Desmond Tutu

Desmond Tutu was born on 7th October 1931 in Klerksdorp, Transvaal. His father was a teacher, his mother relatively uneducated.The young Tutu is raised in an atmosphere of tolerance and sympathy where, he later says, "I never learnt to hate". At the age of 12 he first met and was later greatly influenced by Father Trevor Huddleston, an Anglican cleric in the Johannesburg township of Sophiatown and outspoken early critic of apartheid. After matriculating from the Johannesburg Bantu High School, he chose to follow his father's career. He took a teacher's diploma at the Pretoria Bantu Normal College and studied for his Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of South Africa. He was a teacher at the Johannesburg Bantu High School for a year and then moved to Munsieville High School, Krugersdorp for three years. It was here that he married his wife, Leah. They have three daughters, a son and several grandchildren. In 1958, following the introduction of Bantu education, the Archbishop decided to enter the ministry in the Church of the Province of Southern Africa and become an ordinand at St Peter's Theological College, Rosettenville. He received his Licentiate in Theology in 1960 and was ordained to the priesthood in Johannesburg in 1961. Shortly afterwards he went to study in London, where he obtained the Bachelor of Divinity Honours and Master of Theology degrees while acting as a part-time curate. In 1967 he returned to South Africa and joined the staff of the Federal Theological Seminary in Alice and became chaplain at the University of Fort Hare. He moved to the University of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland in 1970 where he held the post of lecturer in the Department of Theology. This step was followed by a further spell in England as Associate Director of the Theological Education Fund of the World Council of Churches, based in Kent, UK. He remained an educator until 1972 when he became the first black to hold the position of Dean of St. Mary's Cathedral in Johannesburg. He held such a distinction once again three years later as the first black to be General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches. In 1984, Tutu receives the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of "the courage and heroism shown by black South Africans in their use of peaceful methods in the struggle against apartheid". The Nobel Committee asks that the awarding of the prize to Tutu be regarded "not only as a gesture of support to him and to the South African Council of Churches of which he is leader, but also to all individuals and groups in South Africa who, with their concern for human dignity, fraternity and democracy, incite the admiration of the world". In 1985 Bishop Tutu was elected Bishop of Johannesburg and then in 1986 he was elected Archbishop of Cape Town. (April). In 1987 he was elected as President of the All Africa Conference of Churches. In 1995, Tutu was selected to serve as head of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. He retired from office as Archbishop of Cape Town in June 1996, but was named Archbishop Emeritus as from July 1996. Achivements Numerous awards and honorary doctorates (incl. Harvard, Kent, Columbia, Aberdeen, Howard University) He has received many prizes and awards in addition to the Nobel Prize, notably the Order for Meritorious Service Award (Gold) presented by President Mandela, the Archbishop of Canterbury's Award for outstanding Service to the Anglican Communion, the Prix d'Athene (Onassis Foundation), the Family of Man Gold Medal Award and the Martin Luther King Jr Non Violent Peace Prize. "When does compassion, when does morality, when does caring come in?" Tutu asks, "I just hope that one day people will realise that peace is a far better path to follow."