Meghan Markle is being praised as a “beacon of hope” for women’s empowerment as she prepares to head into the third day of her South Africa tour.
Meghan, 38, who spoke inspiringly about women’s empowerment on the first day of her visit to South Africa with Prince Harry on Monday, will spend Wednesday morning chatting with female entrepreneurs and women who lead tech companies in the country.
“I don’t want to have tea with the royals for the sake of having tea with the royals,” says Matsi Modise, founder of skills training company Simodisa. “As a female founder and entrepreneur, I want to know, How does a woman like her open doors?”
Adds Modise: “She’s somebody who means what she wants to do. The role that she holds in society in the U.K. and globally is a beacon of hope. She is not born into nobility or born royal, so she can relate to the struggles of the normal person in the street who’s trying to make something of herself.”
The meeting is taking place under a U.K.-South Africa tech hub linkup organized at the Woodstock Exchange in Cape Town. It comes two days after Meghan encouraged local women to fight for “respect, dignity and equality,” while husband Prince Harry, 35, told the crowd at the Nyanga township, which is one of the most violent places in the country, “No man is born to cause harm to women. This is learned behavior and a cycle that needs to be broken.”
Naadiya Moosajee, co-founder of Womhub and WomEng, which delivers more programs to get women and girls into engineering and technology, says, “She’s coming at a tough time for our country.”
She adds, “Women in our country just kind of have had enough. There has been more spotlight on feminist side — where husbands or partners had murdered their wives. In one week, four women were killed. People are so tired of not being able to live in society and the fear that goes with every move that we make.
“Her visit in the context of a country that’s really grappling with the challenges with the way we treat women is an opportune time because of who she is.”
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Tania Mukwamu, the founder of cash app Maxicash and among the delegation meeting Meghan on Wednesday says, “We have followed a bit of her past career, and we do have an interest in the royals. She represents an image of the world moving toward a more inclusive space. I would like to get a sense of what she’s been experiencing – good or bad. Not that she is going to change our world, but how she is carrying it and if there is any backlash. She is ever so poised in dealing with that.
“I’d like to understand what she feels she can bring to the table in changing perceptions of young black females and their accomplishments.”