‘We do not want nakedness in our culture’: Nigeria’s first lady slams US celebs after Meghan Markle visit

nigeria speech meghan markle
nigeria speech meghan markle
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In a bold address just weeks after Meghan Markle’s high-profile visit, Nigeria’s First Lady issued a stern warning to the nation’s women: Don’t lose yourself trying to emulate American celebrities.

Senator Oluremi Tinubu, wife of President Bola Tinubu, didn’t hold back as she took aim at the pervasive influence of Hollywood’s risqué fashion trends.

Speaking in Abuja to mark the first anniversary of her husband’s administration, Tinubu urged teenagers and young people to dress more modestly and reject the scantily-clad styles popularized by US stars.

Meghan Markle gestures as she and Prince Harry visit children at the Lights Academy in Abuja, Nigeria, Friday, May 10, 2024. AP
Meghan Markle gestures as she and Prince Harry visit children at the Lights Academy in Abuja, Nigeria, Friday, May 10, 2024. AP

“We have to salvage our children,” she declared. “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.”

She continued, “Tell them we don’t accept nakedness in our culture. That is not beautiful. It’s not beautiful at all.”

While Tinubu didn’t explicitly criticize Meghan Markle, she referenced the Duchess’s recent visit to Nigeria where Markle emphasized her Nigerian roots, revealing she is 43% Nigerian according to a DNA test.

“Why did Meghan come here looking for Africa? That is something we have to take home with [us]. We know who we are. Don’t lose who you are,” Tinubu stated.

First Lady of Nigeria Oluremi Tinubu slams the influence Hollywood women have on girls in Nigeria. Anadolu via Getty Images
First Lady of Nigeria Oluremi Tinubu slams the influence Hollywood women have on girls in Nigeria. Anadolu via Getty Images

Markle and Prince Harry’s trip to Nigeria, intended to promote the Invictus Games, garnered mixed reactions.

Some experts criticized Markle’s choice of expensive and revealing outfits, suggesting she could have shown “more modesty” in a country where just over half of the population are Muslim.

One fashion expert noted that Markle “bared too much skin” and would likely have dressed more conservatively had the trip been organized by Buckingham Palace.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle pose for a photo as they attend the program held in the Armed Forces Complex in Abuja, Nigeria on May 11, 2024. Meghan is wearing a strapless tight-fitted dress. Anadolu via Getty Images
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle pose for a photo as they attend the program held in the Armed Forces Complex in Abuja, Nigeria on May 11, 2024. Meghan is wearing a strapless tight-fitted dress. Anadolu via Getty Images
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle ttend a polo fundraiser event in Lagos, Nigeria, May 12, 2024. REUTERS
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle ttend a polo fundraiser event in Lagos, Nigeria, May 12, 2024. REUTERS

During her speech, Tinubu emphasized Nigerian women’s beauty and urged them to be confident in their identity.

“They’re all beautiful girls, but they should be confident in who they are,” she said. “We are fashionable, we see what is going on.”

The First Lady also called on Nigerian women to become unifying forces in their homes and communities, promoting greater prosperity for the nation.

Nigeria Chief of Defense Staff Christopher Musa (L), his wife Lilian Musa (2ndL), Lagos State Governor wife, Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu (3rdL), Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu (3ndR), Britain’s Prince Harry (2ndR), Duke of Sussex, and Britain’s Meghan (R), Duchess of Sussex, pose for a photo at the State Governor House in Lagos on May 12, 2024 as they visit Nigeria as part of celebrations of Invictus Games anniversary. AFP via Getty Images

“When mothers stand with you, the house is in order,” she asserted. “Looking ahead, we must endeavor to become the unifying force in our homes and our communities, to bring about greater prosperity for our nation.”

The Sussexes’ three-day visit to Nigeria marked their first official trip to Africa since stepping down as working royals and relocating to California.

Celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Invictus Games, the couple received warm welcomes despite the controversy surrounding Markle’s wardrobe choices.

Meghan Markle speaks at a Women in Leadership event co-hosted with Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on May 11, 2024 in Abuja, Nigeria wearing a spaghetti-strapped red dress. Getty Images for The Archewell Foundation
Meghan Markle speaks at a Women in Leadership event co-hosted with Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on May 11, 2024 in Abuja, Nigeria wearing a spaghetti-strapped red dress. Getty Images for The Archewell Foundation

Prince Harry praised Nigerian athletes, saying they represented their country extraordinarily at the last competition, winning medals and returning with smiles.

The royal was moved by plans for a new Invictus Games center in Nigeria.

At a reception hosted by Nigeria’s Chief of Defense Staff Christopher Musa, Harry expressed excitement over the upcoming facility in Abuja, aimed at assisting war veterans with rehabilitation.

Meghan Markle receives flowers from a girl upon her arrival with Prince Harry for an exhibition sitting volleyball match at Nigeria Unconquered, a local charity organization that supports wounded, injured, or sick servicemembers, in Abuja on May 11, 2024 as they visit Nigeria as part of celebrations of Invictus Games anniversary. AFP via Getty Images

“Seeing the plans for the new Invictus Centre gives me goosebumps,” he said.

The Duke and Duchess now reside in California with their children, Princess Lilibet and Prince Archie.