Nigeria’s First Lady clarifies: she did not criticize Duchess Meghan’s attire

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Following the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s wildly successful Nigerian tour, Nigeria’s first lady gave a speech which some people thought was shady towards Meghan. I did not think that, to be clear. Even the Daily Mail’s coverage of First Lady Sen. Oluremi Tinubu’s speech made it pretty obvious that Tinubu at no point criticized Meghan. And you know the Mail was really trying to make it sound that way. Basically, First Lady Tinubu’s speech was about how young women shouldn’t feel like they need to be scantily dressed or wear revealing clothes like Western celebrities. The mention of Meghan came later in the speech, and it felt like the first lady was saying: even Meghan wanted to see our authentic Nigerian culture. Well, the first lady’s office say the Derangers putting words into her mouth and her office clarified what was discussed:

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.

[From People]

“She meant Meghan appreciates the people we are and hence her coming here.” Exactly, the first lady’s speech was directed to young women and girls, the same people who look up to Meghan. The first lady was saying: you don’t have to dress in a way that is inauthentic to our Nigerian culture, our culture is so valuable that Meghan came here to see US. That’s how I interpreted it. Now, does it follow that Nigeria’s first lady should tell women how to dress? No. But again, that has nothing to do with Meghan.

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27 Responses to “Nigeria’s First Lady clarifies: she did not criticize Duchess Meghan’s attire”

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  1. equality says:

    She wasn’t insulting Meghan, but there are cultures in Nigeria that do celebrate nakedness. She would have done better to have not included those things in her speech. Not all in Nigeria are Muslim or Christian.

    • GMH says:

      The british media as usual were inserting themselves with no knowledge at all. The first lady is a senator. Her husband is president. They are christians but to be successful politicians there you also have to give a nod to the Muslim population. So, women cover up there. But it is not a big deal fir everyone else.

      • Advisor2U says:

        Her husband is from the islamic faith. She is a christian and a pastor since 2018 (of the Redeemed Christian Church of God). Christianity is more widespread in Nigeria than the islam, with many different forms of christian churches

    • Joyful Liluri says:

      That’s exactly how I interpreted it as well.
      “Our culture has value and is valued. Be true to yourself and your roots. You don’t have to be adopt the habits and beliefs and values of another culture because their media controls the world.
      Meghan came here generations after her ancestors were stolen from us to connect with her culture and her ancestors! She loved our customs and culture and our people as much as we loved her. please understand the value in the culture you have grown up in, that a grown woman traveled across the globe to experience for herself.

      Just good things all around.

      And any culture can have elements to it that are oppressive and toxic – looking at us, USA – so this isn’t to say that either woman rubber stamped every thing that has ever happened in Nigeria, every custom, every belief, everything. That’s not the case. It’s just presenting a case for the culture of Nigeria in itself having value and worth even if it’s not modeled or toted by western media.

  2. Always trying to find a gotcha against Meg and failing miserably.

  3. GoodWitchGlenda says:

    Isn’t the British media bored of tying every little thing to H&M? I’m bored on their behalf.

    • BeanieBean says:

      I find it rather interesting how they can tie anything–anything!–to H&M. Their ‘logic’ is truly a thing to behold.

      • kirk says:

        But it seems to work to tie stuff to H&M!
        If I had anything to promote I’d sure try to figure out how to tie it to H&M!
        It’s probably why Sean Ono Lennon called Harry an idiot – to call attention to himself because he wasn’t getting enough attention for his Oscar winning short animated film based on the music of his famous father.

    • rosa mwemaid says:

      H & M get clicks, clicks get money for the right wing press. There are enough people out there who don’t think for themselves to make the clicks pay.

  4. Jan says:

    Just Maybe, she was referring to her daughter, who is a “model.”

    • Amy Bee says:

      Even if she was, she shouldn’t do it public. That should be between her and her daughter.

  5. Amy Bee says:

    At the same time the British press is decrying the rumours and speculation about Kate on social media, they are sitting on deranger’s timelines looking for a new angle to attack Meghan with. I’m glad the first lady spoke out but she really didn’t have to. Most sane people understood what she was saying and that it had nothing to do with Meghan.

    • Eurydice says:

      It’s too bad, but I think she did have to say something. The Nigeria trip was a success for everyone concerned and we’ve seen how derangers can disrupt the narrative to the point that their version becomes mainstream. Best to nip it in the bud.

    • BeanieBean says:

      Speaking of Kate Missington, I woke up to a BBC news alert about some missing bitcoin person & how the BBC is tracking her down. Can’t they look for Kate while they’re at it? Shouldn’t a missing princess be found?

    • The hypocrisy is gag worthy. I also wish fans could stop being so “concerned” every time one of these distorted stories gets spilled by tabloids. Like the big Archewell fake drama that turned out to be nothing that the Governor had to defend.

