Biography of Desmond Tutu

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South African Activist Desmond Tutu Biography

Sr.Name of the InstitutionName of the College
1.Dr.Prakash Rao, Principal, Shridevi Veda Vidyalaya, Srisailam, Dist. Karnool, A.P. - 518 101.Shridevi Veda Vidyalaya, Srisailam, Dist. Karnool, A.P. - 518 101.
2.Shri. Swami Sarvabhootananda, Secretary,  The Ramkrishna Mission Institute of Culture, GolPakr, Kolkata - 700 029.The Ramkrishna Mission Institute of Culture, Gol Pakr, Kolkata - 700 029.
3.Jt. Secretary, P. P. Shri.Padmanabh Shishya Sampradaya, Shri. Bramhananda. Sanskrit  Prabodhini Kundai's Peethadhish,Tapobhoomi, Kundai, Fonda, GoaShri. Bramhananda Sanskrit  Prabodhini Kundai's Peethadhish, Tapobhoomi, Kundai, Fonda, Goa.
4.The Secretary, Sendriya Sheti Prasarak Mandal, Baliraja, 1384, Shukrawar Peth, Pune - 411 002.Sendriya Sheti Prasarak Mandal, Baliraja, 1384, Shukrawar Peth, Pune - 411 002.
5.Karyadhyakshya,Vishwasakha Foundation,  Building No. 1 Plot No. 8, Tapovan Society, Near Jijabai Garden, Varje, Pune - 411 058.Vishwasakha Foundation, Building No. 1 Plot No. 8, Tapovan Society, Near Jijabai Garden, Varje,  Pune - 411 058.
6.Director, Smt. Rama Dattraya Garge, Yoga Ayurveda Samshodhan Kendra, 1182/133, Gharkul Apartments, Mali Colony, Takala, Kolhapur.Yoga Ayurveda Samshodhan Kendra, 1182 / 133, Gharkul Apartments, Mali Colony, Takala, Kolhapur.
7.President, Elan - The Finishing School, 345, Shraddha House, King's Way,  Nagpur - 440 001.Elan - The Finishing School, 345, Shraddha House, King's Way,  Nagpur - 440 001.
8.President, G.H.Raisoni Educational & Medical Foundation, 345, Shraddha House, King's Way, Nagpur - 440 001.G.H.Raisoni Educational& Medical Foundation, 345, Shraddha House, King's Way, Nagpur - 440 001.
9.Mrs. Meghna S. Nafade, Nirzar Kala Sanstha, S - 12, Sumati Apartment, Laxminagar, Nagpur.Nirzar Kala Sanstha, S - 12, Sumati Apartment, Laxminagar, Nagpur.
10.President, Soor Swardhan Society, 285, Heramba Society, Rose Garden, Sahakar Nagar No. 2, Pune - 411 009.Soor Swardhan Society, 285, Heramba Society, Rose Garden,  Sahakar Nagar No. 2, Pune - 411 009.
11.Howrah Sanskrit Sahitya Samaj, P-14, Biplabi Harendra Ghosh Sarani, Howrah - 700 010.Nityananda Institute of Research & Learning in Indian Culture, P - 14, Biplabi Harendra Ghosh Sarani, Howrah - 700 010.

Desmond Tutu is a well – known South African activist, whose efforts to solve the issue of apartheid, during 1980s, fetched him worldwide fame. Born in 1931, in Klerksdorp, Tutu chose teaching as his profession. After serving as a lecturer for few years, he pursued Theology. Desmond Tutu was the first black person to become the Archbishop of Cape Town. Desmond Tutu also became the first black Bishop of Johannesburg. Tutu is the second South African to receive Noble Peace Prize.

Tutu became the voice of the ‘voiceless’ black people, who suffered from racial discrimination in South Africa. His lectures and writings at home and abroad played a significant role in solving the issue of apartheid. Apart from this, Desmond Tutu has organized several campaigns to fight AIDS, poverty and racism. The Noble laureate has compiled several books of his speeches and sayings. Desmond Tutu was the head of Truth and Reconciliation Commission and at present, is the chairperson of ‘The Elders’.

Desmond Tutu Childhood

Born on 7th September 1931, in Klerksdorp, as a Methodist, Desmond Tutu became an Anglican when his family changed religions. Desmond Tutu moved with his family to Johannesburg when Desmond Tutu was 12 years old. In Johannesburg, Tutu came across Anglican priest Trevor Huddleston, who was strictly against apartheid, the system of legal racial separation. Tutu was influenced by Huddleston and considered the priest as his role model. Although Tutu wanted to become a physician, his family could not afford the training. Hence, Desmond Tutu decided to follow the path of his father and chose teaching as his profession.
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Desmond Tutu Education

Desmond Tutu studied at the Pretoria Bantu Normal College, from 1951 through 1953, and pursued a diploma in teaching. After completing the course, Desmond Tutu went on to teach at Johannesburg Bantu High School for three years, till 1957. Following the implementation of Bantu Education act 1953, which deteriorated the standard of black education and reduced it to second rate, Tutu resigned from the job, in protest of poor academic conditions of the black South Africans.

