ZAIRE: Mobutu the Mighty

It is no secret that Muhammad Ali is the overwhelming favorite among Zaireans for next week's Ali/Foreman fight in Zaire. But whatever the outcome, the real winner will be President Mobutu Sese Seko. The ballyhoo for "The Fight of the Century" has made the proud President's country an international household word—though a frequently mispronounced one (Zeye-ear).

Carefully orchestrated publicity campaigns are nothing new to Mobutu's 23 million subjects. Every night the television station in the capital city of Kinshasa begins its news with a vision of heavenly clouds slowly dividing. As sonorous...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!