For most Zimbabweans, Singapore may evoke the only association — Mr Mugabe’s frequent visits there for — what some say are ever increasing — health check-ups. But there is a religious link between the Asian city-state and Zimbabwe — Sister Linda Sim, 58, a Catholic nun who earned a black belt in taekwondo.
When Sister Linda Sim was growing up, all she wanted to do was serve her nation.
In the 1970s, she applied to the Singapore Armed Forces to be a front-line soldier, but was told women could take up only clerical positions. The Singapore Police Force also turned her down as she was too petite.
Undeterred, the gutsy woman took up taekwondo and eventually earned a black belt. Then she heard her religious calling.
She ran a Catholic hospital in Zimbabwe for three years, and spent 17 years in England as a religious trainee and trainer before coming home in 2004.
She now works as a mission awareness coordinator at the Mount Alvernia Hospital and Assisi Hospice in Singapore. On weekends, however, she swops her religious robes for a taekwondo dobok.
“If I couldn’t serve in the army, then I will serve in God’s army,” quips the 58-year-old Franciscan religious sister.