Duke and Duchess of Sussex Visit Lagos School, Unveil Partnership

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle visited Ilupeju Senior Grammar School in Lagos, Nigeria, to unveil a partnership between their Archewell Foundation and Giants of Africa, a basketball organization. The royal couple engaged with students, athletes, and wounded servicemembers, promoting sports as a tool for social change and youth development.

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Duke and Duchess of Sussex Visit Lagos School, Unveil Partnership

Duke and Duchess of Sussex Visit Lagos School, Unveil Partnership

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, visited Ilupeju Senior Grammar School in Lagos, Nigeria, on May 12, 2024, as part of their three-day private tour of the West African nation. The royal couple attended an event at the school to unveil a partnership between their Archewell Foundation and Giants of Africa, a basketball organization that uses sports to empower and engage young people.

Why this matters: This partnership highlights the importance of using sports as a tool for social change and youth development, particularly in underserved communities. The involvement of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex also brings international attention to the issue, potentially inspiring similar initiatives and collaborations around the world.

At the school, Meghan told students, "I see myself in all of you." Harry engaged with the children, asking about their knowledge of mental health and emphasizing the importance of looking after themselves and each other. He encouraged the students to "promise to us that after today, no more being scared, no more being unsure of mental health. If you are unsure, then ask. Ask your teachers. Ask your friends. Be there for one another."

The couple watched an exhibition basketball match and met with young players and Paralympian athletes. Meghan received her first public Mother's Day wishes from Masai Ujiri, the Vice Chairman and President of Giants of Africa and former NBA star. Ujiri praised the couple's dedication to the cause, saying, "To come to something like this and dedicate yourself, we truly appreciate it, so thank you again."

Prince Harry praised the work of Giants of Africa, stating, "What you guys are doing here at Giants of Africa is truly amazing... The power of sport can change lives. It brings people together and creates community, and there are no barriers, which is the most important thing." Meghan added that she first heard about the charity while living in Toronto and was proud to support its expansion.

Prior to the school visit, Meghan participated in a Women in Leadership panel discussion co-hosted with Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General of the World Trade Organization. The event aimed to highlight the significance of female leadership in driving positive change worldwide. Meghan wore a vibrant red maxi dress and emphasized the transformative power of self-discovery and connection to one's roots.

The Duke and Duchess also attended an event hosted by Nigeria's Defence Staff and 'Nigeria: Unconquered', a local charity supporting wounded servicemembers inspired by the Duke of Sussex's Invictus Games Foundation. Prince Harry joined in a game of sitting volleyball against wounded army veterans but lost 25-21. Meghan watched from the sidelines, sitting next to 9-year-old Tiwatope Akanbi, who expressed her excitement at meeting the Duchess.

The royal couple received a warm welcome, with a group of women calling themselves the Sussex Squad Nigeria presenting Meghan with a book and a Nigerian fabric. Meghan revealed in 2022 that she discovered she was 43% Nigerian from a genealogy test. Wounded service members shared their thoughts on the importance of the Sussexes' visit.

Flight Sergeant Ifeoma Loveleen Nwagbo said, "Honestly, Prince Harry and Meghan's visit to Nigeria, it means a lot to me personally... This initiative is very, very fantastic because it makes me understand that yes: I can actually achieve what I couldn't achieve before in my life." Flight Sergeant Gloria Kisitmwa Dimka added, "We really appreciate it and we are thankful. We thank them for... all the effort they are putting [in] to put laughter and smiles in the faces of all the sick and the wounded soldiers. This means a lot to us."

The visit to Ilupeju Senior Grammar School marked a significant moment in the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's three-day tour of Nigeria. The unveiling of the partnership between the Archewell Foundation and Giants of Africa aims to empower young people through sports and create positive change in their lives and communities. The royal couple's interactions with students, athletes, and wounded servicemembers showcased their commitment to supporting important causes and making a meaningful impact during their first international tour since stepping back from their royal roles in 2020.

Key Takeaways

  • Prince Harry and Meghan Markle visited Ilupeju Senior Grammar School in Lagos, Nigeria, as part of their 3-day private tour.
  • The royal couple unveiled a partnership between their Archewell Foundation and Giants of Africa to empower young people through sports.
  • Meghan told students, "I see myself in all of you," while Harry emphasized the importance of mental health and self-care.
  • The couple watched an exhibition basketball match and met with young players and Paralympian athletes.
  • The visit aimed to promote social change and youth development, particularly in underserved communities.