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In a whirlwind of cultural immersion, royal recognition, impactful networking and more, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle embarked on a transformative journey through Nigeria, a land steeped in history and tradition. Against the backdrop of vibrant landscapes and warm embraces, their visit was a testament to the great work being carried on by the Sussexes. A humble duo, but the impact of their work with the Invictus Games and the Archewell Foundation will go down favourably in history for its accomplishment and positive impact on thousands of people across the globe.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Journey through Nigeria

Day 2 – Embracing Unity Through Sport, Empowering Events, State Dinners and More

A Day of Solidarity: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Join Wounded Veterans in Nigeria

As dawn broke over Nigeria, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle embarked on a voyage of solidarity, joining wounded veterans in a spirited training session organised by Nigeria: Unconquered. Against the backdrop of camaraderie, they immersed themselves in activities like sitting volleyball, igniting sparks of resilience and hope among the participants.

Empowering Women in Leadership

Meghan joined forces with Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General of the World Trade Organisation, to co-host an empowering event for Women in Leadership. Moderated by Mo Abudu, the event showcased the Archewell Foundation’s support, evident in the backdrop adorned with its logo. 

Highlighting the historic moment of Dr. Okonjo-Iweala’s ascent as the first African and woman to helm the WTO, Harry and Meghan penned her profile for TIME100. 

Attended by approximately 50 influential women across various sectors of Nigerian society, the event exuded authenticity. Meghan, warmly welcomed to Nigeria, openly shared her emotional journey of connecting with her Nigerian heritage. Emphasising the pivotal role of representation in leadership, she delved into the delicate balance between motherhood and career. 

The dialogue resonated with the overarching theme of female empowerment and leadership, underscoring their indispensable role in effecting positive global change. Insights from Meghan’s advocacy on women’s rights and gender equality intertwined with Dr. Okonjo-Iweala’s expertise in global economics and leadership, fostering discussions on mentoring and empowerment.

Symbolic Gestures and Warm Reception

Meghan, a vision of grace in a bespoke white gown, alongside her husband, Prince Harry graced a reception hosted by the Chief of Defence Staff, where military families gathered to honour their unwavering dedication. Amidst the throng of admirers, Meghan’s radiant spirit shone as she shared intimate moments with passionate Nigerian Sussex fans, exchanging laughter, selfies, and even a heartfelt rose with young Royalty Ojeh, encapsulating the essence of connection and kinship.

Royalty Ojeh, six, had the honour of presenting a stem of roses to Meghan, who graciously plucked one from the bunch and handed it back to the awe-struck little girl. The crowd playfully alluded to Meghan’s Nigerian heritage, jesting, ‘Harry, you owe us dowry,’ with London-based Michela Rituc explaining: “It’s traditional for dowry, and Meghan is Nigerian, so he owes us.” Alongside their warm reception, the couple received gifts including a framed drawing and special garment material (asoebi), in Invictus Games colors.

Harry and Meghan in Nigeria

Among those present were Director of International Development for the Invictus Games Foundation, David Wiseman, and former Army Captain; Lilian Musa, wife of Nigeria’s Chief of Defense Staff, Christopher Musa; and passionate Nigerian Sussex fans, including London-based Michela Rituc.

Supporting Veterans Through Sport

Meghan and Harry were together at the polo fundraiser for Nigeria: Unconquered. Nigeria Unconquered, a national charity focused on supporting veterans, collaborates closely with the Invictus Games Foundation, an initiative founded by Harry in 2014 to honour and assist veterans. 

After the polo match, they dined at the polo club. Notably, the competing teams were aptly named “Duke” and “Duchess.”

Day 3 – A Regal Affair of Culture and Recognition

In the heart of Lagos, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s odyssey continued weaving through the vibrant Nigerian tradition and royalty. At Ilupeju Junior Grammar School, echoes of laughter and enthusiasm filled the air as they witnessed a mesmerising basketball exhibition organised by the non-profit Giants of Africa, alongside Masai Ujiri, President of the NBA’s Toronto Raptors. It was a testament to the power of sport in fostering dreams and aspirations.

Embracing Nigerian Heritage and Royal Endowments

Draped in a resplendent Yoruba aso-oke skirt, Meghan’s attire symbolised a deeper bond with Nigerian heritage, a sentiment magnified as three venerable kings bestowed upon her the title of Ada Mazi, Omu of Arochukwu, an honour steeped in centuries of tradition and reverence. Her new royal titles are denoted on her royal sash.

Meghan Markle
Ada Mazi, Omu of Arochukwu

The esteemed monarchs who graced the occasion were His Eminence Engr Eberechukwu Oji, EZE ARO of Ancient Arochukwu Kingdom; Igwe Alfred Achebe, the Obi of Onitsha; and the Great Olu Of Warri Kingdom. It’s rare for any of these Kings to venture beyond their kingdoms, let alone journey to another state for an individual. The esteemed presence of these influential figures underscored the significance of the occasion, highlighting the profound admiration and support extended to Meghan and Harry during their visit to Nigeria.

In the quiet moments that followed, amidst discussions on mental health and mutual admiration, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu extended a heartfelt invitation, inviting the Sussexes to return to Nigeria’s embrace, a testament to the enduring bonds forged on this remarkable journey.

Essentially, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s odyssey in Nigeria transcended mere diplomacy but tells a story of tradition, honour, and shared humanity. This iconic 3-day visit leaves an indelible mark on the hearts of all who witnessed their majestic voyage.

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