Hello! royal tour diary: Final outing with Prince Harry in Johannesburg

On the final day of the Royal Tour, I joined Prince Harry in Soweto, the country's biggest township.

Home to 1.3 million people, it was famously home to anti-apartheid heroes and Nobel Peace Prize winners Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu and at the centre of the struggle for equal rights for black people.



We drove along red dirt tracks past low-rise houses and shacks to Siyabonga Secondary School in Braamfischer, in an area of the township still troubled by high unemployment and poverty.

Harry arrived fresh from his hour-long meeting with South Africa's president Jacob Zuma, which had been slightly overshadowed by the announcement that the conviction of Oscar Pistorius, the Paralympic athlete who shot to death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, had had been upgraded to murder.

The dramatic court hearing was live on TV in the background during Harry's visit to Zuma's official residence in Pretoria.

At the school, the prince took off his jacket and tie to sit on bean-bags with pupils learning about leadership through the Nelson Mandela – the Champion Within program. Harry, who met Mandela when he first visited South Africa in 1997, encouraged the kids to "keep pushing forward" to achieve their dreams and talked about his responsibility as a public figure to set a good example.

He said, "I would never want anyone to follow me in the bad things I do, only the good things."

The pupils, all aged 14 to 18 seemed really excited and inspired by the visit and Harry, who has a great rapport with young people, also seemed impressed by their ideas. After 14-year-old Jabulile Mathonsi overcame her nerves to tell the group she had learned that, "In order to move forward, you have to fail," he tenderly patted her on the back and praised her for not being too shy to say it.

As he left, the prince told the youngsters, "Don't forget what we talked about. When things get really, really hard, persevere. Keep pushing forward and people will follow you."

After a visit to meet young entrepreneurs in central Johannesburg, he was due to meet Graca Machel, Nelson Mandela’s widow, and tour the private archive of the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

It seems fitting that his hugely successful tour to South Africa should end with a nod to the legendary leader he met on his first visit to the country he loves so much. As for me, I'm heading to the airport for the last of my eight flights on this tour. It’s been a huge privilege to cover; thanks for following our journey!

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