Few personalities in the world deserve everyone’s admiration. One such person is Desmond Tutu, the South African archbishop who fought against racial segregation in Africa. With his overwhelming personality, he was admired all over the world. Such greatness made him a Nobel Peace Prize winner.
Desmond Tutu was archbishop and fought very hard against discrimination
On 26 December 2021 he passed away at the age of 90 in Cape Town. He was a contemporary of another great, Nelson Mandela. And he shared with him the struggle against apartheid in South Africa. He was the creator of the phrase Rainbow Nation, to refer to the number of ethnic groups in his country after apartheid.
Archbishop Tutu waged a struggle against the policy of segregation promoted by the white government. The discrimination and injustices committed from 1948 to 1991 by the white minority, bathed South Africa in blood. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said Tutu was an exceptional religious leader. He was also a relentless defender of human rights.
Knowing a little of his story
Desmond Tutu was born in Transvaal, a mining town where gold was mined. His first impulse was to follow in the footsteps of his father, who was a teacher. However, after the Bantu Education Act, his destiny changed. That law brought racial discrimination throughout South Africa into schools.
There he joins the church because of the influences on him by several white clergymen in his country. One of these clergymen was Bishop Trevor Huddleston, a staunch opponent of racial segregation. From 1976 to 1978 he served as bishop in Lesotho. He was also assistant bishop of Johannesburg and rector of a parish in Soweto. He then had his appointment as Bishop of Johannesburg.
From there he began his struggle raising his voice against the injustices committed in his country. This voice was even louder when in 1977 he was appointed General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches. All his efforts in the struggle against apartheid won him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984. In 1986 he was appointed Archbishop of Cape Town. The ceremony was attended by prominent figures such as Martin Luther King’s widow and Robert Runcie, Archbishop of Canterbury.
From there he continued his struggle against the unjust conditions imposed in his country. In 1989 he was arrested for attending a demonstration that the white government had banned. He was invited to leave the demonstrators, which he flatly refused. Desmond Tutu had an exceptional sense of humor. He was known around the world in his traditional purple cassock.
Along with Nelson Mandela he was an icon of a South African nation that was heading for a bloody civil war. As President Ramaphosa defined him. “He was one of the exceptional South Africans who bequeathed us a liberated country.”