By Eve Fontenot
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are on tour again! (Can you believe it’s barely been a year since their last one?) And I am here to ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ over all the details! Let me take ya to South Africa! (in words of course)
But first, in advance of their arrival, the always thoughtful Duke and Duchess sent a monetary gift by way of Baby Archie to Love the Oceans, a marine conservation charity. One of their projects was to build a pool in Mozambique so that kids could learn to swim. This donation will go a long way toward preventing more drowning deaths of children in the area. If you are interested in learning more about Love the Oceans, or want to get involved check them out @LoveTheOceans on Twitter. They really do amazing work.
Now, on to the tour
Harry and Meghan touched down in Cape Town at 10:55am South Africa Standard Time and with such tight security, no one expected to see photos of them disembarking for this trip. After an eleven hour flight, with a five-month old, would you want photos? Yet the Sussexes were photographed looking happy, fresh and adorable. Baby Archie wearing a white knit cap, blue jacket with a matching binky, er, pacifier, and Meghan looking chic in white skinny jeans, white shirt and flats with her memorable trench. They smiled and waved and the world went nuts as the first tour photos of Archie were shared.
To this point, the township they were to visit on their first stop had yet to be announced. Members of the press were on high alert as they waited for word. There seemed to be a palatable buzz as Royal watchers soaked in the photos of baby Archie while the Sussex family were driven to their base. Then the call was made. Nyanga.(meaning Moon) One of the oldest black townships in Cape Town and also one of the world’s most dangerous. Nyanga still, as of 10 days ago, has the highest murder rate in the country with a population of only about 60,000. Nyanga, a place where violence against women and girls of all ages is commonplace. Nyanga is where Harry and Meghan wanted to launch their tour at The Justice Desk, a partner of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust of which Harry and Meghan are President and Vice-President. The Justice Desk hosts children’s workshop where kids learn of their rights, self-awareness and safety. Where girls learn self-defense skills and focus on empowerment and so much more. Nyanga is where Harry and Meghan chose to kick off this tour, proving that this visit was not going to be some cookie-cutter, smile and wave blandly, starched, boring and predictable kind of tour. The Sussexes came to work and they are not afraid of tackling tough issues. The headquarters of the Nyanga branch of the Justice Desk was soon teeming with parents, reporters, kids and neighbors. Before long, there was music and some amazing dancing as these beautiful people prepared to welcome Prince Harry and Princess Meghan to their township and to a place where kids felt strong and empowered.
At long last, Harry and Meghan arrived and after speaking a few words to an organizer, went straight for the kids sitting on the ground nearby. Our hearts collectively melted as one little boy just wanted a hug from Meghan and she happily complied, not letting go until he did. Meghan looked beautiful, yet approachable in a black print dress by a designer from Malawi and wedge sandals. They both visited with children, and spoke gently with the elderly as they toured the grounds. All the while, music played and voices sang while they greeted their hosts. As they entered the training room Meghan was escorted in by two young teenage girls who held her hands to show her the self-defense work they practice. The kids that were training were impressive. Boys and girls alike, wearing boxing gloves and throwing combinations like Floyd Mayweather. A private visit with no cameras followed a group photo then Harry and Meghan came out to pay their respect and give their remarks to the waiting crowd. Although the speeches were pre-written, each was so heartfelt, you knew they were written by each of them together.
“Your strength is in your spirit, which to me means honoring and protecting my wife and being a positive role model for my son”-Prince Harry
“You must keep going,you must know that what you’re doing is vital, because You are vital.” She continues “ I want you to know that as a mother, as a wife, as a woman, as a woman of color, and as your sister, I am here with you, I am here for you.”-Duchess Meghan
To shouts and cheers they received gifts from the organizers, most notably, a framed plaque with Archie’s name translated in the Xhosa language. Archie’s South African name is now Ntsika, meaning Pillar of Strength. After such inspiring messages from the Duke and Duchess, music and dance continued as they left the grounds and headed to their next event. But not before Meghan did a little hip shaking of her own.
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