When it comes to love, they say age is just but a number. What was once frowned upon as a bad social practice, is now widely accepted as okay especially among Zimbabwe’s powerful and influential men.
Infact, it has now become some sort of a trend: Zimbabwean older men, usually rich ones, successfully getting married or dating younger gorgeous women.
These things are now getting noticed because among many of these couples, the age differences is getting wider, in some instances getting to extremes, up to 40-year age differences.
Whilst society frowns upon such unions, with many accusing the younger wives of being gold-diggers, the elite seems not to care about that much.
Of course the first obvious example is ousted president Robert Mugabe who has a 42-year age difference with his wife Grace.
In 1996, Mugabe wed Grace four years after the death of his first wife Sally. Mugabe is now 94, and Grace 52.
Those in support of such unions say love is not measured by age, money or looks. What matters, they argue, is love, respect and accepting each others differences.
In 2016, Zimbabwe witnessed the wedding of Matabeleland North minister of State Cain Mathema, 70, to Bathabetsoe Diana Nare, who was only 23.
Their difference is 47. There was rancour and newspaper headlines over this union, but relationship experts say women are attracted to confidence and power and there is nothing unusual about this.
Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, 62, got married to Marry, who is 27 years younger than him. The former model is 35.
Hefner has been married twice previously, and he has been in several long-term relationships.
Newspaper mogul Rupert Murdoch married Wendy Deng in 1999, when he was 68 and she was 30. Murdoch filed for divorce in 2013.
He had been married twice previously, with both marriages ending in divorce.
There are several young women married to powerful Zimbabwean men.
Zimbabwe Tourism Authority boss Karikoga Kaseke, 56, also married a youthful ex-model Betty Nhambu Kaseke who is 22 years younger than him. Betty, a legislator, is just 34.
Former Zanu PF heavyweight Didymus Mutasa, who is in his 80s, married a youthful wife who is in her 40s.
The phenomenon is not only in Zimbabwe but worldwide with the example of Nelson Mandela, who married Graça Machel in 1998, on his 80th birthday. She was 53 at the time. They remained married until Mandela’s death in 2013. Mandela was married twice before with both marriages ending in divorce.
Donald Trump also married Melania Knauss in 2005, when he was 58 years old and she was 34. The couple is still married today.
Films stars and other international celebrities fall also into this bracket.
Clint Eastwood married Dina Ruiz on March 31, 1996, when he was 66 and she was 31. Ruiz filed for divorce from Eastwood in 2013. Harrison Ford began dating Calista Flockhart in 2002, when he was 60 and she was 38. They married on June 15, 2010, and they parent her adopted son Liam.
This is Flockhart’s first marriage, and Ford was married twice before.
Sylvester Stallone married Jennifer Flavin in 1997, when he was 51 and she was 29. They have three daughters, Sophia, Sistene, and Scarlet. Stallone was married twice previously. One of his ex-wives is the actress Brigitte Nielsen.
Hugh Hefner married Crystal Harris on December 31, 2012, when he was 86 and she was 26.