Duchess of Sussex Meghan. Picture: Sumaya Hisham/Reuters/African News Agency (ANA)

Embracing like old friends, Meghan enjoyed a very warm welcome from three excited fans in South Africa on Monday.

The Duchess of Sussex met the girls as she dropped in on their art class during a private visit to a social enterprise scheme in Johannesburg.

The girls, from the Timbuktu in the Valley activity centre for local children, showed off their handiwork with an impromptu gift – presenting a drawing to the duchess.

Meghan, wearing a navy Wilfred By Aritzia shirt dress, red slingbacks and a pair of studded black earrings she picked up at an ethical designer in Cape Town, looked happy as she mingled with locals on the eighth day of the Africa tour.

On the visit to the Victoria Yards scheme, which is backed by the British Council, Meghan also impressed local artisans and charity workers with her own creative flair – revealing she used to teach bookbinding.

She made the revelation when buying three recycled notebooks from one of the organisations.

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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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Simon Sizwe Mayson, who helped create the collective, said: "She bought these three little notebooks and also mentioned she used to do workshops in bookbinding herself."

He added: "The duchess was really interested in the concept here and how we are working towards the greater good. It is a microcosm of South Africa here, and it really dovetails with what she wants to do."

A royal aide confirmed the duchess used to teach a bookbinding class.

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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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Daily Mail