President Mugabe
1. Robert #Mugabe, 91, is undoubtedly a controversial figure, but many are familiar only with the details of his most public life. Both his childhood and adult life are filled with surprises, many of which influenced decisions during his numerous terms as Zimbabwe’s president.
2. Mugabe is the product of a religious upbringing Both of Robert Mugabe’s parents were extremely religious, and strict with their son. Throughout his childhood, he attended Jesuit school, and credits an Irish priest as one of his most influential mentors in his youth.
3. Two of his brothers died when he was young Sadly, Mugabe lost both of his older brothers by the age of 10. One died from poisoning, while the other passed away not long after their father abandoned the family.

He has seven university degrees Six of Mugabe’s university degrees were actually earned while he was doing distance learning in prison. They cover a broad range of topics including education, economics, administration, and law. Degrees include a Bachelor of Laws and Master’s of Laws from the University of London’s external program, earned during his stint in a Salisbury prison.

5. His first child died The first and only child Mugabe had with the late First Lady Sally Hayfron (pictured above at their wedding), Michael Nhamodzenyika, died at age three from cerebral malaria in 1966. Mugabe was informed of this from behind prison bars, and was devastated. 

6. After his release from prison, he escaped Zimbabwe with the help of a white nun Though the Rhodesians did release Mugabe from prison, he was not supposed to leave the country. A white nun helped him to cross into Mozambique, where he was able to rejoin the revolutionary armies.

 7. He was a Nobel Peace Prize nominee In 1981, Mugabe was on the short list for the Nobel Peace Prize for his initial stance about reconciliation following Zimbabwe’s independence and his election as the country’s first president. He said, “Our people, young and old, men and women, black and white, living and dead, are, on this occasion, being brought together in a new form of national unity that makes them all Zimbabweans.”

 8. He had an extramarital affair while his wife was dying of cancer While his first wife was struggling with her cancer, Mugabe started up with his private secretary, Grace. When it came out that she was pregnant with his child, he ignored popular opinion and married her in 1996.
Young Mugabe with Wife Grace

9.Mugabe traveled to Italy despite a E.U. travel ban The European Union issued a travel ban against Mugabe that would prevent him from entering any member countries. However, he was able to subvert the ban on religious grounds in March 2013 in order to attend the inauguration of Pope Francis in Italy.

10.Some honors he received have been revoked As the number of human rights violations perpetrated by Mugabe have increased, some of his honors have been revoked. Queen Elizabeth II rescinded his knighthood in 2008. The Hunger Project took back his 1988 award of the Africa Prize for Leadership for the Sustainable End of Hunger. Numerous universities have revoked honorary degrees, including Michigan State University, University of Massachusetts, and the University of Edinburgh.

11. He is an accused racist Mugabe has criticized for having bigoted views toward whites, especially the citizens of his country. He was condemned for seizing white-owned farms in Zimbabwe without compensation. On the 22nd anniversary of Zimbabwe’s independence, Mugabe proclaimed in a speech: “The white man is here as a second citizen: you are number one.” His rhetoric has drawn many detractors.

12. He won the lottery In 2000, Mugabe won the state lottery, raking in about 100,000 Zimbabwe dollars (the equivalent of $2,600 American dollars). His name was reportedly drawn from thousands of contestants, and many people were stunned. The lottery was organized by the Zimbabwe Banking Corp. About half the country’s population is unemployed.

13. Mugabe at the movies A film star? Well…if you’ve seen the 2005 American thriller, “The Interpreter” with Sean Penn and Nicole Kidman, then you might know Mugabe’s role. A U.N. interpreter stumbles upon an assassination plot orchestrated by the fictional president of an African country. The fictional President Zuwanie” and Mugabe share many traits, as does the faux country of Matobo with Zimbabwe. The film was swiftly banned in Zimbabwe, deemed “anti-Zimbabwean.”

14.He plans to run for president again in 2018 Mugabe won the most recent election in Zimbabwe in 2013 with 61 percent of the vote, but it is widely believed that voter fraud occurred. Despite this, and despite his advanced age, Mugabe has announced his intention to run again for election in 2018 for the office that he has held since 1987.
During Mugabe's birthday, he received a one-ton royal throne for his birthday, studded with gold and diamonds. He turned 90 on Feb. 21, 2014. Three throne crafters reportedly took two years of intensive work to carve the chair out of a block of stone.

President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe


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