- Prince Kunle of Nigeria, the first Black person in Europe to launch his own TV network, said Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will find success in the entertainment industry if they show respect for royal tradition.
- Kunle told Insider that this means making sure the shows they produce are "beneficial for the people," which he says is the responsibility of every royal from around the world.
- The Duke and Duchess of Sussex signed on to create "content that informs but also gives hope" for Netflix under their new production company in September.
- Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.
Prince Adekunle "Kunle" Adebayo Omilana of Nigeria has more in common with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry than most royals.
Kunle, from the Arugbabuwo ruling house, does not represent his country on an official basis since the royals no longer have power in Nigeria.
While he is well known for his royal title, that didn't stop Kunle from breaking away from royal tradition to launch a successful career in media, becoming the first Black person in Europe to have founded their own TV network.
Similarly, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex signed on to create documentaries, docu-series, and scripted television shows for Netflix in September. The couple received criticism after the announcement, with some royal watchers urging the Queen to remove Harry and Markle's titles.
Kunle says the couple's new careers will be successful if they make their royal roots a priority
"They are in a great position, the only thing is the sensitivity of their role," Kunle told Insider. "When you are royal you have to respect your tradition, you have to respect what you stand for, something that started many years before you."
He added: "It's like an inheritance — if it's given to you, you have to take that responsibility. I think you have to use your freedom in order to save what was passed on to you. So going into media, you have to focus on what is going to be beneficial for the people. I don't care where they are from in this world, that is the responsibility of being a royal."
Harry and Markle, who plan to launch their own production company, said their work will focus on "creating content that informs but also gives hope" as well as inspirational family programming.
It's likely that the TV shows they produce will coincide with their charity work. The duke and duchess announced in April that they plan to launch a non-profit organization, Archewell, in the near future.
They had initially planned to name it Sussex Royal, however, they were forced to abandon those plans after announcing their resignation from royal duties in January.
The duke and duchess were involved with documentary work long before they announced their Netflix deal. The projects they have taken on so far have supported causes they are passionate about.
Last year Harry signed on to co-produce a mental health documentary series with Oprah for Apple. Mental health is something he has championed for years, and he created the Heads Together initiative with Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2017 to end the stigma surrounding it.
In April this year, the duchess narrated the Disney Plus documentary "Elephant" and reportedly asked Disney to donate to the Elephants Without Borders charity in exchange for her contribution to the film.
"Whether they are popular or unpopular is irrelevant — the important thing is that we follow their vision," Kunle said.
Kunle challenged the stigma surrounding Africans in the UK when he launched his own TV network
The prince knows all too well what the transition from royal to television work is like, after launching (the now-defunct) Inspiration TV, the first-ever 24-hour Christian TV network in Europe more than 20 years ago.
Kunle was inspired by his own royal values — to look out for his people — when launching the network.
He said he noticed that some of his acquaintances, who studied at universities in Nigeria, were struggling to gain professional work in their field after moving to the UK.
"People respect one thing here in the UK, and that's media. Once you are on the TV people listen to you," Kunle said. "That was the time Sky started launching channels, so I decided to buy one, the license, and set up a television station catering for Africans in the UK and in Europe."
Kunle added that qualified doctors and lawyers who he brought onto the network were able to gain exposure and make contacts which ultimately led to them being hired in the UK.
"This is how we started changing the perspective on Africans that come to this country. Their children used to never see Black faces on the TV, and now they were looking at our channel and became very proud to see Black faces on the TV constantly," he said.
Kunle lives in London with his wife, Princess Keisha, and their two children. He is currently working towards a PhD in Computer Science and Information Systems and balancing his studies with his role as CEO of Wonderful Media.
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