Croatian President Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic is an army commando. PHOTO | COURTSEYCroatian President Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic is an army commando. PHOTO | COURTSEY
By NAHASHON MUSUNGU

Football fans who watched Croatian President Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic at the 2018 Fifa World Cup were struck by her beauty, affectionate smile and selfless support for her national team.

But what else is there to know about the Head of State, who arguably turned out to be the biggest celebrity outside the pitch during the football tournament in Russia?

Here are six things to know about the Croatian President.

1. She was born in Rijeka, Croatia, which was then part of the greater Yugoslavia. Her parents owned a butcher shop and a ranch.

2. A perfect example of ‘beauty and brains’. She studied at George Washington University, Harvard and John Hopkins University in the United States. She graduated with a degree in International Relations and a doctorate in the same.

3. She became the first woman to be the Nato Assistant Secretary General for public diplomacy. In Nato circles, she is known as SWAMBO which implies she who must be obeyed. She also boasts of full military training in her native country and is known to be a no-nonsense woman and a bold decision maker.

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4. Look away stalkers and admirers. Madam President is married to Jakov Kitarovic. They got married in 1996 and the couple has two kids Katarina and Luca.

5. She served as the Croatian ambassador to the United States during the regimes of George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

6. While our lawmakers were banking on tax payers money to head to Russia for the bench marking trip, Kitarovic bought her own economy class ticket and travelled to Russia to cheer on the Croatia national team. She was often spotted mingling with spectators and hugging sweaty players in the dressing room.