Desmond Tutu Essay

Desmond Tutu was born on October 7th, 1931 in Klerksdorp, Western Transvaal, South Africa. He is now 78 years old, and a survivor of prostate cancer. Tutu is a South Africa Cleric and a Human Rights Activist who rose to fame in the 1980’s by opposing legal racial segregation. Racial segregation is the separation of different kinds of humans into racial groups. Tutu was also the second South African to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Tutu is very vocal in his defense of human rights and uses his fame to campaign for the oppressed.

Desmond Tutu is the only son of Zacheriah and Aletta Tutu, and has two sisters. His father was a teacher and his mother was a cleaner and a cook at a school for the blind. Tutu’s family moved to Johannesburg when he was twelve. There he met his idol, Trevor Huddleston, in the slums of South Africa. Tutu said, “One day, I was standing in the street with my mother when a white man in priest’s clothing walked past. As he passed us, he took off his hat to my mother. I couldn’t believe my eyes- a white man who greeted a black working class woman! Tutu went to school for teaching, and was a teacher till they passed the Bantu Education Act, which was where they passed racial segregation in school. He then decided to become a human rights activist. He then went on to get his master’s in theology. Tutu was the first black South African Archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa, and primate of the Church of the Province of Southern Africa. On July 2, 1955, he married Nomalizo Leah Shenxane, a teacher that he had met in college. They had four children, named Trevor, Theresa, Naomi, and Andrea. Naomi and Andrea followed in their father’s footsteps.

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Naomi founded the Tutu Foundation for development and relief in Southern Africa and she is also a program coordinator for the Race Relations Institute in Tennessee. Andrea was ordained a priest in 2004 by her father. She is also the founder and director of Tutu Institute for Prayer and Pilgrimage, and she is on the board with Global AIDS alliance. On the other hand, his son Trevor caused a bomb scare at East London Airport in 1989, and ran from the police. The police got him 8 years later, and he had to serve three and a half years for what he did.

Tutu also has run several campaigns in standing up for human rights. He has given several speeches. Tutu was against South Africa under Apartheid, which was legal racial segregation in South Africa from 1948 to 1994. In his campaign against poverty, Tutu called on world leaders to promote free trade with poorer countries. Tutu was against Unilateralism. In 2003, tutu was against the British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s stance in supporting President George W. Bush over Iraq. The alliance of Britain and the United States led to the Iraq War later that year.

Tutu wanted to know why Iraq was being singled out when Europe, India, and Pakistan also had weapons of mass destruction. Tutu has been very active in supporting the controlling of HIV and TB. He is an honorary chairman of Global AIDS alliance, and is a supporter of TB Alert, a UK charity that works internationally. Tutu suffered from TB when he was a child, so he has firsthand experience in the suffering caused by TB. Tutu says, “Those of you who work to care for people suffering from AIDS and TB are wiping a tear from God’s eye. ” These are a few among the many campaigns Tutu has stood out on.

Desmond Tutu has many honours. As quoted in Wiki, in 1984, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his role as a unifying leader figure in the campaign to resolve the problem of apartheid in South Africa. The Nobel peace prize is awarded to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses. This is seen as a gesture of support for him and the South African council of churches that he led in that time.

In 1987, Tutu was awarded the Pacem in Terris award, which calls upon all people of good will. In 1992, he was awarded the Bishop John T. Walker Distinguished Humanitarian Service Award, which recognizes those whose work has made a significant impact on raising the standard of living in Africa. In 1999, Tutu gave the annual Wilberforce Lecture. He commemorated the life and achievements of anti-slavery campaigner William Wilberforce. He used this event to praise the people of the city for their support in freedom and for standing with the people of South Africa in their fight against apartheid.

There he was giving the honour of freedom of the city, which is given to esteemed members of the community. He’s been given that award in Wales, Italy, England and Democratic Republic of the Congo. Tutu has been named a grand officer in France. He was awarded the Order of Merit Grand Cross, and the Sidney peace prize in Germany. He has also gotten the Gandhi peace prize, the King Hussein prize, and the Marion Doenhoff Prize for international reconciliation and understanding. In Illinois, may 13th is “Desmond Tutu Day”.

On a visit to Illinois, Desmond Tutu was awarded the Lincoln Leadership Award, and his portrait is being displayed at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield, Illinois. In 2009, Tutu received the Spiritual Leadership Award from the international humanity’s team movement and the presidential Medal of Freedom from U. S. president Barack Obama. Tutu has been named the honorary patron at several universities. He has received several doctorates and fellowships at distinguished universities. This is only a few of the awards he has been given.

Being of African descent, Desmond Tutu has dealt with a lot of racism, and racial separation. There is still racism in this day and age. Tutu has spent his life trying to unite all of us, cut down on poverty, war, HIV/Aids and TB and much more. He has spent his life campaigning for the very things he believes in, and his daughters are even following in his footsteps. He has lived a very productive and admirable life. According to Wiki, “Desmond Tutu is making great strides to promote peace in today’s world. ” Works Cited Wikipedia. “Desmond Tutu” Web. 30 June, 2010. http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Desmond_Tutu


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