Ask Nigeria Header Logo

Megan Markle Embraces Nigerian Roots

Photo of author

By Mercy Kelani

She described the experience of her Nigerian Heritage as ‘humbling’.

While engaging with women in Nigeria on May 11, 2024, Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, expressed her gratitude for discovering from a genealogy test that she has Nigerian heritage, describing the experience as ‘humbling’. She said she felt like she had just scratched the surface of uncovering her heritage, and it has opened her eyes to so much. This event on women in leadership has been the first step in her journey of self-discovery, she shared with attendees.

Markle and Prince Harry, of Britain, have arrived in Nigeria for their inaugural visit, with the aim of advocating for mental health support among soldiers and young girls in the country. She remarked on the widespread response from both genders over the past day, stating that many people expressed a lack of surprise upon learning of her Nigerian heritage. Her admiration for Nigerian women was evident as she spoke of their courage, strength, and beauty, showering them with compliments in recognition of their bravery and resilience.

The duchess has discovered in Oct. 2022 that she was 43% Nigerian.

Prince Harry’s wife has gained recognition for her efforts in promoting women’s rights and achieving gender parity. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a prominent Nigerian economist and the leader of the World Trade Organization, co-hosted the event in the city of Abuja. The discussion shed light on the crucial role of women in leadership positions and how their empowerment can be a catalyst for positive global transformation. Topics included the significance of mentorship for young women and the obstacles that women encounter in their careers within the nation.

Furthermore, the duchess emphasized the importance of successful women returning home to serve as role models for the next generation. You need to be a familiar face for young girls to see themselves reflected and know that they can achieve success, Markle said. On May 12, 2024, the couple wrapped up their three-day trip to Nigeria. Prior to the visit to Nigeria, Meghan revealed on her podcast in October 2022 that she had discovered her Nigerian roots by taking a DNA test, which showed she was 43% Nigerian.

‘I come from a Caucasian father and an African American mother.’

During a visit to Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, she shared her thoughts on finding out about this part of her heritage through genetic testing. Meghan shared her experience of discovering her Nigerian lineage through a DNA test during an event in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria. She expressed that the first thing she did upon learning about her heritage was call her mother. As an African American, she explained that not knowing much about her lineage and background was a common experience, making the discovery exciting and meaningful for both herself and her mother.

As the talk progressed, Mo Abudu, the host, excitedly asked the audience for ideas for a Nigerian name for Meghan. Numerous suggestions were offered, such as ‘Ifeoma’ (which translates to ‘a cherished thing’ in Igbo) and ‘Omowale’ (which translates to ‘the child has returned home’ in Yoruba), causing an uproar of enthusiasm from the crowd. Rachel Meghan Markle, hailing from Los Angeles, was born on August 4, 1981, at West Park Hospital. She proudly embraces her mixed heritage, stating that ‘I come from a Caucasian father and an African American mother, making me a blend of black and white.’

Related Article: Duke and Duchess of Sussex visit Nigeria

Additionally, Markle expressed challenges in landing roles at the beginning of her career, attributing it to her being seen as ethnically ambiguous. She found herself caught between not fitting the mould for black roles and not quite fitting in with white roles either. To make ends meet during breaks between acting gigs, she pursued freelance calligraphy work and taught bookbinding. In her TV debut, she played a brief part as a nurse on the popular soap opera General Hospital, a program where her father worked behind the scenes in lighting.


Related Link

Wikipedia: Website


The content on AskNigeria.com is given for general information only and does not constitute a professional opinion, and users should seek their own legal/professional advice. There is data available online that lists details, facts and further information not listed in this post, please complete your own investigation into these matters and reach your own conclusion. AskNigeria.com accepts no responsibility for losses from any person acting or refraining from acting as a result of content contained in this website and/or other websites which may be linked to this website.

Fact Checking Tool - Snopes.com