Meghan, The Duchess Of Sussex, Named ‘Ifeoma’, Embraces Nigerian Root (Photos)

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During her visit to Nigeria, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, now known as Ifeoma, expressed her deep connection to her Nigerian heritage.

She shared that discovering her Nigerian roots through a genealogy test was a humbling experience.

On her second day in the West African nation, Meghan met with women and acknowledged Nigeria as “my country.”

This visit, alongside Prince Harry, aims to promote mental health support for wounded soldiers and young girls.

She said:
 “It’s been eye-opening to be able to know more about my heritage.”
 
“Never in a million years would I understand it as much as I do now. And what has been echoed so much in the past day is, ’Oh, we are not so surprised when we found out you are Nigerian,” she said at the event on women in leadership co-hosted by Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a Nigerian economist and head of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
 
“It is a compliment to you because what they define as a Nigerian woman is brave, resilient, courageous, beautiful,” Meghan told the audience
The Duchess of Sussex revealed during her podcast in October 2022 that a DNA-based test showed she was “43% Nigerian.” She shared that her initial reaction was to inform her mother about the discovery during an event in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja.
“Being African American, there is a sense of not fully knowing one’s lineage and background… and it was a thrilling moment for both of us,” she expressed. Mo Abudu, the anchor and chief executive of EbonyLife media group, then invited the audience to propose a Nigerian name for Meghan.
“Ifeoma,” was suggested by someone in the enthusiastic crowd, a name from Nigeria’s Igbo tribe meaning ‘a treasured thing.’ Another proposed “Omowale,” from the Yoruba tribe, signifying ‘the child has come home,’ and “Edidiong,” which translates to ‘blessing.’
Meghan participated in a panel discussion alongside prominent female figures in the industry, such as Okonjo-Iweala, to address the significance of mentorship for young women and the obstacles women encounter in their careers in a country like Nigeria, where women in top leadership and political roles are not common.

During the interview, Okonjo-Iweala expressed that becoming the first woman and first African to lead the WTO was long overdue.

She emphasized her mixed feelings about being labeled as the first woman in such positions, stating that women should have already held these roles. She also highlighted the importance of mentors in her career, including her experience as Nigeria’s former finance minister.

Meghan highlighted the importance of mentoring young girls by “returning home” to be closer to them, using Okonjo-Iweala as an example. She stressed the significance of being a familiar face for the next generation to inspire them by saying, ‘Oh she looks like me and I can be that’.

Earlier today, Meghan observed Prince Harry’s Invictus Games squad engaging in a sitting volleyball match against the Nigerian military team.
The Nigerian soldiers, who were recuperating from injuries sustained during the nation’s conflict, participated in the game. Following the match, the couple had the opportunity to meet with the players, their loved ones, and a gathering of women who presented Meghan with a customary Nigerian fabric as a gift.
“We are friends and family supporters of Harry and Meghan,” said Peace Adetoro, 57, a member of the group. “They are a beautiful couple and we love them so much. We support them 100%.”
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