You may call him a dictator, tyrant or autocrat depending on which side you are on, but to many, the Zimbabwean president, Robert Mugabe is a wise man who speaks his mind and does what he believes.
Mugabe said something that is confronted by most African men, even when they traveled overseas for western education. And that is pressure from parents about marriage to have children not necessarily because of love.
Mugabe, as a Zimbabwean refugee and later school teacher in Ghana was married to a Ghanaian lady named Sally. When he returned to his native country as a revolutionary freedom fighter and leader along Sally Mugabe, she developed kidney ailment and subsequently passed away.
Before Sally’s death, Mugabe said he was under pressure from his mother to marry another woman, mainly a younger one so that he could procreate – have children.
The pressure from his mother forced him to marry his secretary whom he did not have love for. That woman is Grace Mugabe, the current First Lady of Zimbabwe.
What Mugabe says is common where African men and women who traveled overseas are coerced by their parents to return home and take a wife or husband. The pressure is more on African men than women. In some instances, while a young African is completing graduate degrees in places like MIT, NYU, Columbia, Harvard, Cornell, Oxford and Stanford, his parents will go ahead and marry a woman for him and he just must live with that in an effort not dishonor his parent.
In some parts of Africa, girls are told who to marry and if they refused they may face torture and abuse.
Mugabe who has been in power in Zimbabwe since 1980, married current his wife, Grace, age 50 in 1996 and their union is blessed with 5 children. So, whether the aging president still does not love his wife Grace that married and with whom he has five children remains a billion-dollar question.
If you are from Africa and have experienced this predicament we would like to hear from you.