The Times article is inaccessible but a little search brings me to this news item at the following link. 

Robert Mugabe said to admire the poetry of TS Eliot 

Robert Mugabe “studied, and admired above all, the poetry of TS Eliot.”

In an article in The Times, James MacManus recalls interviewing Mugabe in December 1974, shortly after his release from detention. Mugable told him that, while detained, “he had studied English on a correspondence course and yes he had studied, and admired above all, the poetry of TS Eliot.

“I was leaving with my scoop when Mugabe called me back. He asked me quietly if I would not mention poetry or Eliot in my article. I could see why. A nationalist leader bent on a liberation war did not want to be seen to be a lover of English poetry. I foolishly agreed.”

In The Guardian, Peter Bradshaw suggested that Eliot could have remained an influence. “Maybe Mugabe saw himself as like Thomas Becket in Eliot’s Murder in the Cathedral, sitting tight in his presidential palace, waiting for martyrdom. Perhaps in Dubai he will ponder the lines from The Cocktail Party: ‘What is hell? Hell is oneself./Hell is alone, the other figures in it/Merely projections. There is nothing to escape from/And nothing to escape to. One is always alone.’ Well, Mugabe has the satisfaction of knowing his presidency ended with a bang.”

One has to scroll down quite a bit at this page to get here. 


On Sat, Sep 7, 2019 at 7:08 AM Rick Parker <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
I'm posting this without having read the article yet. The browser on the machine I'm using now is too crippled to get the page.

The secret that Robert Mugabe tried to hide: his love of TS Eliot ...

Robert Mugabe emerged from 11 years in detention in December 1974 and was driven straight to his sister’s tin-roofed shack of a house in a township of what was then Salisbury, capital of Rhodesia.​ ... I was a newly arrived correspondent, an innocent among the hardened press corps ...