Prince Harry And Megan Visits Nigeria

Nmesoma Okwudili


May 19, 2024

On Friday, Kaduna State Governor, Senator Uba Sani, had the honor of welcoming Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, marking a historic event exactly 68 years after his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, graced the state with her presence on February 2, 1959. Back then, the Queen was received by the late Premier of the defunct Northern region, Sir Ahmadu Bello, in what was a memorable occasion.

This time, Prince Harry, accompanied by his wife Meghan, embarked on a journey to Nigeria with a noble cause at heart: to promote the Invictus Games, an initiative close to his heart. The Invictus Games stand as a beacon of hope, aimed at aiding the rehabilitation of wounded and sick service members and veterans, a cause that resonates deeply with Nigerian soldiers who have been valiantly battling Islamic extremists for over a decade.

The couple’s first trip to Nigeria in West Africa was greeted with excitement and eagerness. According to defence spokesman Brigadier General Tukur Gusau, they arrived in Abuja early in the morning after being invited by the Nigerian military. In an effort to improve morale and advance general well-being, the royal couple is scheduled to meet with injured soldiers and their families while in town. Nigerian officials have welcomed this visit as a critical opportunity for the recuperation and morale boost of Nigerian soldiers, highlighting the significance of worldwide solidarity and support during times of conflict.

While extending a warm welcome to the Duke of Sussex at the Sir Kashim Ibrahim Government House in Kaduna, the governor expressed his delight at hosting Harry in what he described as the “heartbeat of Northern Nigeria.” Senator Uba Sani painted Prince Harry as more than just a royal figure but as a symbol embodying courage, perseverance, compassion, and the universal bond of humanity. He lauded Harry for his altruistic dedication to both the United Kingdom and humanity at large.

Transitioning to the vibrant scene in Nigeria’s largest city, Lagos, where Prince Harry and Meghan embarked on the second leg of their three-day visit to the country, the atmosphere pulsated with the richness of Nigerian culture. Invited by the nation’s military, the royal couple was treated to a spectacular showcase of Nigeria’s fashion and traditional dances. From the moment they stepped foot in Lagos airport, they were immersed in a whirlwind of energetic performances, with acrobatic feats leaving them both applauding and grinning in awe. Amidst the exuberance, a young dancer, barely older than five, exchanged salutes with Harry from atop sturdy shoulders, symbolizing the youthful spirit and resilience deeply ingrained in Nigeria’s cultural fabric.

Meghan wore a traditional aso oke, a handwoven fabric with elaborate patterns from Nigeria, that she had received the day before from a group of women. This clothing, which is usually worn as a headscarf or draped over the shoulders, is symbolic of important events.

The pair visited Giants of Africa, a local nonprofit that uses basketball to inspire young people. They announced a partnership between the organization and their Archewell Foundation during another energetic round of dancing.

Harry expressed gratitude for the charity’s efforts and emphasized how transformative sports can be in promoting harmony and dismantling obstacles. The head of the charity and former NBA player, Masai Ujiri, wished Meghan a happy Mother’s Day and recognized the efforts to support programs such as theirs. He highlighted the couple’s significant contribution and praised their commitment.

Later, Meghan and Harry attended a fundraiser aimed at supporting Nigeria’s soldiers wounded in the country’s ongoing conflict against Islamic extremists and other armed factions in the strife-torn northern region. This event was linked to Harry’s Invictus Games, which Nigeria hopes to host in the future.

After Nigeria’s first-ever participation in the 2023 Invictus Games in Düsseldorf, Germany, Prince Harry received an invitation from the military high command to visit Nigeria. The Invictus Games, which Prince Harry founded in 2014, are an international multi-sport competition that offers critical support, rehabilitation after injury, and a route to recovery for sick, injured, and wounded military personnel.

The Director of Sports at Defence Headquarters, Air Vice Marshal Abidemi Marquis, stated that about “80 percent” of the country’s soldiers have improved as a result of the rehabilitation program.

“The focal point of the visit is for the wounded and injured soldiers as a result of our engagement in counterterrorism operations,” Marquis explained. He emphasized the importance of interacting with these military personnel to enhance their mental well-being and self-esteem.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles