Aging gracefully… Zimbabwe’s first lady turns 50

A special supplement in a local paper published adverts that praise Mugabe as the ‘mother of the nation’.

FILE:Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and First Lady Grace Mugabe. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - Grace Mugabe turns 50 today, and Zimbabwe's state media has been marking the first lady's birthday in style.

A special supplement in the main state-run daily has published adverts that praise her as the 'mother of the nation'.

Struggling state-run firms like Air Zimbabwe have published full-colour adverts congratulating the first lady on reaching 50.

The University of Zimbabwe, which controversially awarded her a PhD last year, praised what it called her "intellectual intelligence".

In a separate statement, the ruling ZANU-PF party said it felt inspired by her leadership of the women's league.

This all echoes the praise for President Robert Mugabe on his birthday each February.

The fact that Grace Mugabe is getting the same treatment will confirm to many that her political star is still on the rise.

Last week, organisers published adverts in the local press asking people to give generously to some of the charities to which Mugabe is a patron.

Major sponsors of what's being dubbed the 'Amai Grace Mugabe Jubilee' will be invited to sit at the First Lady's table during next Saturday's dinner dance.