"You have to be true to who you are," the royal mom told entrepreneur Matsi Modise
Meghan Markle discussed the important role mothers play in being role models for boys like her son Archie when she met women business leaders during her African tour.
Meghan, 38, who has consistently campaigned for the empowerment of young women and girls, chatted with female founders of tech companies in a private meeting in Cape Town on Wednesday.
“We acknowledged the importance of not just education for girls but being role models for boys — that we are women who are influential and who boys can look up to as well,” says Naadiya Moosajee, who has a two-year-old son.
“We both have sons, and we were bearing in mind that we are not just role models for girls but boys — and not just our sons, but generally in public too.”
The “Ladies Who Launch” meeting took place under the auspices of the U.K.-South Africa tech hub, highlighting the skills and leadership of the female entrepreneurs helping change the face of employment in South Africa.
Moosajee, co-founder of Womhub and WomEng — which deliver programs to get women and girls into STEM careers like engineering and technology — says their conversation “didn’t feel hierarchical with a princess in the room, but it was women gathered together and a talk about the struggles we have, as well as the things we need to do to move forward and grow and change our societies.”
Matsi Modise, founder of skills training company Simodisa, shared how the Duchess of Sussex spoke about navigating the delicate balance of career and family life — and how Meghan is continuing to champion the issues that were important to her before being a member of the Royal Family.
“She talked about being a mother and having duties as a duchess and fulfilling what her heart desires — and that it can’t just fade away now that you’re a duchess,” says Modise. “That you have to be true to who you are.”
She adds that Meghan inspired them to forge ahead with new ideas. “You know the phrase, ‘If you have climbed a mountain, you’re the one who has the biggest to fall?’ You are the one who is ushering a path for everyone else. She spoke about how we have to keep pushing and going forward, knowing that you are doing it for others who will follow. She wasn’t referring to being a royal, but life in general when you have challenges.”
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“I was awestruck, a bit nervous,” says Modise. “But she radiates grace and she is taking this task that she has with such grace. A lot of us have done amazing things as founders, but meeting a royal is quite daunting. She made it easy. She is an easy-going royal!”