The royals are coming! Do commoners even care? We asked DJ Fresh & Helen Zille

We asked a few high profile locals whether they're excited about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's visit to Mzansi

22 September 2019 - 00:00
By Alex Patrick
Prince Harry, his wife, Meghan, and their son Archie.
Image: Getty Images Prince Harry, his wife, Meghan, and their son Archie.

Prince Harry, his wife, Meghan, and their four-month-old son, Archie, arrive in SA today for their first official tour as a family.

We asked a few South Africans how they felt about the duke and duchess’s visit —  and found that, yes, at least some of us do care.

DJ Fresh (Thato Sikwane)
Image: File DJ Fresh (Thato Sikwane)


Radio personality

“I was born and raised in post-colonial Botswana and almost everything was British-centric. I remember Queen Elizabeth II came when I was in grade 1 [in 1979] and we were made to go line up in our school uniform and wave flags at the airport.

“When Princess Diana got married, all the British kids were given the day off so they could  watch the wedding. To this day I have no idea where they watched it because I don’t remember us having satellite TV. 

“Many say the royals are moochers but the British royals probably bring in more money in terms of tourism than what they are paid. I think we could probably learn from them how to monetise our royals so that they are not just taking from tax money.

“I’m generally indifferent about the royals, but I love Harry. He’s a bit of a rebel and I’m a bit of a rebel.”

Teddy Mattera
Image: File Teddy Mattera


Filmmaker, anti-imperialist

“I don’t give a damn, it doesn’t really matter to me whether they come or go.”




Helen Zille.
Image: Ruvan Boshoff Helen Zille.


Former DA leader

“I’m not sure what the royals intend to do here but it will be a welcome distraction from all the other issues we have to worry about at the moment. 

“I met the Queen at the Commonwealth conference in Zambia —  I think the year was 1979. She was very gracious. 

“I walked around Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens with Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall when they were in Cape Town [in 2011]. I found them very pleasant and interesting people. 

“And while I was in Leeuwenhof [the official residence of the premier of the Western Cape], the names  of the royals — King George VI, Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother) and princesses Elizabeth and Margaret — plus their signatures, were in our visitors book.”

Elliot Ndlovu
Image: file Elliot Ndlovu


Sangoma to the stars, herbalist and ethnobotanist

“It’s important for people to know their heritage and where they come from, so it’s good they are coming here.

"When I met the royals [at the Chelsea Flower Show in 1997 when Queen Elizabeth II and other members of the royal family asked about  his herbs and tinctures] they did promise that when they came to SA they would visit me.”

Fred Khumalo
Image: Kevin Sutherland Fred Khumalo



“There is nothing special about the royals. They are just human beings visiting a foreign country. I have never met Prince Harry. I met his older brother, who was just a human being. I really don’t get moved by royals at all, no matter where they come from. Their visit is just another visit by a curious couple. Hope they enjoy our country.”


Betty Bangles (Bernard Buys)
Image: file Betty Bangles (Bernard Buys)


Drag queen

“I’m excited to welcome my fellow royals, the duke and duchess, to sunny SA.”







Steve Komphela
Image: Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images Steve Komphela


Former Bafana Bafana captain and current Lamontville Golden Arrows coach

“The visit is important as a reminder of history. I remember when Princess Diana died. She touched my heart. She had such charisma and was such a wonderful person.

“I also think of the time Mandela went to visit the Queen. He’d just been in jail, now he was in a palace. It must have been such a contrast for him to be dining with the Queen.

“I wonder what the queen really thinks about Brexit?”

The Sussex family will be in Africa until October 2. While Meghan and her son, Archie, will only be visiting South Africa, Prince Harry will also make trips to Botswana, Angola and Malawi. Check out their full itinerary here.