Refuse interview requests from media
To consolidate power, hiding from the media, either local or international is one of the ways to keep yourself mysterious. No one will know what you are up to or question your motives.
This is exactly what Angola’s Eduardo dos Santos did. Over his long tenure, he refused interviews from the international press, limited his meetings with people, and made rare TV appearances. When he appeared on TV, he would stick to the scripted speech, saying nothing out of the ordinary. He earned the moniker, the ‘Silent President’.
It is no wonder that he ruled for more than 38 years.