Rest in Peace Robert Mugabe
After nine decades, Africa rises to dawn full of grief and pain over the loss of a great Pan –African loyalist who fought for the welfare of Zimbabwe since colonialism.
Robert Gabriel Mugabe was born in Southern Rhodesia presently Zimbabwe in a crown colony territory in early 1924. He was fortunate enough to receive primary education, which was a luxury to many kids of his age, background, and stature. He was described as an exceptional mind with an extraordinary heart ‘clever lad’ by Father Jerome O’ Hea, who significantly shaped the young Mugabe during his formative years into a renowned leader in his later life. Are teacher’s kinds of destiny shapers who are always on the lookout for opportunities for future betterment?
Robert attended Kutama College and later university of fort Harare to become a teacher in linguistics. Apart from being a trained teacher, he was a great advocate for racial reconciliation and always against colonialism, which he termed as evil against blacks. Robert was a Marxist and admired the influence of Mahatma Gandhi as a revolutionist in Indian independence. In his young political life, he advocated for an end to colonialism; land seizure by whites claiming Zimbabweans had the divine right to own land as their natural resource. He also fought for the economic empowerment of blacks in his own country in terms of access to primary education, health services, and electoral rights.
As a young politician, Robert sought leadership in ZANU-PF, which stirred Zimbabwe to independence and claiming victory in first-ever held democratic elections. Robert became the first president of Zimbabwe and remained in the presidency up to 2017. Mugabe resigned from the administration on 2017 November due to political and public outcry of mismanagement of public resources and dictatorship governance.
Many know Robert Mugabe as a no-nonsense ‘dictatorial-kind’ of a president, but despite his governance position, he also played other important personal roles. Mugabe was a husband to two wives, an authentic demeanor of a traditional African man; Sally Hayford and Grace Mugabe. He was a father to two daughters and a son. Mugabe was a renowned teacher who served as a role model for his students. He was a fan of English cricket game.
Mugabe had a well-articulated English ascent, which was well articulated in his speeches and verbal press releases. Though it is said that politics is a game of chess; Mugabe had a profound sense of doubtful persona and maintained a closely-knit circle of political advisors to keep his leadership in-check. To uphold his image, he would always clad in unique, tailored three-piece suits and encouraged his entourage to follow his lead.
One of the hallmarks of Mugabe is how loyal he was to his beliefs. He followed through with action without considering how wrong or inappropriate it was and could not accept it as being illegal. Many would say he was a lousy leader with an intellectual arrogance compared to his gifted political hand; leaders are born and not made.
Why would Zimbabweans re-elect Mugabe in every election? For a leader with his reputation to last in politics, he has to be a man of many sides and has mastered the art of showing his appropriate party at the right time with intentions and no emotions.
To all who knew or had a glimpse of Mugabe via media, one can attest that he had an exceptional sense of humor. He always knew when to press the right button, and everyone would be left laughing and chattering. He would be captured at times, dozing off while listening to speeches during public events.
The life of Robert Mugabe was never petty. It was not personal either. It was a life of public service and statesmanship guided by gratitude and conservatism for the great people of Zimbabwe.
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