MEGHAN MARKLE AFFIRMS AFRICAN SISTERHOOD – “I AM HERE AS YOUR SISTER”
The Duchess of Sussex has told teenage girls in a deprived part of South Africa she is with them “as a woman of colour and as your sister”.
Meghan was visiting a women and children’s centre in Nyanga township alongside her husband, Prince Harry.
It’s the pair’s first official overseas tour with four-month-old son, Archie.
Speaking at the centre, which is in an area with a high crime rate, the duchess praised its work to counter violence against women and children.
And she added: “And just on one personal note, may I just say that while I’m here with my husband as a member of the Royal Family… I am here with you as a mother, as a wife, as a woman, as a woman of colour and as your sister.”
Her comments come amid a recent spike in violence against women which has ignited protests in many areas of South Africa.
Approximately 2,700 women and 1,000 children were murdered by men in the country last year. At least 100 rapes were also reported daily.
During the visit to the Justice Desk in Nyanga Prince Harry told the crowds that “no man is born to cause harm to women” and this was “a cycle that needs to be broken”.
“It’s about redefining masculinity,” he said. “It’s about creating your own footprints for your children to follow in, so that you can make a positive change for the future.”
Meghan said the work of the centre, which includes teaching children about their rights and how to deal with trauma, was needed “more than ever”.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for urgent action to counter violence and pledged £60m for measures including public education, strengthening the criminal justice system, increasing sentences for perpetrators of sexual offences and providing better care for victims.
During the visit, Meghan danced with performers after one woman, Lilitha Mazana, took her hand.
The 23-year-old dancer from the Nyanga arts centre said Meghan was “a good dancer” and “very nice”.
“Her dancing is fantastic – I’ve been dancing 10 years,” she added.
Later the couple visited a museum dedicated to Cape Town’s District Six – once a multi-ethnic neighbourhood that was bulldozed by the apartheid authorities in the 1960s to create racial segregation.
Baby Archie did not accompany his parents on either of the opening two trips, but he was pictured wearing a bobble hat as the family arrived at Cape Town airport.
In May, the Justice Desk charity, which the royal couple visited on Monday, welcomed the birth of baby Archie with a video message on Twitter.
“As a proudly South African gift to baby Archie we want to give him the name ‘Ntsika’,” the message said.
The charity said the South African name means “bold and brave” – the same meaning as Archie.
Credit: Getty Image & BBC.