'We love you': Harry plays volleyball with army veterans as he and Meghan get warm welcome in Nigeria - KION546

2024-05-11 19:30:48


Abuja (CNN) -- Prince Harry joined in - but lost - a game of sitting volleyball against wounded army veterans as he and his wife Meghan were well received on the latest leg of their tour of Nigeria.

The two attended an event Saturday held by Nigeria's Defence Staff and 'Nigeria: Unconquered' - a local charity supporting wounded servicemembers inspired by the Duke of Sussex's Invictus Games Foundation.

After arriving at an officer's mess late morning local time they were immediately taken to watch a sitting volleyball game. They were given scarves in the green and white colors of Nigeria as they took their seats in the arena.

Harry caused a lot of excitement when he joined in the game - his Invictus team on one side, the other led by a team of members of the Nigerian military, which won the game 25 to 21.

Meghan watched from the side sat next to 9-year-old Tiwatope Akanbi, who told CNN: "I'm so happy I saw Meghan today and I will never forget it all my life."

A group of women who called themselves the Sussex Squad Nigeria surrounded Meghan, saying: "We love you. Nigeria loves you. Welcome home." They presented her with a book and a Nigerian fabric.

Meghan revealed in 2022 that she discovered she was 43% Nigerian from a genealogy test.

Wounded service members shared their thoughts about the importance of the Sussexes visit.

"Honestly, Prince Harry and Meghan's visit to Nigeria, it means a lot to me personally," flight sergeant Ifeoma Loveleen Nwagbo told CNN.

"This [Invictus] initiative is very, very fantastic because it makes me understand that yes: I can actually achieve what I couldn't achieve before in my life. And then [Harry] coming to Nigeria - Wow! I'm just feeling on top of the world, because I will meet him - it's fantastic!" she said.

Gloria Kisitmwa Dimka, also a flight sergeant, told CNN that the Sussexes' visit tells wounded soldiers "that they are being supported and being cared for."

"We really appreciate it and we are thankful. We thank them for... all the effort they are putting [in] to put laughter and smiles in the faces of all the sick and the wounded soldiers. This means a lot to us," she added.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex landed in Nigeria on Friday for a three-day private visit to the West African nation.

Their first engagement on was an event hosted at a school in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, where Meghan told students: "I see myself in all of you."

Harry asked the children about their knowledge of mental health and reminded them to look after themselves and each other.

"Will you promise to us that after today, no more being scared, no more being unsure of mental health. If you are unsure, then ask. Ask your teachers. Ask your friends. Be there for one another," he said.


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2024-05-11 News