Robert Mugabe Jr Like Father Like Son?

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Robert Mugabe has never been an open President and little is known by his constituents about his personal life despite the fact that he has ruled Zimbabwe for over thirty years. 


Mugabe and his first wife, Ghanaian Sally Hayfron had a son Nhamodzenyika translated troubles/burdens of the land. In Shona culture of which Mugabe is a part of names are believed to bear much meaning and to speak of the circumstances that surrounded the parents at the time of the birth of their child. 


At the time Mugabe was in Ghana fighting and dreaming of the emancipation of his people many thousands of miles away in Zimbabwe. The child died at the age of 3 of a deadly disease in the tropics known as malaria which comes from the mosquito a deadly tropical insect. It is no wonder that he died so young the Shona argue after all he was too young to carry all the burdens of an oppressed people. Mugabe and Amai Sally translated Mother Sally never had any other children after that.


Mugabe never speaks about the experience of being denied to go and bury his only child by the Smith Regime during colonialism. He was a political prisoner but this was his only son and in Shona culture burying his son was significant and as anyone’s guess would have been it was a painful experience for him. Perhaps if he was alive today he would have been groomed to take over the reins of power from Mugabe himself.

Mugabe then married Grace Marufu his secretary a few years after the death of his wife Sally. At the time they had two children one named Bona after Mugabe’s mother and the other Robert after himself. Mugabe rarely speaks about his personal feelings but he was reportedly elated at the graduation of his only daughter Bona from a Hong Kong university. Mugabe possibly one of the world’s most educated/degreed Presidents has 7 earned degrees and various honorary degrees too. He valued education as did most Zimbabweans who viewed education as the only means to escape the hardship of segregation of colonialism. Zimbabweans shared in his joy as a proud father despite their political and philosophical differences with him.


Mugabe’s Robert Jr an avid sports fanatic did not follow in his sister’s footsteps but has voiced his desire to play professional basketball in the National Basketball Association of the United States. This dream may never be realized given the sanctions imposed by the US government on Mugabe’s ruling party Zanu PF officials and the politically connected elite that rule Zimbabwe. In a rare interview Mugabe joked that his son was an “undertaker” which is a running Zimbabwean joke that describes that a student failed dismally and their work could not be assigned a grade. The youngest of Mugabe’s children Chatunga named after his grandfather is still in school and hopefully is determined to follow in his father and sister’s footsteps.