Duchess of Sussex, called ‘Ifeoma’ in Nigeria, speaks with women about her Nigerian roots


Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Discovers Nigerian Heritage and Embraces Cultural Roots

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During her inaugural visit to Nigeria alongside Prince Harry, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, expressed her astonishment at learning about her Nigerian ancestry through a genealogy test. Attending an event focused on women in leadership, co-hosted by Nigerian economist Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Meghan hailed Nigeria as “my country” and marveled at the opportunity to delve into her heritage.

The Duchess, who revealed on a podcast in October 2022 that she possesses Nigerian heritage, shared her joy at the discovery, emphasizing the qualities associated with Nigerian women—bravery, resilience, and beauty. Acknowledging the compliments she received for embodying these characteristics, Meghan expressed gratitude for the chance to explore her lineage.

Amidst the enthusiastic audience, suggestions for Nigerian names for Meghan arose, reflecting the country’s diverse cultural heritage. Meghan engaged with female leaders, including Okonjo-Iweala, in discussions about mentorship for young women and the challenges faced by women in achieving leadership positions in Nigeria.

Reflecting on her own historic appointment as the first woman and first African to lead the WTO, Okonjo-Iweala expressed mixed emotions, underscoring the importance of gender equality in leadership roles. Meghan echoed sentiments about mentorship, emphasizing the significance of role models like Okonjo-Iweala in inspiring the next generation.

The visit also included a poignant moment as Meghan witnessed Prince Harry and his Invictus Games team compete against the Nigerian military’s team in a sitting volleyball match. Following the game, Meghan and Harry were warmly embraced by players and their families, further solidifying their bond with the Nigerian community.

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