Mugabe turns 92 next month – and his loyal supporters maintain that economic difficulties shouldn’t stop the nation celebrating the date in a big way.
Presidential photographer Joseph Nyadzayo told the official Sunday Mail newspaper: “I say that it is even more important to hold these celebrations now when times are hard because it gives more weight to our recognition of his works.”
Though few can imagine calling the president Bob to his face, young and trendy acolytes often refer to him using that name.
The snappy moniker has helped make Mugabe seem much more “with-it”, along with T-shirts and jackets bearing his signature and a 2010 music video which had him rapping: Zvirisei-sei (the Shona equivalent of What’sup?). Critics too talk of Bob, or Uncle Bob, though with much less fondness.
It’s not yet clear exactly when the WDB concert will be held, though it does appear that it will be held under the auspices of the Zimbabwe Music Awards, which Mugabe’s photographer chairs.
“I feel as Zimbabwe we do not appreciate him as we should,” Nyadzayo was quoted as saying. The photographer notably snapped Mugabe and his second wife Grace on their wedding day in 1996.
Grace was so pleased with the pictures that she brought him a present, Nyadzayo told the Sunday Mail. He did not say what the gift was.
Last year Nyadzayo said he does not photoshop the president.
Mugabe is meantime back in Zimbabwe from Addis Ababa after handing over the chairmanship of the African Union to Chadian President Idriss Deby. The state ZBC broadcaster said thousands of his local supporters went to Harare International Airport to welcome him home.