Lesson four: Don’t stay too long.
This one is also good for parties, eh. So: Uncle Bob is officially 93 years old this year, maybe. Once upon a time in a college in a land far far away, I attended a talk by a Zimbabwean photographer who specialised in Uncle Bob. He showed us how the old man could look like a haggard geriatric on the verge of meeting his Maker one week, and like a spry young sixty-something outdoorsman the next. He admitted nobody knew his secret. But there were rumours about regular visits to a place that rhymes with Singapore.
See, if he had retired nice and early he could have pulled a proper hat-trick: father the nation, rule the nation, retire and become the power behind the throne until you die and all your fellow citizens vow there will never be anyone like you ever again and build you an awesome mausoleum. Literally the only way to top this in terms of African leader hero-exits is a CIA assassination, and they seem a little bit distracted at the moment by the Middle East.
“This is the beginning of our real independence”
— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) November 21, 2017
But there is a handful of men on this continent – you know who you are – who might do well to ponder the comrade’s fate. You have children. Do not let your family name become a curse unto them when you are gone.