Meghan Markle Says 'I Can't Screw up' as She Glances at Her Notes during Speech at a University in South Africa

Meghan Markle showed that she is just like any ordinary person as she takes a peek at her notes amid her speech on gender equality in education: "My goodness, I can't screw up."

Meghan Markle gave an eloquent speech about gender equality at the University of Johannesburg. But as she was wrapping up, she went a bit off track and took a look at her notecards. She said:

"I will use my note card for this because this last bit, my goodness, I can't screw up."

Those who sat with her at the discussion, as well as everyone else inside the room, laughed in response to the duchesses comedic line. Markle then continued from where she left off:

"The goal here is to have gender equality, to support women as they search for their high education goals."

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While at Victoria Yards in Johannesburg this afternoon, The Duchess of Sussex had the opportunity to learn more about the importance of, and how to enable a ‘wellbeing economy’ thanks to Co-Director of the Maker’s Valley Partnership, Simon Sizwe. Simon was awarded a full scholarship to attend the Young African Leaders Initiative programme initiated by President Obama, and he explained that by investing in the overall well-being of a community and its people, and focusing on that economy, you can enrich everyone for a better quality of life. She also met with the owners of Sobae Frozen, an entrepreneurial duo who created their small business as a solution to food waste, creating vegan sorbet from unused fruit from Victoria Yards. At the end of her visit, The Duchess was moved by the original poetry of Belita Andre, the winner of the Poetry Grandslam. In her reading she said: “The Maker’s Valley is a social and enterprise hub, a wave between my corner of the world and yours. Insisting that beyond the anchors of survival. How to make sure that everyone gets to shore, pass around an ocean of stars, not because our sleepless nights are equal but because our dreams are.” • #RoyalVisitSouthAfrica

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Markle further emphasized the importance of education in both "economic growth and personal growth." She also encouraged talks about giving scholarship grants and financial aids to students, adding that had the privilege to go to a university because of help as such.

The royal came as a patron of the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) to promote academic collaboration between countries. The 38-year-old mentioned:

"As patron of the ACU, it has been an incredible year now, and we are really working to advocate for what is truly and deeply important to me."

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This morning, The Duchess of Sussex went back to college!  Joining students and educators at The University of Johannesburg The Duchess was able to announce a new series of gender grants from the Association of Commonwealth Universities, of which she is patron. She was also able to announce four new scholarships to help students study in different commonwealth countries, allowing cross cultural understanding and an opportunity to deepen their educational studies abroad. One of the recipients of these grants shared his story of growing up on farmland in Kenya, where he paid for his education trading vegetables to cover schooling costs (cauliflower leaves to be exact!) He is now doing a research study on carcinogens in his country, its link to cancer - his work is helping to change practices and to save lives. The Duchess was so moved by the work being done across the education sector and to talk with such like-minded thinkers about the importance of access to education and the support needed internally. When the round table discussion this morning moved to the challenges faced in this sector and how daunting it can all seem, The Duchess said, “Sometimes access to education can seem so big, you wonder where to even begin? So you begin with one student, or one school, you simply begin. And that’s when we see change.” She continued by referencing a Martin Luther King Jr quote: “Take the first step... you don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” Since @the_acu_official Gender Grants were launch in 2016, 28 universities in 17 countries have benefited with a minimum of 600 beneficiaries participating in workshops supported by the grants. #RoyalVisitSouthAfrica Photo ©️ PA images

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As Markle came to the university, many fans of the former "Suits" actress greeted her with screams of admiration. Susana Glavan, director of the British Council, also anticipated Markle's arrival.

Among those who welcomed her to the institution were vice-chancellor and professor of the university, Tschilidzi Marwala, and secretary-general of the ACU, Dr. Joanna Newman. 

As part of her South African tour, Markle also met with female business leaders and founders of tech companies to talk about motherhood, women empowerment, and the role of parents in a male child's formation.

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While in Johannesburg today, The Duchess of Sussex visited Victoria Yards, which celebrates the power of community, bringing local artisans and “makers” together to rebuild, support and learn from each other on a holistic level. It was an exceptional afternoon where The Duchess had the chance to connect with the children and founders of the phenomenal programme for kids’ development Timbuktu in The Valley. She was also struck by the local denim designer who founded eponymous brand Tshepo who shared this info about the logo for his line: “The crown on my jeans represents the three ladies who raised me. Enjoy wearing this crown.” Such a beautiful and touching sentiment! Artists, artisans, sculptors, metal workers and carpenters are all part of the fabric of Victoria Yards, but it also utilizes the power of The DICE programme which supports several other local organisations in their work with marginalised youth and women. These include: 94 Colours (run by The Duchess’ guides for the day, Hector and Sibusiso), CDP (a development programme for young unemployed and marginalised women that provides training to start creative enterprises), Enke (rebuilds the confidence and self-belief of unemployed youth through training and practical experience), 26’10 South (an architecture firm designing a local youth centre) and ReimagiNation (works with local secondary school students to create a social and creative enterprising mindset). Stay tuned for more updates from this special afternoon... #RoyalVisitSouthAfrica

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Co-founder of Womhub and WomEng, Naadiya Moosaje commended the royal for speaking well and from the heart during the discussion. She said:

"Her visit in the context of a country that's really grappling with the challenges with the way we treat women is an opportune time of who she is."

Apart from the topics mentioned above, Markle tackled work-life balance and prompted women to fight for their "respect, dignity, and equality." 

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