Five things you may not have known about Robert Mugabe

September 6, 2019
| Report Focus News

1) He was an early riser and traditional eater

Needing little sleep, Mr Mugabe used to wake between 04:00 and 05:00 every morning to exercise and would, according to a close source, listen to the BBC World Service.

He also preferred his sadza – Zimbabwe’s staple food – to be made the traditional way from unrefined grains, which is much healthier than the ubiquitous white version of the maize dish.

2) He was a big cricket fan

While president, Robert Mugabe was patron of the Zimbabwe Cricket association. His official residence at the time was right next to the Harare Sports Club, allowing him to keep a watchful eye on the wicket during matches.

“Cricket civilises people and creates good gentlemen,” Mr Mugabe said several years after Zimbabwe became independent. ” I want everyone to play cricket in Zimbabwe.”

3) He didn’t like to lose

As a boy, Robert Mugabe was said to be a “keen and good” tennis player.

But when he lost he would throw his racket onto the ground.

“You would see his head fall and his shoulders drop down and he would leave the court without saying anything to anybody,” Brother Kazito Bute told Heidi Holland in her book, Dinner With Mugabe.

4) He preferred Cliff Richard to Bob Marley

The late Zimbabwean politician Edgar Tekere said that Mr Mugabe wasn’t keen on having Bob Marley perform at the independence celebrations in 1980.

The prime-minister-in-waiting is said to have stated that British pop star Cliff Richard was much more to his taste. Country singer Jim Reeves was also reported to be another favourite of his.

5) He admired Kwame Nkrumah

Mr Mugabe’s political awakening happened while in Ghana where he worked as a teacher.

He arrived a year after pan-Africanist politician Kwame Nkrumah led the Gold Coast to independence in 1957, the first sub-Saharan country to throw off the shackles of colonial rule.

Mr Mugabe said he was inspired by their liberation.