Janet Banana

Janet Banana was the wife of late former Zimbabwe Non-Executive President Canaan Banana.


She was born Janet Mbuyazwe in 1938. Janet Banana was awarded British citizenship in 2006. She returned to Zimbabwe in January 2019. She was in and out of hospital in South Africa and Zimbabwe, battling a kidney ailment.

Married Life

Janet Banana trained as a teacher and it was while working at a school that she met a fellow teacher, Canaan Banana. The couple married in 1961. In 1997 Canaan Banana was arrested and accused of sodomy. The accusations were made during the murder trial of his former bodyguard, Jefta Dube. Dube, a police officer, had shot dead Patrick Mashiri, an officer who had taunted him about being “Banana’s homosexual wife”.

The Bananas continued living together, however, and the issue of Canaan’s homosexuality was kept out of the public eye.

In October 2000, friends of Janet in London suggested that she go to Britain for a break.


Janet had four children with Canaan Banana. Their son, Michael, died in November 2020. Their other children are; Thabo, Nathan Banana, Martin Banana Mhambi Salaam and Nobuhle Banana.[1][2]


Janet Banana died at Bulawayo’s Mater Dei Hospital from a kidney ailment, according to her niece Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga.[3]


  1. , Background briefing, President Canaan Banana, Eight Non Aligned Summit, Harare 1986 Canaan Banana Published: 1986, Retrieved: June 23, 2015 NAZ, GEN-P/PRE
  2. Andrew Meldrum The Rev Canaan Banana, The Guardian, Published: November 12, 2003, Retrieved: June 23, 2015
  3. Thomas Sibanda, Janet Banana, widow of Zimbabwe’s first president Canaan Banana dies, ZimLive, Published: July 29, 2021, Retrieved: July 29, 2021