President Mugabe has revealed that he married, Grace, partly because of pressure from his mother.
“The doctors said your wife cannot bear children anymore because of the kidney ailment . . . So, to my mother, she will say, ‘My child, you will grow old without a child.’ Aah! And she was telling others and my uncles – ‘Ko iye Robert kana akangowana zvake musikana waanotora, kuti ndingowana mwana wandinobata ndisati ndafa?’
“So, there was that impulsion too on the side of my mother. So after the death of Sally, I decided to marry. I just made up my mind. I married this girl. It was a definite choice. It was not something just out of fancy or emotion, but a definite decision that I must marry and the girl I must marry is this.
“As I say, she was very young, and I wondered whether me, so many years older than she, would be able to put up with this young girl. I think she must have had the same problem in her own mind. As young as she was, would she be able to put up with this man in his seventies. But we got married and got to learn each other’s likes and dislikes.
He also said he usually quoted Shakespeare when he writes Grace’s birthday card.
“The day before yesterday, the 23rd of July, which was the actual birthday of Amai Mugabe, in the morning, I rose and went and got the two boys, Tino and Bellarmine, and then we went and sang, ‘happy birthday to you’ to the mother,” he said.
“But I did not give my wife a card. I had written it the usual way to say – I reiterate what I have said before – that I love you and love you so much; that I will still continue to love you.
“I said to her, I had earlier on quoted Shakespeare on the card but on second thoughts I refrained from doing so. She said why, and I said, well, I was going to quote what Shakespeare said in ‘Antony and Cleopatra’.
“There was this lady called Cleopatra, very beautiful and from Africa, and the Roman commanders, you know Egypt and that part of North Africa was occupied by Romans, all admired her. Even Julius Caesar did, and after him, a guy called Antony.
“And he (Antony) says about Cleopatra – and this is what I thought I should also say to my wife: ‘Age does not wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety’. She gives her most, she takes. If you look at my wife, you’ll think she is 30, 35.
“That’s why I thought I wanted to say age does not wither her nor is she spoilt by those customs which tend to make some of our wives in the eyes of their husbands primitive.
“So, age does not wither her nor custom stale her variety. There she is. I got married to her and the age between her and me, the difference doesn’t change. I wish she would grow and grow in age faster than myself.
“She was very young – just about 20-plus. And at that time my mother Bona had gone in years. I had married earlier a Ghanaian lady and she had died of kidney ailment. We had one child who died when I was in prison, Nhamodzenyika. He was about three-and-a-half-years-old. I went to see where he was buried.