First Lady: Em­bod­i­ment of Grace

The Manica Post - - First Lady Birthday Feature - Po­lit­i­cal Writ­ers

A WOMAN of im­pec­ca­ble style and el­e­gance, the First Lady of Zim­babwe is an em­bod­i­ment of her first name Grace.

An ex­em­plary leader in so­ci­ety, as she cel­e­brates the 52nd an­niver­sary of her birth, one can ap­pre­ci­ate the mean­ing­ful and sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tions Dr Grace Mu­gabe has made to the na­tion of Zim­babwe.

Born on July 23, 1965 in South Africa Amai Grace Mu­gabe was the fourth child in a fam­ily of five. In 1970 she moved back to Zim­babwe to live with her mother in Chivhu while her father stayed and worked in South Africa sup­port­ing his fam­ily from there.

The First lady at­tended pri­mary school in Chivhu and then went to Kriste Mambo in Man­i­ca­land for sec­ondary school.

Of her time grow­ing up in ru­ral Mashona­land East, the province where both her par­ents are from, Amai Mu­gabe said that it was an eye opener for her as she had to ad­just to ru­ral life from the South African life she had known.

“I ac­tu­ally ap­pre­ci­ate the ex­pe­ri­ence I got there (ru­ral ar­eas).

“Today I can eas­ily iden­tify with ru­ral peo­ple. It made me the per­son I am today,” she said.

In 1996 she mar­ried Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe. The cou­ple has three chil­dren to­gether-Bona, Robert Ju­nior and Chatunga while she has an­other child Rus­sell from her pre­vi­ous mar­riage.

Amai Mu­gabe said grow­ing up she was very close to her si­b­lings and es­pe­cially close to her mother Mrs Idah Marufu. This has im­pacted her re­la­tion­ship with her own chil­dren with whom she shares a sim­i­lar bond.

The lov­ing re­la­tion­ship that ex­ists in her per­sonal life is ev­i­dent in her work and the var­i­ous ini­tia­tives she has un­der­taken to as­sist the un­der­priv­i­leged as the Mother of the Na­tion.

In Ma­zowe, Amai Mu­gabe runs an or­phan­age where she takes care of or­phans from around the coun­try whom she has adopted.

There is also the Amai Mu­gabe Pri­mary School which caters to over 130 pupils who ben­e­fit from the in­vest­ments that Amai Mu­gabe has made in the school.

Dr Grace Mu­gabe is a woman with a gen­er­ous heart and is one of the big­gest phi­lan­thropists in Zim­babwe. She serves as pa­tron of Dan­hiko Project which looks after the dis­abled and has con­trib­uted im­mensely to the in­fra­struc­ture and ren­o­va­tions of Dan­hiko over the years.

She has gen­er­ously do­nated to the an­nual Par­a­lympic games held by Dan­hiko Project which has led to an in­crease in par­tic­i­pa­tion of the games with over 110 clubs and 2 300 par­tic­i­pants from around the coun­try tak- ing part.

This is but a frac­tion of the work that the First lady does around the coun­try. Not only does she have a gen­er­ous heart but she runs suc­cess­ful busi­nesses no­tably Al­pha and Omega Dairy which is a sub­sidiary of Gushungo hold­ings.

The dairy com­pany which em­ploys 500 peo­ple has 2 000 dairy cat­tle with the ca­pac­ity of pro­duc­ing 80 000 litres of milk per day.

Gushungo Dairy Farm also pro­duces maize, soya beans, sugar beans and cit­rus. It is an ex­em­plary suc­cess in in­dig- enous busi­nesses and a project in line with the Zim-As­set eco­nomic re­cov­ery pro­gramme.

Dr Mu­gabe is a grad­u­ate of the Peo­ple’s Univer­sity of China where she read the Chi­nese lan­guage. In 2014, she grad­u­ated with a doc­tor­ate from the Univer­sity of Zim­babwe’s Fac­ulty of So­cial Stud­ies De­part­ment of So­ci­ol­ogy.

Her ca­reer in pol­i­tics be­gan when she was nom­i­nated to the post of ZANU-PF Women’s League Sec­re­tary in 2014. Fol­low­ing this nom­i­na­tion the First lady went on Meet the Peo­ple ral­lies coun- try­wide.

At the ral­lies Amai Mu­gabe showed her res­o­lute na­ture by de­nounc­ing fac­tion­al­ism and was in­stru­men­tal in root­ing out the foiled at­tempt by for­mer Vice Pres­i­dent Joice Mu­juru to de­pose Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe. At the congress held in De­cem­ber 2014 she was elected Sec­re­tary for the Women’s League and ap­pointed to the ZANU-PF polit­buro

Amai Mu­gabe is a re­mark­able woman who has committed her time, ef­fort and re­sources to serv­ing the peo­ple of Zim­babwe.

Moth­erly love. . .Dr Amai Mu­gabe on the dance floor with chil­dren from dif­fer­ent char­i­ta­ble homes dur­ing her 51st birth­day cel­e­bra­tions in Ma­zowe last year

Flash­back. . .First Lady, Dr Amai Grace Mu­gabe mar­vels at one of her birth­day wishes card dur­ing the oc­ca­sion of her 50th birth­day two years ago

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