      The “I like them, but” comments get so old. ‘I like them, but I have to join and agree with this jacked up story that wouldn’t even be a story for anyone else’? Nope.

  6. BeanieBean says:

    Sigh. Even women are policing other women’s bodies & clothing choices. On the one hand, I get it, appreciate your own culture & don’t try to emulate someone else’s–in this case, western culture, the dominant one spread throughout the world through movies & television. But still…nakedness?

  7. Maxine Branch says:

    Meghan looked flawless. She dressed as a 21st century confident woman. I did not take the 1st lady’s comments at a dig towards Meghan. I suppose it is because I have clarity of thought and am able to process as well as synthesize information. The 1st lady was making a generalized observation of her fellow countrywomen

    • QuiteContrary says:

      Amen, MB. Applying reason and thought is so helpful — more people should try it!

  8. Advisor2U says:

    She ”cleverly” cleaned up the Meghan situation, not her disparaging American celebrity culture. That’s why some people won’t let this pass.

    Firstly, since ancient times African tribal/traditional attires are rooted in exposing a lot of body proudly – equally by men and women, till this day. Nigeria has hundreds of traditional tribes across the many states to prove that.

    Further, The first lady, as a very grown woman, should have kept her religious/conservative believes to herself, given her position as the first lady of the country, a position meant to be neutral, to bind people of all walks of life – be it their belief systems or (secular) livestyless.

    On top of that, she is a politician – a 3! terms senator ánd a former first lady, since her husband – also a former senator, a man with, to put it mildly, questionable backgrounds related to drugs while living in the US, his US college qualification, his identity/birthday, election-fraud, etc., and who was also exiled out of Nigeria as a politician during the dictatorship – was previously the governor of Lagos State. So this seasoned woman knows a thing or two, how words spoken by politician in pubic – in a formal capacity or not – could land.

    Finally, there was no need for her to weaponize American celebrity culture to uplifts Nigerian culture and to urge young women in her country to dress according to HER outlook on culture and fashion. If she really has a problem with celebrities being emulated by young girls, well, she could have looked not further than in her own country, how some (celebrity) women tend to dress – like in the Nollywood movie and modeling business and amongst the Nigerian elites.

    Don’t unnecessarily throw stones to make your point, first lady of Naija. And consider to clean up your US-celebrity’s statement too.

    • Eurydice says:

      Well, American culture is pretty pervasive and it’s always been convenient to criticize American “decadence.” But I don’t think anyone in the US would have cared one way or the other if Meghan’s name hadn’t been brought into it. As an American, I don’t feel she needs to clarify anything to me – she was addressing her own constituents and that’s their business, not mine.

    • bisynaptic says:

      Great points.

  9. therese says:

    I wasn’t sure what the first lady was meaning because in listening to a recording of her speech, it was clear that English was not her first language. Her sentence structure wasn’t good, her sentences weren’t complete, and it was unclear to me what her meaning and intentions were. The BP were unsurprisingly waiting in the wings to strike, to find anything to use against Meghan. It was a poorly not-written off the cuff speech, and thus the BP or any person of ill-intent could then insert their own meaning, since the intent of the First Lady wasn’t clear, and she obviously didn’t take the time or trouble to write a good speech in the language she chose to use and make sure it was clear the first time. And the Nigerian First Lady has now made a clarification, but I believe that if one is in a position of power where people notice and report on what you say; if one wants to pontificate, and if one chooses to mention another person’s name (especially one who obviously means your country well and does a lot of charity there), you better be fucking clear about what you are saying the first time, and write the bleeding speech out beforehand. I might also point out to the first lady that she is also doing what American celebrities say very often “what I said was taken out of context”. The Nigerian First Lady is not a good public speaker and purveyor of good will. She caused a world-wide incident when there was a lot of world-wide good will towards Nigeria all thanks to Meghan, and Harry. I suggest that the First Lady hire a speech-writer, study the language she chooses to speak in, and watch where she steps, because she does have a position of influence. She is not a good public speaker, and one cannot always clean everything up that one has messed up. I’m just saying.

    • therese says:

      I might also say that Meghan is extremely careful and considered always about where she steps. She was very careful and deliberate in what she wore, what she did, and what she said: as always. And didn’t Meghan also speak in the native language or a language of Nigeria? She never stepped out of line, she never said something nebulous that could have been construed as negative. She and Harry did a great deal of good, as was their intent. I’m just not sure the First Lady had no malintent. Congratulations, First Lady, you are now a celebrity, or celeb-adjacent: wrapped up tightly and covered all over, of course.

    • Julianna says:

      @Advisor2U and @Therese

      I agree completely.

    • vpd4 says:

      @ Therese. Totally agree.

    • bisynaptic says: