Meghan Markle has done some research into her own ancestry and discovered that she is 43 percent Nigerian. The Duchess of Sussex spoke about this revelation on her Archetypes podcast in an episode featuring comedian Ziwe Fumudoh. She said that she submitted to genetic testing to find out more about her family's history.
"I just had my genealogy done a couple years ago," Markle said on the podcast. She said that she submitted her DNA for a test that could determine her racial and ethnic makeup to a high degree of accuracy, and that it showed a very strong connection to Nigeria. This was big great news to Fumodoh, who is Nigerian-American herself. She responded: "No way! Na wa o! Oh my gosh! Are you really serious?"
Fumodoh immediately wanted more details, expecting Nigerian communities around the world to be intrigued by this news. She speculated about which ethnic group Markle might belong to, asking: "Igbo, Yoruba... Do we know?" Markle responded: "So, I mean, I'm going to start to dig deeper into all this because anyone that I've told, especially Nigerian women, are just like, [gasp], what?!"
Fumudoh felt that the Nigerian community would be excited to hear that Markle shares ancestry with them. Once Markle had made the connection, Fumudoh believed she could actually see some telltale signs. She said: "This is huge for our community. No honestly, you do look like a Nigerian-, you look like my aunt Uzo, so this is great."
Markle's Archetypes podcast is all about analyzing and deconstructing the stereotypes that hold women down – particularly in media representation. Episode 7 was no different. It was titled "Upending the 'Angry Black Woman' Myth," and it also featured comedian Issa Rae as a guest, along with University of Vermont professor Emily Bernard. Since Markle has long identified as "half Black and half white," fans were likely anticipating a trope like this.
Previous episodes have tackled intersections of racism and misogyny without quite as much of a focus on the Black American community. The first full episode featured Serena Williams, who discussed the perception of "ambitious women" with Markle. She then talked to Mariah Carey about the "diva" stereotype" followed by a conversation with Mindy Kaling about being a single mother by choice. Episode 3 was about "the dragon lady" stereotype applied to Asian women, with guests Margaret Cho, Lisa Ling and Nancy Wang Yuen. Finally, last week's episode featured Paris Hilton and Iliza Shlesinger to discuss the "bimbo" archetype.
For the last several weeks, a new episode of Archetypes has gone up every Tuesday. The show is available exclusively on Spotify, but it can be accessed by those without a paid subscription.