Desmond Tutu Biography

Desmond Tutu Biography

Desmond Tutu is a known South African activist who has put in lots of effort to resolve the issue of apartheid which fetched him lot of fame worldwide. Tutu was the first black who became the Archbishop of Cape Town and become the Bishop of Johannesburg. Desmond was known as the voice of the voiceless black people who always suffered from the racial and social discrimination.  

Born: October 7, 1931, Klerksdorp, South Africa
Spouse: Nomalizo Leah Shenxane (m. 1955)
Awards: Nobel Peace Prize, Presidential Medal of Freedom, More
Children: Mpho Andrea Tutu, Theresa Thandeka Tutu, Trevor Thamsanqa Tutu, Naomi Nontombi Tutu
Education: King's College London (1962–1966), University of South Africa (1954), St. Martin's School

Birth Details & Personal Biography

Tutu was born on October 7th ,1931 in a place called Klerksdrop. Tutu was a Methodist when he was born but later his family changed his religion and he became Anglican. At the age of 12, Tutu moved with his family and shifted to Johannesburg. There he came across an Anglican Priest who was raising his voice against the system of legal racial separation. Tutu was influenced by the thoughts of the Priest and considered him as his role model. Initially Desmond Tutu wished to be a physician but due to the financial condition of his family he decided to follow the footsteps of his father and took the profession of teaching.

Desmond Tutu completed his graduation at Pretoria Bantu Normal College and also pursued the diploma of teaching from there in the year 1953. After getting the diploma Tutu went to Johannesburg Bantu High School and taught there for 3 years. However after the implementation of Bantu Education Act 1953, he resigned from the teaching job as the standard of the black education were deteriorated to second rate.
After resigning Tutu continued to study and pursued Theology for his higher education. Tutu decided to follow the footsteps of his role model and became an Anglican Priest in 1960. Desmond Tutu was married to Leah Shenxane in 1955 and the couple had four children. In 1997, Tutu was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer which made him the Patron of South Africa Prostate Cancer Foundation.    

Career

Tutu started his career as a teacher in a school of Johannesburg. After completing his higher education in Theology he went to South Africa and became a lecturer at the University of Lesotho in Botswana. Through his lectures Tutu wished to highlight the poor condition of the black population in the country. In 1975, Tutu became the Anglican Dean of Johannesburg. Later from the year 1976 to 1978, Tutu served as the Bishop of Lesotho and also became the Secretary General of South Africa Council of Churches. In 1985, he was the first black to be chosen as the Bishop of Johannesburg.

Awards & Achievements

Some of the awards of achievements of Desmond Tutu are as follows:

  • In 1984, he was awarded by highly coveted Noble Peace prize.
  • In 1992, he won the Bishop John T Distinguished Humanitarian Award.
  • In 1999, he was entitled by the Sydney Peace Prize.
  • In 2005, he won the Gandhi Peace Prize
  • In 2008, he received the Lincoln Leadership Prize.

Quotes

"A person is a person because he recognizes others as persons."
- Desmond Tutu

"When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said "Let us pray." We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land."
- Desmond Tutu

"Without forgiveness, there's no future."
- Desmond Tutu

"You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them."
- Desmond Tutu

"Be nice to the whites, they need you to rediscover their humanity."
- Desmond Tutu

"In the land of my birth I cannot vote, whereas a young person of eighteen can vote. And why? Because he or she possesses that wonderful biological attribute - a white skin."
- Desmond Tutu

"My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together."
- Desmond Tutu

"Do your little bit of good where you are; its those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world."
- Desmond Tutu

"For goodness sake, will they hear, will white people hear what we are trying to say? Please, all we are asking you to do is to recognize that we are humans, too."
- Desmond Tutu

"I am a leader by default, only because nature does not allow a vacuum."
- Desmond Tutu

"We may be surprised at the people we find in heaven. God has a soft spot for sinners. His standards are quite low."
- Desmond Tutu

"We would like to see you departing peacefully."
- Desmond Tutu

"What is black empowerment when it seems to benefit not the vast majority but an elite that tends to be recycled?"
- Desmond Tutu

"When a pile of cups is tottering on the edge of the table and you warn that they will crash to the ground, in South Africa you are blamed when that happens."
- Desmond Tutu

"Be nice to whites, they need you to rediscover their humanity."
- Desmond Tutu

"Children are a wonderful gift. They have an extraordinary capacity to see into the heart of things and to expose sham and humbug for what they are."
- Desmond Tutu

"I am not interested in picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself my master. I want the full menu of rights."
- Desmond Tutu

"You must show the world that you abhor fighting."
- Desmond Tutu


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