Published December 11, 2017
Did you know that Robert Gabriel Mugabe, the immediate former President of Zimbabwe, is the world’s most educated leader, with seven degrees of which two are Master’s degrees?
Mugabe was raised as a Roman Catholic, studying in Marist Brothers and Jesuit schools, including the exclusive Kutama College, headed by an Irish priest, Father Jerome O’Hea, who took him under his wing.
Through his youth, Mugabe was never socially popular nor physically active and spent most of his time with the priests or his mother when he was not reading in the school’s libraries. He was described as never playing with other children but enjoying his own company. According to his brother Donato his only friends were his books.
He qualified as a teacher, but left to study at Fort Hare in South Africa graduating in 1951, while meeting contemporaries such as Julius Nyerere, Herbert Chitepo, Robert Sobukwe and Kenneth Kaunda. He then studied at Salisbury (1953), Gwelo (1954), and Tanzania (1955–57).
Originally graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree from theUniversity of Fort Hare in 1951, Mugabe subsequently earned six further degrees through distance learning including a Bachelor of Administration and Bachelor of Education from the University of South Africa and a Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Laws, Master of Science, and Master of Laws, all from the University of London External Programme. The two Law degrees were earned while he was in prison, the Master of Science degree earned during his premiership of Zimbabwe.
After graduating, Mugabe lectured at Chalimbana Teacher Training College in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) from 1955–58, thereafter he taught at Apowa Secondary School at Takoradi, in the Western region of Ghana after completing his local certification at Achimota School (1958–60), where he met Sally Hayfron, whom he married in April 1961.
During his stay in Ghana, he was influenced and inspired by Ghana’s then Prime Minister, Kwame Nkrumah. In addition, Mugabe and some of his Zimbabwe African National Union party cadres received instruction at the Kwame Nkrumah Ideological Institute, then at Winneba in southern Ghana.