12 May 2024

Harry and Meghan watch dancing and basketball during Nigeria visit

12 May 2024

Nigeria’s fashion and traditional dances were on full display as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived in Lagos as part of their three-day visit to the country to promote mental health for soldiers and empower young people.

The couple, invited to the West African nation by its military, were treated to different bouts of dancing, starting at Lagos airport where a troupe’s acrobatic moves left Harry and Meghan applauding and grinning.

One of the dancers, who looked younger than five years old, exchanged salutes with Harry from high up in the air as he stood on a colleague’s shoulders.

Going with Meghan’s white top was the traditional Nigerian aso oke, a patterned handwoven fabric wrapped around the waist and often reserved for special occasions. It was a gift from a group of women a day earlier.

The couple visited a local charity, Giants of Africa, which uses basketball to empower young people.

There, they were treated to another round of dancing before unveiling a partnership between the organisation and their Archewell Foundation.

“What you guys are doing here at Giants of Africa is truly amazing,” Harry said. “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.”

Masai Ujiri, the charity’s president and an ex-NBA star, wished Meghan a happy Mother’s Day and acknowledged how hard it can be “for us to be away from our kids and family to make things like this happen”.

“To do so shows dedication (and) we truly appreciate it,” he told the couple.

Meghan and Harry later attended a fundraiser for Nigeria’s soldiers wounded in the country’s fight against Islamic extremists and other armed groups in the country’s conflict-hit north. The event was related to Harry’s Invictus Games, which Nigeria is seeking to host in the future.

The couple were also hosted at the Lagos State Government House, in Nigeria’s biggest city, where Meghan received another handwoven Nigerian fabric.

“We’ve extended an additional invitation to them that they can always come back when they want to,” Lagos governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu told reporters.

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