Prince Harry documentary sees the royal follow in his mother’s footsteps

In his younger years, Prince Harry would often hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons – wearing an inappropriate outfit to a fancy dress party, playing lewd games in Las Vegas and partying relentlessly.

These days, however, the 32-year-old Harry makes news headlines for much more wholesome reasons.

A new documentary about him, Prince Harry In Africa, is a case in point.

This programme tracks Harry as he goes back to Lesotho to carry on his work for Sentebale, the charity he founded in in Lesotho more than a decade ago.

When Harry first went to the landlocked kingdom of Lesotho in 2004, he visited many of the country’s most disadvantaged children.

It was at that point that the Prince resolved to replicate the humanitarian example of his mother, Diana.

As a consequence, he started Sentebale (translated as Forget Me Not), which offers care, support, and education to young people living with HIV and Aids in Lesotho and Botswana.

Since then, the charity has provided adolescent-friendly HIV testing and counselling services to more than 21 000 people.

Sentebale now aims to branch out into four or five sub-Saharan African countries by 2020.

Prince Harry In Africa follows him as he journeys to far-flung places in Lesotho to tell the stories of some of those helped by Sentebale.

The cameras are there to witness the moment that Harry has a reunion with Mutsu, a teenager he encountered on his first visit to Lesotho.

Over the past 13 years, they have stayed in touch. They are bonded by the fact that they both have experience of growing up without a parent.

The Prince also mucks in with the charity’s work on the ground.

At one point, for example, he works on the sandstone cladding for the guardhouse at the construction site for the new Sentebale Mamohato Children’s Centre.

Harry rejoices in the warm welcome he receives in Lesotho.

“The last 10 years that I’ve been coming here, every single time we turn up somewhere, they are always singing. It’s never shake hands. It’s sing, dance, and embarrass yourself.

“Everywhere I look, I can hear songs from 10 years ago in my head. To me, that’s what this country is about – you just feel welcome everywhere you go.”

In the programme, the Prince discloses his reasons for founding the charity, his enthusiasm for his work in Africa, and how he is anxious to put his unique position to good use.

The Prince has received much praise for his charitable work. Sir Elton John, for instance, encourages people to see the good work being carried out by Sentebale.

The singer, a close friend of Diana’s, declares that, “If his mother was alive, she’d still be doing the work she set out to be doing, and he’s carrying it on in the best possible way.”

Harry says that, unlike in the past, he no longer has an issue with his duties as a member of the Royal Family. He admits that he used to “bury my head in the sand”. But what he is concerned with now is making a difference to people’s lives.

The Prince reveals that he has grown out of his youthful rebelliousness and now just wants to make a contribution.

“I always feel like I need to make something of my life.

“I was fighting the system, going, ‘I don’t want to be this person. My mother died when I was very, very young and I don’t want to be in this position’. But now I’m just so fired up and energised to be lucky enough to be in a position to make a difference.”

 

Stuff.co.nz

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