As an American I can admit I do not have an in depth awareness of famous people from foreign countries and I know I need to improve my knowledge on foreign affairs and leaders. My thirst for knowledge led me to learning about a man who was once known as one of the best leaders in Africa, but now his legacy has been tainted and some would say it was due to him remarrying a woman who some argue that her lack of moral character led to his legacy being tainted.
Robert Mugabe was a complicated man who married a complicated woman….and yes, even though once again nobody asked my opinion I’m going to give it. If you know nothing about Zimbabwe, and or feel like you want to get a small chunk of information about a controversial woman named Grace Mugabe, who was once a leader in said country?
Robert Mugabe ruled Zimbabwe for almost four decades but in the early stages of his leadership he enjoyed widespread respect amongst the people of Zimbabwe. He was known as a hero among the Zimbabwe people…..at first.
In the beginning Mugabe’s service to the Zimbabwe people was impressive. He was one of a select group of freedom fighters who put their lives on the line to gain civil rights from the majority.
He stood up to the White minority who ruled the small nation of a majority of Black people who had for years been oppressed….you already know the history of the World. Even after resisting the colonial super powers many African nations still existed under foreign rule.
His involvement in the fight for independence for his country led to him being jailed for a decade spending 1964 incarcerated and wasn’t released until 1974. He was hailed a hero when Zimbabwe gained its Independence from British rule, and eventually he was elected to Prime Minister in 1980 because of his popularity.
By most accounts Sally, the previous wife of Robert Mugabe was well liked and his marriage to her was a happy one. She was known as the woman behind the great leader who was doing good things for his people. Together they were seen as a power couple who were fighting to give opportunities and dignity to the people and their union was considered a strong one. Sally was considered kind and compassionate and would champion often for the less fortunate.
There was work that needed to be done and she was active in politics and was known to be a competent leader and respected along with Mugabe who became President of Zimbabwe in 1987. She was known as the Mother of Zimbabwe because of all the love the people had for her and the work she put towards the liberation of the people of Zimbabwe.
Sally Mugabe tragically died of kidney failure in 1992 and her husband was apparently devastated and the nation mourned her as well.
So you may think that after Sally Mugabe died, her distressed husband sought the comfort of a woman in his grief. Grace Mugabe could be thought of as that woman, but she was giving Mugabe comfort way before Sally died.
There is a great video on YouTube that tells the story of the marriage of Robert Mugabe to Grace Marufu better than I can so if you want a good mini documentary to watch on this subject here it is…..
(Posted on YouTube by AFRISTORY PRODUCTIONS)
So Grace Mugabe was the “side chick” to Robert Mugabe when his wife Sally was alive and Grace was still married to her first husband as well. The affair was intensely scandalous because Grace was also only 31 and he was extremely elderly compared to her at the age of 71. Because of the affair she came up, from being a typist, to personal assistant and then later First Lady Of Zimbabwe.
Seemingly things began to turn for Zimbabwe as the social programs began to deteriorate and then disappear. The documentary makes the point that some say that after the death of Sally, President Mugabe was a changed man who lost his “moral compass”.
I would argue that traumatic events can cause a person to experience a personality shift and sometimes traits that were once less dominant become amplified. A dictator is a narcissist in my opinion and that’s the tragedy of Robert Mugabe’s legacy. He went from becoming a champion of the people to the oppressor of the people.
That in my opinion is not Grace Mugabe’s fault, it’s his. There is a prevailing idea that she is the cause of him becoming a ruthless man. I think that way of thinking discounts the fact that Robert Mugabe had already had a life of strife. He was jailed for a long time and I feel his early sufferings may have had him adopting narcissistic traits to adapt to a harsh environment.
An idealistic man that already has weaknesses in his character could easily be swayed to feel comfortable doing negative things. Maybe Sally was a good influence on Mugabe but to say she was the reason he was doing good thing in the beginning because of his union to her in my opinion is unfair to the legacy of Mugabe.
I would make the argument that Mugabe did those things in the beginning because he wanted to and was motivated to do so by something inside of him. The union to Sally was supportive of these behaviors so they continued.
The marriage to Grace started in such a way that leads me to believe that while Grace wasn’t a saint, Robert was just a guilty of infidelity as she was and therefore just as morally bankrupt if we were to be judgmental. It was wrong for both of them to do it and I doubt very seriously Mugabe needed much prodding to carry on within his marriage, so why blame her? The woman is often seen as a temptress….but that’s unfair.
So the two get married, and have a big, generous wedding that costs an ungodly sum of money in a country where there is extreme poverty for the Black population which is the majority and by all accounts Grace was very different from the previous First Lady. She was rumored to be having affairs constantly, which she denies, and some said Mugabe knew about it….and behind the scenes he is alleged to have….well watch the video it will tell you about all the rumors.
Where Sally was active in the “cause”, Grace became known for her extreme spending of the money that belonged to the Zimbabwe people hence her nickname, “Gucci Grace”.
She is said to have treated the treasury of Zimbabwe like her own personal spending account, building a mansion, buying homes, going on grand shopping trips and spending trips while dropping thousands on designer clothing and jewelry for her and her children. The Zimbabwe people are still rightfully upset, but are we to believe Mr. Mugabe wore rags and ate ramen noodles while she solely spent all the loot?
And while the spending was excessive enough to make her the worst First Lady Zimbabwe ever seen, it was her other behaviors as First Lady that I see as another important reason she is horrible.
Grace has a temper. And boy oh boy is it bad. It’s so bad that the Zimbabwe people also named her “dis-Grace” because she is known to cut the fool. So while most First Ladies will at least pretend to be classy out in public, Grace is not one to consider her reputation in such a manner. She is known for some very public and very ignorant and very violent incidents with others.
Basically, she is with the business and will give you the business if you need that work…..or for you people that are less “hip”? Grace Mugabe is known to beat people up when they make her angry, get it?
Now that in my humble opinion will be her legacy. She is a appalling mother because she taught her children to be selfish brats. They poured champagne on their watches, as the people of Zimbabwe starved, in the most shameful displays of excess I ever seen. She is a bully and a thief who not only stole the money of her people, she put race relations back between the Whites and Blacks in Zimbabwe all because she wanted to steal the land. She even lied about getting a degree in higher education as if that wouldn’t be found out because she thinks we are all stupid. She sat in public arenas and embarrassed herself and her nation by screaming at political opponents….she plotted and schemed to try to become President herself.
Robert Mugabe still enjoys some remnants of respect and while his earlier work may make that justified?
She is trash.
And guess who was right there sanctioning it all? Robert Mugabe. So I guess they both should have taken a dive in a dumpster because that is essentially where the legacy of them both should lay. R.I.P. Robert Mugabe…..
But what do I know? I’m just a bootleg sociologist who nobody will listen to so I started a blog……….
What are your thoughts?
Follow this blog @whenthiswomanspeaks.com
Instagram @ whenthiswomanspeaks
Twitter @ woman_speaking