10 Things To Know About late Zimbabwean former President Robert Mugabe

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Robert Mugabe came from a humble background

Robert was born February 21, 1924. His father, Gabriel Matibiri was a Carpenter while his mother, Bona was a christian Teacher who taught catechism to village children. Robert was the 3rd of six children


Robert Mugabe was nicknamed a mother’s boy

In his early years, Robert Mugabe demonstrated a high level of self-discipline. He was known to be a secretive child who did not enjoy playing in the company of other children. Instead, he preferred to stay in isolation and read. This earned him the appellation of a “mother’s boy”



Robert obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Literature from the University of Fort Harare in South Africa on scholarship in 1952. He also gained a Bachelor of Education degree by correspondence from the University of South Africa in 1954. 

Robert’s thirst for knowledge could not be satiated. It made him gain another degree in Bachelor of Administration from the University of London International Programmes. It was a distance learning course.

Robert Mugabe was once a Teacher

In 1941, Robert enrolled in Kutama college for a Teacher Training course. In 1945, he began his teaching career. Mugabe taught at different schools in Southern Rhodesia such as Dadaya Mission school in Shabani. 

Mugabe moved to Ghana in 1958. He taught at various schools and he also met his Ghanaian wife, Sally Hayfron in Ghana.


Robert Mugabe was the one who named his country “Zimbabwe”

Before 1980, Zimbabwe was known as Rhodesia. 


Political Career

In October 1960, Mugabe quit his teaching job to devote himself to activism. He was the first Chairman of National Democratic Party (NDP) congress and was later elected the Public secretary. Mugabe made his way up the political Leader to become the first President of Zimbabwe since it gained its independence in 1980 till 2017 



Robert Mugabe married his first wife Sally Hayfron in October 1961 after her conversion to Catholicism. Sally Hayfron was Mugabe named their son, Nhamodzenyika, meaning “Suffering country”.  

Mugabe and Hayfron were so outspoken that Hayfron was imprisoned for two years after “she said British Queen Elizbeth II can go to hell” in a public speech. Hayfron died in 1992. Robert remarried Grace Marufu in 1996


Mugabe emphasized the redistribution of land controlled by White Farmers to Landless blacks. In 2000, he encouraged black Zimbabweans to violently seize white-owned farms.


Robert Mugabe died in Gleneagles Hospital in Singapore on September 6, 2019 at the age of 95.


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