One of the final things Robert Mugabe did last week as Zimbabwe’s president was attend a graduation ceremony where he bizarrely sang the country’s national anthem as if no coup had happened.
What no reports pointed out was that the song was his anthem.
Zimbabwe used to have God Bless Africa as its anthem – the great liberation tune that became world famous during South Africa’s struggle against apartheid and is better known as Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika.
But, in 1994, Mugabe decided it was time for a change, to instead have a song that could help create the Zimbabwe he wanted. He held a contest and Blessed be the Land of Zimbabwe was the winnner.
What’s it like? A boring hymn, unfortunately!
But one thing stands out about it today: the final verse. “Oh God, we beseech Thee to bless Zimbabwe,” it goes. “May leaders be exemplary / Let the nation…be lifted high.”
Mugabe clearly didn’t follow that call. Here’s hoping whoever leads the country next does.
Although some clearly want a change: