First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe celebrated her 51st birthday yesterday. Nicknamed the First Shopper, Grace was born on 23 July 1965 to migrant parents in Benoni, South Africa. She was the fourth child in a family of five.
In a statement yesterday, Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister Dr Christopher Mushohwe said, “On this great day, we walk with the First Lady along memory lane extolling her great virtues and remarkable achievements in life.”
“She is a role model for the girl child who lives by example to fulfil lifelong dreams; scholarship, entrepreneurship, philanthropy, charity, caregiver, making a difference in society by bringing joy and happiness in the lives of others,” said Dr Mushohwe.
“We pray that God continues to bless her with good health, divine wisdom, abundant love, success in her future endeavours, but above all, a blessed long life. We say to her, Congratulations, Makorokoto, Amhlophe. We love you,” the statement said.
Nicknamed the First Shopper, Grace was born on 23 July 1965 to migrant parents in Benoni, South Africa. She was the fourth child in a family of five.
In 1970, at the age of five, she moved back to Zimbabwe to live with her mother in Chivhu while her father stayed and worked in South Africa supporting the family from there.
She did her primary education in Chivhu before she went to Kriste Mambo in Manicaland for secondary school.
In 1996 she married President Mugabe after a controversial period in which she was allegedly having an affair with him while his first wife Sally was dying on a hospital bed.
The couple have three children together —Bona, Robert Junior and Chatunga while she has another child Russell from her previous marriage.
Things to know about Grace Mugabe
- Began affair with Robert Mugabe, 41 years her senior, whilst working as a typist in state house
- Mr Mugabe later said his first wife Sally, who was terminally ill at the time, knew and approved of the relationship
- Married Mr Mugabe, her second husband, in 1996 in an extravagant ceremony. They have three children
- Nicknamed “Gucci Grace” by her critics who accuse her of lavish spending
- Along with her husband, is subject to EU and US sanctions, including travel bans
- Praised by supporters for her charitable work and founding of an orphanage
- Received a PhD in September 2014, a month after being nominated to takeover the leadership of the Zanu-PF women’s league-NehandaRadio