One of South Africa’s most renowned composers has got things other than the British royals on his mind.
Speaking to the MailOnline, Lebohang Morake, better known professionally as Lebo M, said he couldn’t recall speaking with Meghan Markle about Nelson Mandela at the 2019 premiere of “The Lion King”.
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In an interview this week with The Cut, the Duchess of Sussex claimed that she had met a South African cast member at the premiere in London, said to her, “I just need you to know: ‘When you married into this family, we rejoiced in the streets the same we did when Mandela was freed from prison.’”
On Wednesday, Dr. John Kani, the only South African cast member in the film, denied ever having spoken to Markle, saying he was “baffled” baffled by the comment.
Morake did, however, meet the Duchess at the premiere, telling the MailOnline, “Indeed I was at The Lion King 2019 premier and met the Royals. I cannot comment on the matter as it was three years ago and I don’t remember details of that conversation which was less than a minute, except the Royals were going to South Africa or Botswana.”
He continued, “I’m the only South African directly associated with both The Lion King films and the Broadway productions,” adding, “As a South African, I’m not sure if this is important to most of us facing serious domestic issues. I’d like to not be dragged into this issue from three years ago either way.”
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The outlet also found video from the premiere, showing Morake meeting Markle and Prince Harry.
“It’s an honour to meet you. Everyone in South Africa’s heard of Meghan Markle,” he is heard saying, followed by Harry talking about their forthcoming trip to his country.
“Oh, fantastic. Better be seeing you then,” the composer responds, before moving on.
Mandela’s grandson Mandla, also spoke with the MailOnline about Markle’s comments.
“Madiba’s celebration was based on overcoming 350 years of colonialism with 60 years of a brutal apartheid regime in South Africa. So it cannot be equated to as the same,” he said.
“Every day there are people who want to be Nelson Mandela, either comparing themselves with him or wanting to emulate him,” Mandla continued. “But before people can regard themselves as Nelson Mandelas, they should be looking into the work that he did and be able to be champions and advocates of the work that he himself championed.”