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First Lady of Nigeria Clarifies Comments About Meghan Markle amid False Reports

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The First Lady of Nigeria is clarifying her remarks after a recent speech was misinterpreted as criticism of Meghan Markle’s attire during her visit to the country.

First Lady Sen. Oluremi Tinubu made headlines after Meghan’s visit when a video surfaced of her discussing the challenges faced by Nigeria’s youth at an event celebrating the first year of her husband, Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s, presidency.

“We are not having the Met Gala . . . We don’t accept nakedness in our culture,” First Lady Tinubu said in part during her speech. “It is not beautiful at all . . . They are mimicking and trying to emulate film stars from America. They don’t know where they come from. Why did Meghan come here, looking for Africa? That is something we have to take home with. We know who we are, and don’t lose who you are.”

According to the First Lady’s office, Tinubu’s reference to the Duchess of Sussex was about her journey to understand her identity and where she came from after Meghan learned she is of Nigerian heritage.

“She meant Meghan appreciates the people we are and hence her coming here,” the First Lady’s office said in a statement to AFP Fact Check in a story published on May 30. “At no point did she say anything about Meghan’s dressing.”

The clarification follows inaccurate reports from various media outlets, suggesting that the speech directly criticized the Duchess of Sussex’s tour wardrobe.

Tinubu’s office did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

Meghan and Prince Harry visited Nigeria at the invitation of the Chief of Defense Staff, the country’s highest-ranking military official, from May 10 to May 12. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex did not publicly meet with the President of Nigeria or his wife during their trip.

The First Lady of Nigeria delivered her speech on May 25 at an event titled “Celebrating the Woman” in Abuja, Arise News reported. In remarks shared to YouTube, Tinubu stressed the importance of setting a positive example for the next generation and alluded that Meghan visited Nigeria to reconnect with her roots. The Duchess of Sussex said in 2022 that she learned she was 43% Nigerian through a genealogy test and spoke about feeling a connection to the country throughout her trip with Harry.

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