Prince Harry plays volleyball while sitting with Meghan on Nigeria trip


  • By Simi Jolaoso, in Abuja and Natasha Presky
  • BBC News

image Source, gift ufuoma

image Caption, Harry and Meghan given Nigerian colored scarves before watching sit-down volleyball game

The second day of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's visit to Nigeria started with a volleyball game.

In Abuja, the couple spent time with Nigeria Unconquered, which compiles the country's Invictus Games team.

Harry and Meghan are to speak at a reception hosted by the Chief of Defense Staff of the Nigerian Army.

The Duchess will later co-host a Women in Leadership event with Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General of the World Trade Organisation.

After arriving at the armed forces officers' mess and being given Nigeria's green and white scarves, Harry and Meghan sat down and watched a game of volleyball, before Harry was invited to play with the team.

The Duke took part in a few rounds of the game, which were played by 'Team Harry' and 'Team CDS' – referring to the Army Chief of Defense Staff who is behind the couple's trip to Nigeria.

image Source, BBC/Kyla Hermansen

The Duke then joined in the team's battle cry before speaking to the athletes' families and friends.

Last year, Nigeria became the first African country to participate in the Invictus Games, a sporting competition for wounded military personnel and veterans, which was co-founded by Prince Harry in 2014.

On the first day of the mini-tour on Friday, Harry spoke about the joy the Nigeria team brought to the Games in Dusseldorf, Germany.

The charity Nigeria Unconquered, which will put together Nigeria's team for next year's Invictus Games in Canada, helps wounded, ill and injured service personnel “find new purpose” through sport.

On Saturday, Royalty Ojeh, the six-year-old daughter of Nigeria Unconquered founder Bobby Ojeh, presented Meghan with a bouquet of roses. Touched by this gesture, the Duchess offered to give one of the roses to the royalty to keep.

image Source, BBC/Simi Jolaoso

image Caption, Six-year-old Royalty Ojeh presents flowers to the Duchess of Sussex

Following the sit-down volleyball game, the Duke and Duchess attended a reception that included performances from drummers and traditional dancers, as well as remarks from various officials.

Dr. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, chair of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, shared her joy at the duchess's Nigerian heritage, telling Meghan that she was so beautiful were she not Nigerian.

She presented Meghan and Harry with a dress made from Aso Oke, a hand-woven fabric from south-west Nigeria.

In an address, Harry on Friday shared a story of his visit to a military rehabilitation center in Kaduna, where he met 50 injured service personnel admitted in the hospital.

“Out of the 50, there were two that were a little bit different,” he said. “They had smiles on their faces. One of them was doing push-ups. I was curious.”

He added: “They knew their lives were not defined by the traumas of their past – that's what Invictus is about and that's what your new center will be about.”

The audience was shown a video of 3D renderings of the “state-of-the-art” Invictus Centre, which officials hope to build soon in Abuja.

image Source, BBC/Kyla Hermansen

image Caption, Prince Harry addressing the troops at a special reception

Before arriving in Nigeria, Prince Harry visited London as part of the celebrations for the 10th anniversary of the Invictus Games and attended a thanksgiving ceremony at St Paul's Cathedral.

Meanwhile, the King, who is being treated for cancer, met members of the public at a Buckingham Palace garden party a little more than two miles away.

A spokesperson for the Duke confirmed that he would not be able to meet his father during his time in Britain due to the King's “full schedule”, but that he “hopes to meet him soon”.

Harry last visited the UK to meet the King in February, shortly after he was diagnosed with cancer.


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