In February, we profiled interesting world leaders, including Canaan Sodindo Banana, former president of Zimbabwe. So it should come as no surprise that the deliciously fun-sounding Zimbabwe should offer up another funny-named leader. Today we spotlight Ndabaningi Sithole (pronounced nda-va-nin-gee sitt-o-le), who in 1963 founded the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU), a militant organization that opposed the Rhodesian government.
It is because of people like him that Rhodesia no longer exists and is now known as Zimbabwe. It’s kind of like that old They Might Be Giants’ song Istanbul (not Constantinople).
Ndabaningi Sithole was born on July 21, 1920, in the rural area of Nyamanandhlovu. He was raised in a pagan household and spent his childhood in an isolated tribal environment. According to biography.yourdictionary.com, he was seven years old before he first saw a white person. At the age of 15, he defied his father and ran away to enter the Dadaya Mission…
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I received word that my granddad passed away this morning at the age of 94. Many moons ago, he, like many in The Greatest Generation, fought in WWII, so that you and I could have the freedom we enjoy. But more than a soldier, he was a good father and grandfather.
He enjoyed hearing my son play the piano.
And even shooting pool with him last August.
Rest in peace, Granddad.