Meghan Markle reveals she used to teach bookbinding classes during visit to Johannesburg art studio

Meghan Markle reveals she used to teach bookbinding classes during visit to Johannesburg art studio

  •  The Duchess of Sussex secretly visited to a social enterprise scheme today
  •  The Victoria Yards initiative in Johannesburg is supported by the British Council
  •  While there Meghan revealed she used to teach a bookbinding class at one time

The Duchess of Sussex revealed that she used to teach bookbinding classes as she secretly visited a social enterprise scheme in Johannesburg today. 

Meghan privately visited the Victoria Yards initiative, which brings together local artisans, charities and start-ups, and is supported by The British Council. 

Meghan bought three little blank notebooks from an organisation called Young Bucks, which uses recycled goods to bind books, made by local interns. 

Meghan’s were made from an ‘up-cycled’ local fabric called shweshwe, a dyed and printed fabric used to make colourful South African clothing. 

Children rushed up to hug Meghan as she began her tour tour of the Victoria Yards in Johannesburg

Children rushed up to hug Meghan as she began her tour tour of the Victoria Yards in Johannesburg

Simon Sizwe Mayson, co-director of the Maker’s Valley Partnership, which has helped to create the collective, said: ‘She bought these three little notebooks and also mentioned that she used to do workshops in bookbinding herself. She used to coach bookbinding. ‘ 

A royal aide confirmed that the duchess did used to teach a bookbinding class but was not aware of any further details. 

She also picked up a pair of jeans she had placed on order from a local firm and was given a pair of little dungarees for her baby son Archie. 

The handmade ‘Presidential slim fit’ trousers were made by up and coming designer Tshepo, from the township of Soweto, who revealed that he received a call four weeks ago from the British consular officials. 

‘The Duchess of Sussex placed an order for a pair of jeans and today she came to collect them personally. [I) surprised her with a pair of dungarees for Archie and the rest is history,’ he revealed. 

Tshepo started as a one man band but now employs 10 local people in his business. 

The duchess was shown round the collective by Mr Sizwe Mayson and Hector Mgiba, a social entrepreneur from 94 Colours, which uses art to mobilise young people in their community, and Sibusiso Zulu, founded of Sneakers4Change. 

Meghan's visit drew the attention from many of the children at the social enterprise initiative

Meghan’s visit drew the attention from many of the children at the social enterprise initiative

Meghan was particularly taken with the organisation, which collects and donates trainers to those less fortunate and viewed a display made from some of the sports shoes. 

As she left Victoria Yards, which was used as an old nappy factory, laundry and panel beaters before being developed into artisan studios, Meghan told the men: ‘I’ll never forget what you have told me. ‘ 

Mr Sizwe Mayson said: ‘The duchess was really interested in the concept here and how we are working towards the greater good. ‘We are really trying to build a culture of change making. 

She said that in her position she wants to try and do as much good as she can, although I am slightly paraphrasing here. 

‘She loved the way we are working with the community and what we are trying to achieve. 

‘It is a microcosm of South Africa here, and it really dovetails with what she wants to do. ‘We had a long conversation about change and change makers and what we can all do. 

‘Although we are members of the Commonwealth, we aren’t as obsessed by the Royal Family – but we were really impressed by her and what she wants to do.’ 

Meghan was wearing a navy Wilfred By Aritzia shirt dress, red slingbacks and a pair of £46 studded black earrings she picked up from a local designer in Cape Town

Meghan was wearing a navy Wilfred By Aritzia shirt dress, red slingbacks and a pair of £46 studded black earrings she picked up from a local designer in Cape Town

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