By Karen James

Amidst an atmosphere of pomp and dancing, Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, arrived in Nigeria on Friday for a three-day visit aimed at championing mental health for young people affected by conflicts and promoting the Invictus Games. The couple, invited by the Nigerian military, kicked off their visit by visiting the Lightway Academy school, which receives support from their Archewell foundation to train young girls affected by conflicts in Nigeria.

The royal couple also spent time meeting with the nation’s military officers and wounded soldiers and their families, as a show of support to improve morale. Nigeria has been engaged in a 14-year war against Islamic extremists, and the visit from Prince Harry, who served in Afghanistan and founded the Invictus Games in 2014, is seen as a gesture of solidarity and encouragement.

At the Lightway Academy school, Prince Harry and Meghan were greeted by a dancing troupe and excited students and teachers. They actively participated in a mental health summit organised by local non-profit GEANCO, discussing the importance of mental health and their own experiences as parents to Archie and Lilibet. The couple urged the students to break the stigma surrounding mental health and promised to support them in their future endeavours.

The visit of the royal couple has generated immense excitement among the Nigerian population, particularly due to Meghan’s previous statement that she has Nigerian heritage. In addition to their involvement with the school and military, Prince Harry and Meghan will attend sporting events and Meghan will co-host an event on women in leadership with Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director General of the World Trade Organization.

The Nigerian military has recognized the Invictus Games as a powerful tool for the rehabilitation and recovery of its personnel who have been fighting the Boko Haram insurgency since 2009. The games have provided an opportunity for wounded and sick service members and veterans to showcase their abilities and improve their mental health and emotional well-being.

The visit of Prince Harry and Meghan has not only paved the way for discussions on mental health but has also brought attention to the resilience and perseverance of Nigeria’s military as they continue their fight against extremism. The royal couple’s presence is seen as a beacon of hope and support for the country and its service members.



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