‘DON’T DRAG ME INTO THIS’: South African composer Lebo M ‘doesn't remember’ discussing Nelson Mandela with Meghan Markle

‘DON’T DRAG ME INTO THIS’: South African composer Lebo M ‘doesn't remember’ discussing Nelson Mandela with Meghan Markle
Lebo M said he couldn’t recall speaking with Meghan Markle about Nelson Mandela at the 2019 premiere of 'The Lion King' (Gareth Cattermole/John Lamparski/Getty Images)

Meghan Markle and a South African composer who met at a 'The Lion King' premiere claim they did not talk about Nelson Mandela. The producer is the second South African to deny being the person Meghan claims made the comparison between the freedom fighter's release and her royal wedding.

Earlier, the Duchess of Sussex recalled how a South African actor at the 2019 London premiere of 'The Lion King' made the analogy when she mentioned the incident into a recent interview with The Cut. However, Rafiki's voice actor Dr John Kani claimed that the Duchess must be "misremembering" the incident. Now the film's composer, Lebohang Morake, known professionally as Lebo M, has also denied that he was the one who made the controversial remark.


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Lebo M is well-known for his songwriting and vocal contributions to the soundtracks of movies like 'The Lion King,' 'The Power of One,' and 'Outbreak' as well as a number of stage performances. Hans Zimmer, the composer of both 'The Lion King' film adaptations, introduced him to Disney, and he organized and oversaw the African choir that performed in the movies. Lebo claimed that he spoke with the Sussexes for less than a minute during the London premiere but that he had no recollection of bringing up the famous South African leader. 

Lebo M attends the European Premiere of Disney's
South African 'Lion King' composer Lebohang Morake, known as Lebo M, has said he 'does not remember' discussing Nelson Mandela with Meghan Markle (Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Disney)

Speaking on Wednesday, August 31, the composer told MailOnline, "Indeed I was at The Lion King 2019 premiere and met the Royals. I cannot comment on the matter as it was three years ago and I don’t remember details of that conversation which was less than a minute, except the Royals were going to South Africa or Botswana.” “I’m the only South African directly associated with both 'The Lion King' films and the Broadway productions. As a South African, I’m not sure if this is important to most of us facing serious domestic issues. I’d like to not be dragged into this issue from three years ago either way,” The 58-year-old Grammy winner added. 


Meghan spoke about the moment a cast member from South Africa compared her wedding to Prince Harry in 2018 to the anti-apartheid activist's journey to freedom in the magazine interview. She recalled him saying, “He said, ‘I just need you to know: When you married into this family, we rejoiced in the streets the same we did when Mandela was freed from prison.'” Although the Duchess did not name Lebo M or Dr John Kani in her remark, two South Africans have now ruled themselves out as the mystery actor, raising doubts about who actually made the statement to Meghan.

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