Lightway Academy in the capital city of Abuja. There, they launched a two-day mental health summit organized by the non-profit organization GEANCO, which is associated with their Archewell Foundation. The couple, dressed in light clothing and adorned with large wooden beaded necklaces, enjoyed performances by singers and dancers.

The couple did not bring their children, Archie, who is five, and Lilibet, who is two, on the trip. However, they mentioned them while chatting with kindergarten children at the school.

Meghan shared that Archie who turned five last week enjoys construction after she met a five-year-old in the school.

She also spoke about daughter, Lili on stage during the mental health summit.

Saturday – Day 2

Meghan and Harry arrived at the Armed Forces’ Officers Mess in Abuja and were given scarves in the green and white colors of Nigeria.

They watched a game of sitting volleyball before Harry was invited to play with the team. The Duke participated in a few rounds of the game, which were played by ‘Team Harry’ and ‘Team CDS,’ referring to the military’s chief of defense staff who was behind the couple’s visit to Nigeria.

Harry’s team lost to Team CDS.

At an event on women in leadership co-hosted by Nigeria’s economist and head of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, Meghan joined female industry leaders to discuss the importance of mentorship for young women and the career challenges women facing women in the country.

Speaking, the duchess said discovering she had Nigerian heritage through a genealogy test had been eye-opening and humbling. She said

“Every single moment that I hear anyone talk about what it means to be a Nigerian woman, it is the most flattering thing to be in that company,”

Interestingly, the audience suggested Nigerian names for Meghan, such as Ifeoma from the Igbo tribe, meaning a treasured thing, and Omowale from the Yoruba tribe, meaning the child has come home.

Afterwards, the couple attended a reception for military families and the widow association at the Officers Mess. The outing also came with the unveiling of a rehabilitation center.

During the series of speeches at the event, Abike Dabiri Erewa, chairman of the Nigerian Diaspora Commission, evoked wide smiles and applause from Meghan, and applause from around the room when she exclaimed: “Princess Meghan is a Nigerian!”

Abike further stated that she wasn’t surprised when Meghan disclosed on her podcast that she had Nigerian heritage. “I was excited but not surprised. Because she is beautiful, intelligent, diligent and hardworking and she stands firm in the midst of challenges.” she added, “Prince Harry, you married the best — our daughter, our friend, Princess Meghan. I hope you come back again, again, and again.”

After her speech, Abike gifted them the Yoruba traditional Aso-Oke outfits.

Prince Harry in his speech lauded General Musa, and everyone who had worked tirelessly to make their visit a success.

Sunday – Day 3

On the third day of their trip, Meghan and Harry arrived at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MM1).

Meghan wore a white blouse with an aso-oke attire wrapped around her waist. Recall that the aso oke was gifted to her by Abike Dabiri at the reception hosted by the military on Saturday.

While in Lagos, the Meghan and Harry visited a school to take part in a basketball clinic with non-profit Giants of Africa.

Afterwards, they visited the Lagos State Government house where they signed a visitors register and listened to a speech from the governor.

Without mincing words, Meghan would definitely love to visit her ancestry more often!

Read Also: Meet Top American Celebrities Who Are Igbos By Origin

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