ABC News’ Karl Bostic reports:
Prince Harry put on a royal display of cooking, dancing and know-how in the classroom, as he ended his visit to Lesotho today. And with a touch that only a prince could provide– from sporting a cooking apron dotted with Paddington Bear motifs, to performing a local kneeling dance, to learning how to communicate in sign language.
The prince was making a three-day visit to the tiny landlocked African kingdom, where he visited projects supported by his charity, Sentebale. This was the prince’s first public engagement since completing his four-month tour of duty to Afghanistan as an Apache pilot.
Lesotho is a former British protectorate, entirely surrounded by South Africa, with a population of only 1.8 million. The majority of the population can only be reached by foot or on horseback. Forty percent live below the poverty line and the country has the third-highest HIV/AIDS rate in the world.
At the Kananelo Center for the Deaf. the prince took part in a cooking class, making a kind of doughnut known locally as “makoenya.” After a batch was made, he surprised the travelling press by offering a sample. The reply from members, was whether “this was a peace offering”. “You should be giving them to me!”, joked the prince, who had recently complained about his treatment from the media
In the classroom, the prince played student. There were warm words of welcome on the blackboard, “We Love You Prince Harry.” He was then taught a series of phrases in sign language by a 14 year old.
His companion Prince Seeiso of Lesotho, poked fun at the prince, asking the class to teach him the word for “redhead.” It turned into a comedy routine when Prince Harry asked the class, “What about the word for bald?” pointing to his friend’s head. Prince Harry set up the charity in 2006, with Prince Seeiso, in memory of both their late mothers.
Outside the Prince shimmied on his knees as admiring youngsters whooped and wailed in praise.
In Sesotho, the language of Lesotho, Sentebale means “forget me not.” By supporting Sentebale, the prince is making sure that his mother’s legacy of championing the cause of those in need is not forgotten. Tonight, he will continue spreading that message at a gala dinner for the charity in Johannesburg.