Oops, wrong speech

Have you ever worried about grabbing the wrong piece of paper when speaking in front of your class, and you end up saying the wrong speech? Well, presidents can also make such mistakes. Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe (image) gave a speech to his members of parliament. The only problem was that he had given the same speech last month. The correct speech was later presented.


Mugabe is 91 years old and has been the leader of Zimbabwe for 35 years now. Zimbabwe used to be a British colony called Southern Rhodesia. In 1965, it declared independence from Britain and changed its name to just Rhodesia. In 1980, free elections were held, and the country was named Zimbabwe. Robert Mugabe became its leader and has been since then. Harare is the capital.

Zimbabwe gets its name from “Great Zimbabwe”, one of the largest ruins in Africa. Great Zimbabwe (image) was an old city built between the 11th and 15th centuries. It is a complex of stone buildings that covers an area of approximately 3 square miles (7 square km). The stone walls in the city are quite high (some as high as 30 feet or 9 meters). No mortar was used to stick the stone blocks together – they were simply laid one on top of the other.

One of Zimbabwe’s national symbols is the stone-carved Zimbabwe Bird which appears on the country’s flag. Carvings of the bird were found in Great Zimbabwe.

Rhodesia got its name from Cecil Rhodes, the man who helped create the state of Rhodesia. Rhodes also was a founder of the diamond company, De Beers, which came up with the slogan “A Diamond is Forever”, and made popular the idea that an engagement ring must have a diamond. The prestigious international scholarship for postgraduate studies called the Rhodes Scholarship is named after him.

Did you know?

Cecil Rhodes, at the age of 17, sold ice to miners in the hot African sun and saved his money.

Image Credits: http://www.greatzimbabweruins.com/ for Great Zimbabwe’s image, http://www.zim.gov.zw/ for Mugabe’s image
Sources: CNN, http://www.greatzimbabweruins.com, http://www.zim.gov.zw/, http://www.zimembassy.se/, CIA World Factbook, http://www.historyworld.net/, http://www.britishempire.co.uk/, http://www.debeersgroup.com/, https://www.washingtonpost.com/, http://www.rhodeshouse.ox.ac.uk/