‘Must save our children’: Nigeria’s First Lady slams US celeb culture weeks after Meghan Markle’s visit

Nigeria’s First Lady is warning women against impersonating American celebrities and has opened up a conversation about the importance of preserving the African nation’s cultural heritage weeks after a visit by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

The comment came after the estranged royal duo wrapped up their brief visit to Nigeria earlier this month to promote its Invictus Games for wounded military veterans. The Duke of Sussex and his wife visited the Nigerian capital Abuja, where they attended a school event on mental health, in a trip that also saw the prince meet wounded Nigerian soldiers.

Presidential candidate Bola Ahmed Tinubu arrives at a polling station with his wife Oluremi Tinubu before casting his vote in Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria on February 25, 2023. REUTERS

Speaking in Abuja during her husband’s anniversary, Senator Oluremi Tinubu urged teenagers and young adults to dress modestly, dismissing the influence of American celebrities. “We must save our children,” said Tinubu, who expressed concern over the prevailing trend of imitating western fashion.

She stressed the need to reject the “nudity” popularized by events like the Met Gala, stressing that such attire is not in line with Nigerian cultural values. “We see the way they dress. We’re not having the Met Gala. nudity is just everywhere and the men are well dressed,” she told the New York Post.

While Tinubu did not directly denounce Meghan, she questioned the duchess’s motives for embracing her Nigerian heritage. Referring to Markle’s DNA test which showed 43% Nigerian ancestry, Tinubu emphasized the importance of cultural preservation and self-identity. “We know who we are. Don’t lose who you are,” Tinubu asserted as she urged Nigerian women to be confident in their identity and resist the pressure of western fashion trends. She also spoke on the role of mothers in maintaining order and promoting confidence among Nigerian women.

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    first print: May 28, 2024 2:34 PM IST

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