Mugabe's parents belonged to the Zezuru clan, one of the smallest branches of the Shona tribe.
Robert Mugabe was born on February 21, 1924, in Kutama, Southern Rhodesia (now Kutama, Zimbabwe). He was the third of six children born to Gabriel Matibiri and Bona Matibiri. His father was a carpenter and his mother was a Christian catechist for the village children. Mugabe's elder brothers died when he was very young, and, in 1934, his father deserted the family.