Nigeria’s first lady hits out at US celebrity ‘nakedness’ after Duchess of Sussex visit

Meghan during a visit to Lightway Academy in Abuja
The Duchess during a visit to Lightway Academy in Abuja - KOLA SULAIMON

Nigeria’s first lady has hit out at the “nakedness” of US celebrities after the Duchess of Sussex visited the country earlier this month.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex spent three days in Nigeria on a private visit, in part to mark the 10th anniversary of the Invictus Games that Harry founded for wounded and injured service members.

Meghan said in a 2022 podcast she had found out through DNA testing she was “43 per cent Nigerian”, and after a meeting at Nigeria’s defence headquarters, she signed a guest book thanking officials for “welcoming me home”.

But the country’s first lady, Oluremi Tinubu, a senator who is also the wife of president Bola Tinubu, appeared to suggest Western celebrities such as Meghan could have a negative influence on the country.

“We have to salvage our children,” she said at an event to mark her husband’s first year in office, according to the New York Post.

“We see the way they dress. We are not having the Met Gala. And everyone, the nakedness, is just everywhere and the men are well-clothed.”

Meghan wore an open-back dress for part of her visit to the country, but it is not clear if Ms Tinubu was referring to this specifically.

In a post on X, formerly Twitter, Ms Tinubu said: “As first lady of Nigeria, I am deeply concerned about our children losing their identity if we do not take immediate action.”

She added: “At an event celebrating president Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s first year in office, I emphasised the importance of women as the foundation of our homes and society. We must nurture our children, instil good morals, and preserve our cultural values.”

Prince Harry and Meghan arrived in Nigeria on May 12 where they were greeted with wild cheers, song and dance.

The Duchess of Sussex wore a backless dress on the couple's visit to Nigeria
The Duchess of Sussex wore a backless dress on the couple's visit to Nigeria - Andrew Esiebo/Getty Images for The Archewell Foundation

They visited a school to talk about mental health and met wounded soldiers in northern Kaduna.

It was their first trip to Africa’s most populous nation, and came amid interest expressed by Nigeria, according to Prince Harry, to host the Invictus Games in 2029.

At an event hosted by Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a Nigerian economist and head of the World Trade Organisation, Meghan had said when she learned of her Nigerian ancestry her first response had been to tell her mother.

“Being African American, part of it is really not knowing so much about your lineage and background ... and it was exciting for both of us,” she said.

“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’.”

First lady of Nigeria Oluremi Tinubu
First lady of Nigeria Oluremi Tinubu, who is also a senator, spoke about young women's dress standards - Dogukan Keskinkilic/Anadolu via Getty Images

She concluded her remarks to the audience: “It is a compliment to you because what they define as a Nigerian woman is brave, resilient, courageous, beautiful.”

The Duchess did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Telegraph.

Meghan and Harry moved to the United States in June 2020 after their decision to leave the Royal family amid allegations she felt she had not been sufficiently supported.