Biography Of Desmond Tutu

Biography Of Desmond Tutu


Desmond Mpilo Tutu (1931 – 2021) was born in Klerksdorp, Transvaal 7 October 1931 in South Africa. A vocal and passionate anti-apartheid activist in South Africa, Tutu was recognized with the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984. In the transition to democratic rule, Tutu was an influential advocate for the idea of reconciliation and forgiveness. Tutu has been recognized as the moral conscience of South Africa’ and frequently is heard out on the issues of peace and justice.

Tutu was born in Klerksdorp, Transvaal, South Africa on the 7th of October, 1931. After graduating from high school Tutu enrolled in Pretoria Bantu Normal College from 1951. But, following the passing of the Apartheid Bantu Education Act in 1953, Tutu resigned from teaching in protest against the diminished opportunities available to black South Africans. He continued to study, with a focus on Theology. In the year 1955, Tutu married Nomalizo Shenxane. They were blessed with four children. In 1961 the year he was ordained as an Anglican Priest.

Desmond Tutu at Vilakazi Street, Soweto. 

After 1962, the HTML0 emigrated to England and studied at Kings College London, where he earned a master’s level degree in theological studies. He also was a curate part-time at St Alban’s and Golders Green.

In 1967 the year he was back in South Africa and became increasingly involved in the fight against apartheid. He was greatly influenced by his fellow Anglican bishop Trevor Huddleston. Tutu’s understanding of the Gospels as well as his Christian faith led him to feel strongly compelled to stand up and voice his opinion to protest injustice.

In 1975 the year he was named the Dean of St. Mary’s Cathedral in Johannesburg as the first black to be appointed in that post. From 1976 until 1978, he served as the Bishop of Lesotho and in 1978 was the first African General Secretary for the South African Council of Churches.


Biography Of Desmond Tutu


Biography Of Desmond Tutu

Campaign against Apartheid

in 1976 there were growing instances of protests from black South Africans against apartheid, particularly at Soweto. In his role as a prominent religious leader, Desmond Tutu used his influence to speak out strongly and unambiguously against apartheid, frequently comparing it with Fascist governments.

“If you’re neutral in the face of injustice, you’ve taken to stand on the side of oppressors. In the event that an animal is putting its tail on the back of a mouse, and you declare that you are neutral and the mouse does not like your neutrality. ”

His outspoken stance on the issue led him to be briefly imprisoned in 1980. In addition, his passport was revoked twice. However, due to his role within the church, officials of the government were hesitant to make a “martyr” for the man. This gave Desmond Tutu more opportunity to critique the government than people in other parts of the ANC.

In South Africa’s turbulent transition to end apartheid and establish democratic principles, Tutu was a powerful influencer in promoting interracial harmony. He encouraged his fellow South Africans to transcend racial differences and view them as one nation.

“Be gentle with the whites They need to bring back their humanity. ”

– New York Times (19 October 1984)

In the post-apartheid era, Desmond Tutu is credited with inventing the term “Rainbow Nation’ a symbol that refers to the desire to unite South Africa and forget past divisions. The expression has since been adopted by the public to define South Africa’s diversity of ethnicity.

Biography Of Desmond Tutu


“At the home of South Africa, I have sometimes spoken in large meetings in which you’re seated with white and black together”Raise your hand and raise your hands! Then I stated: ‘Move your hands and told you to look at your hand’s various colors representing various individuals. They are called the Rainbow People God. God. ‘”

Sermon in Tromso, Norway (5 December 1991)

Tutu has repeatedly demanded a message of forgiveness and reconciliation. He has said that true justice isn’t about punishment, but rather seeking to illuminate and empower people to advance.

“There are various kinds of justice. Justice for retribution is generally Western. However, the African conception is much more restorative and not so much to punish, but to restore or redress the balance that was lost. ”

— Desmond Tutu, “Recovering from Apartheid” in The New Yorker (18 November 1996)


Desmond Tutu on foreign policy

Desmond Tutu was critical of George Bush and Tony Blair’s decision to start the war with Iraq. He opposed the decision of select Iraq for having guns (which they later discovered not to possess) even though other countries had a more dangerous arsenal.

He’s also in opposition to the war in America against Terror particularly highlighting the violations of human rights in locations like Guantanamo Bay.

Desmond Tutu has been criticizing Israeli attitude towards its occupation in Palestine. He has also expressed his displeasure with the US-Israeli lobby, which has no tolerance for criticism of Israel.

Tutu was a participant in the investigation of the Isreali bombings that occurred in the Beit Hanoun November 2006 incident. In the course of the fact-finding mission Tutu declared the Gaza blockade a crime and compared Israel’s behavior to that of the military junta in Burma. In the years 2008-2009, during the Gaza War, Tutu called the Israeli offensive “war crimes. ”

Tutu is also involved in the problem regarding Climate Change, calling it one of the biggest human challenges.

Social Issues

Desmond Tutu, Cologne, 2007. (c) Raimond Spekking / CC BY-SA 4.0

Desmond Tutu has been at the forefront of efforts against AIDS virus, particularly for South Africa where the government are often reticent. Desmond Tutu is open to homosexuality and gay rights. In particular he is disappointed by the amount of time and energy wasted in discussions about the issue in the Church. According to Tutu that there should be no discrimination against persons of homosexuality.

“Jesus did not say, ‘If I be lifted up I will draw some’.” Jesus declared, “If I am lifted up, I’ll draw all the All, All, the whole. The colors are black, white yellow, rich poor smart, not too elegant, beautiful, but not very beautiful. It’s among the most radical ideas. ”

Tutu became the first person of color to be person to be ordained South African Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town. Other awards awarded to Desmond Tutu include The Gandhi Peace Prize in 2007 and the Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism and the Maqubela Prize for Liberty in 1986.

After Nelson Mandela’s passing, Tutu became increasingly critical of the ANC leadership, believing that they missed opportunities to leave an improved legacy and to end the destitution that is prevalent in numerous towns of black people.

Tutu is one patron of The Forgiveness Project, a UK-based charity that aims to help people resolve conflicts and stop the cycle of revenge and revenge.

Tutu is a dedicated Christian and begins every day with meditation, quiet, walks as well as Bible reading. Even on the historic day on the 27th of April, 1994 when African-Americans were able to be able to vote in their first election Tutu wrote “As always, I had got up early for a quiet time before my morning walk and then morning prayers and the Eucharist.”

Archbishop Desmond Tutu with Sri Chinmoy

Tutu has also been a strong advocate for interfaith harmony. He admires other religious leaders like Dalai Lama. Dalai Lama and feels that one’s religious beliefs are not crucial.

“Bringing individuals together” is what I refer to as “Ubuntu,” which means “I am because I am.’ Many people see themselves as a single individual, separate from one another but they’re connected, and what you do has an impact on the whole world. If you’re doing well the results spread out. it’s for the entire of humanity. ”

Tutu died of cancer in December 2021 while getting treatmentint Cape Town, South Africa.


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