Awakening Africa Magazine


Dissecting Robert Mugabe: Things To Learn From Him

2 Mins read

There are several things that come to mind when you hear the name, Robert Mugabe. The people have divided opinions when it comes to Mugabe and his rule over Zimbabwe for almost 30 years. He started off as a hero, a revolutionary who fought tirelessly for the rights of black people, and an elected black President of the country who sought to rule with diplomacy while making sure no one was wronged.

Things took a rough turn after the death of his first wife, Sally, after which Mugabe turned to violence, control, and authoritarianism. He wanted to maintain his rule over Zimbabwe, and he did that successfully for a long time until his forced resignation in 2017.

He died in 2019 at the age of 95. Some people might remember him as a dictator, while others might see him as a black civil rights hero who gave voice to his native people and fought for them relentlessly. Whatever your opinion, there are several lessons we all could learn from the iconic life of Robert Mugabe. Let’s take a look at them.

Absolute Power Corrupts The System

There is no doubt that Mugabe used his power to make way for the black people who had been treated unjustly for a long time, but power is not to be kept stagnant in the hands of one ruler. As the times change and new situations emerge, it is highly necessary for fresh, young faces to take up power and lead the country in the modern era.

Mugabe wanted to hold power over the people of Zimbabwe as close to him as possible. And he did not even mind using force and violence to tilt the cards in his favour and win elections.

The lesson to learn from Robert is that absolute power corrupts not only the environment but also the individual. By being in power for several years, a person’s policies can become monotonous and deviate from contemporary solutions. Young people with a fresh perspective deserve a chance at the head of the table.

Leadership Should Be People-Centric

True leadership is not about finding ways to keep control. It is about nurturing and making things easier for the next generation of leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, and free thinkers.

In the later stages of his rule, Mugabe tended to manipulate and force people to be on his side. Leadership should focus on the good of people, and if the majority of people want a change in power, it should happen.

True leadership has ingrained democracy and focuses on the well-being of people.

Be Receptive To Change And Fresh Perspectives

Communities, economies, rules, and technologies all keep changing constantly. The only way to make sure you are not stuck in one place or going backwards is by being receptive to new ideas and fresh perspectives of the contemporary world.

Robert Mugabe pushed his close allies away, and he didn’t want to change his ways when things were not working. Instead, he used violence to get his way. Rather than using force, use the power of positive influence on people’s lives to change circumstances.

This positive change often requires being open to collaborating with different people and their new ideas. Don’t hold back for fear of losing control and build on progressive teamwork.


Another thing to learn from Mugabe is that you should always have a purpose in your life, no matter how small or big. A purpose that is not selfish and aims to do good for the entire community or even the world. Only by working for something beyond yourself will you be able to live with courage and strength and fight off extreme struggles.

Have you found your purpose in life?


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