Grace Mugabe hits the ground running

By: 
Agencies

You gotta give it to Grace, the first lady of the kingdom just north.

She has chutzpah by the bucket load. Doesn’t give a damn what people think of her, or what she says in public. Just as long as it satisfies her ego.

What’s the point of playing cosy-cosy with masses of people who do not have brains and balls enough to say: “Enough is enough. The Mugabes have reigned long enough?”

Clearly those masses deserve what they get. And Grace’s chutzpah is what they are going to be getting more of now that she’s thrown her glove into the ring. She is hellbent on stepping into her husband’s big shoes.

Speaking of shoes, it is no accident that when she donated hundreds of pairs of shoes to children at a village outside Harare the other day, the shoes were size 13. And the children’s average age was five.

We know what happens on Friday the 13th. Nasty things. Those of us who, like Julius Caesar’s wife, believe that our fate is tied to the stars, take the story of Friday the 13th seriously.

When Grace distributed the shoes to children a few weeks ago, it wasn’t a random act. It was very symbolic. It was calculated.

A shoe is not something you throw around at random.

In Middle Eastern culture, when you throw a shoe at a person you have reached the end of your tether. You are cursing them.

You remember the man who threw a shoe at George W Bush at a press conference those many years ago? Look what happened to Bush afterwards. Wonder what happened to the man. I suppose the CIA has the answer.

Moving along… When Grace distributed those shoes she was sending some very important messages. Message number one: I am about to step into my husband’s very big shoes. So you young people of Zimbabwe must start feeling the discomfort that I am going to experience when I step into those shoes.

Step into my oversized shoes, so to speak. Start getting uncomfortable now, so that you get used to being uncomfortable.

That way, as you grow up, discomfort will have become second nature to you. In other words, you will not grow up to bother me when I am ensconced on my throne.

Message number two: the walk to the future of Zimbabwe is going to be a long one. It will need shoes that are big and sturdy.

You must look at the pictures of those children — with their stunned looks, holding those shoes that are big enough to match the sizes of some of the children’s heads. Those are really nasty pictures published in Zimbabwean media.

“Grace, the children are hungry!”

“Ag, dammit Roberti maan, let’s give them shoes!”

I laughed my head off when I read a comment by political commentator Revesayi Mutede who said Grace did not love her husband because, if she loved him, she would help in moving him out of public office so he can rest.

Mutede reminded readers that in 2003, on the occasion of his birthday, Mugabe was asked during a TV interview where he saw himself in five years and he said he would have retired.

Mutede said: “And here we are, 12 years later. He cannot even climb one single stair without several minders ready to fly like goal keepers, in case he involuntarily makes for the ground.

“But the Bible says, ‘There is no rest for the wicked’. So as the rest of decent-minded and cultured Zimbabweans pity the old man and wonder why they won’t rest him, his wife and party urge him on. Don’t stop, they say. Keep going up and down stairs. Keep on until you drop dead,” Mutede said.

I like it when Mutede likens Mugabe to a skorokoro: “Mugabe is breaking down, but they push and push to restart him. Mugabe’s wheels are punctured and his engine makes rattling sounds and puffs smoke into the air like it’s on fire. He is overheated and needs to be taken off the road and parked permanently.”

You got that part right, permanent parking. But you are rushing things, Mutede.

Ag shame, Mutede: let me lick the cobwebs of ignorance from your eyes, as we say in my neck of the woods. What’s love gotta do with it? Remember Tina Turner’s song?

The problem with romantics like you, Mutede, is you take things a tad too seriously. You get so teary-eyed and soft-hearted. You see, Empress Grace does not roll like that. Romance is not her cup of tea. She is a pragmatist, my dear Mutede. She’s too big and ambitious to fill her little head with useless abstract notions such as Love.

Are you like see-ree-yus, Mutede? Love? It’s like all about strategy, darling.

It’s like Grace needs Robert in office while she’s like consolidating her support on the ground, like.

With those shoes she distributed the other day, she’s hit the ground running.

This article first appeared in Sowetan

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