Desmond Tutu then continued his studies and pursued Theology at St Peter’s Theology College in Rosettenville. Following in the footsteps of his role model and fellow activist Trevor Huddleson, Desmond Tutu became an Anglican priest in 1960. Tutu traveled to London to continue further studies, where he earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Theology.

Desmond Tutu Career

After acquiring education, Desmond Tutu returned to South Africa. Desmond Tutu used his lectures to highlight the miserable conditions of the black population in the country. Tutu served as a lecturer from 1970 to 1974, at the University of Lesotho, Botswana. Desmond Tutu was appointed as the Anglican Dean of Johannesburg in 1975.

Desmond Tutu used his position to challenge the white rule publicly. From 1976 to 1978, Tutu served as the Bishop of Lesotho and in 1978, became the Secretary-General ofSouth African Council of Churches. After a year, he was chosen as the Archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa. He became the first black Bishop of Johannesburg in 1985.

Desmond Tutu Personal Life

Desmond Tutu married Nomalizo Leah Shenxane in 1955. Their four children – Trevor Thamsanqa Tutu, Theresa Thandeka Tutu, Naomi Nontombi Tutu and Mpho Andrea Tutu, studied at Waterford Kamhlaba School, in Swaziland. Desmond Tutu was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer in 1997. Consequently, Desmond Tutu became the patron of South African Prostate Cancer Foundation, which was established in 2007. Tutu is a beholder of a number of honorary degrees, earned from prestigious universities across the world.

Tutu’s Fight Against Apartheid

Desmond Tutu was one of the outspoken critics of apartheid – the system of legal racial separation. Desmond Tutu used his position as the Bishop of Lesotho to work against it. Students’ rebellion against apartheid started in Soweto, in 1976. This protest came to be known as ‘Soweto Riots’. Tutu played his part by supporting an ‘economic’ boycott of his country. Desmond Tutu also fought against the racial discrimination by constantly preaching reconciliation between different parties associated with apartheid, through his writings and lectures at home and abroad.
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Desmond Tutu Later Life

On September 7, 1986, Desmond Tutu became the first black person to become the head of Anglican Church in South Africa. Desmond Tutu was invited to Birmingham, England, as part of Citywide Christian Celebrations in 1989. His wife accompanied him to visit various establishments, such as Nelson Mandela School in Sparkbrook.

South Africa’s first multi – racial elections were held in 1994, when Nelson Mandela was elected as country’s first black President. Desmond Tutu appointed Tutu as the chairperson of Truth & Reconciliation Commission ( TRC ).

In order to devote his time to the TRC, Tutu took retirement from the position of Archbishop of Cape town, in 1996. After a year, although Desmond Tutu announced that he would undergo several months of treatment for prostate cancer in the United States, Desmond Tutu continued to work for TRC. Tutu returned to United Kingdom in 2004 to serve as a visiting professor at King’s College. In the present time, although he is still suffering from cancer, he travels extensively across different places and works for fair causes, in and out of his country.

Desmond Tutu Awards

Desmond Tutu’s extensive efforts to support noble causes have fetched him a number of prestigious awards. Tutu was awarded the highly coveted Noble Peace Prize in 1984, for his contribution towards resolving the issue of apartheid. Three years later, he was awarded the ‘Pacem in Terris’ Award. Desmond Tutu won the ‘Bishop John T. Walker Distinguished Humanitarian Service Award’ in 1992 and in 1999; Tutu was entitled to the ‘Sydney Peace Prize’. Desmond Tutu also won Gandhi Peace Prize in 2005 and received the Lincoln Leadership Prize in 2008.

Desmond Tutu Timeline

  • October 7, 1931 : Desmond Mpilo Tutu is born at Klerksdorp, 120 miles (193 km) from Johannesburg.
  • 1954 : Receives teacher’s diploma.
  • July 2, 1955 : Marries Leah Nomalizo Shenxane.
  • 1958 : Resigns from teaching, to begin ordination training at St Peters Theological College, in Johannesburg.
  • 1960 : Becomes an Anglican priest.
  • 1962 : Travels to England to further pursue theological study.
  • 1967 : Returns to South Africa to teach at the Federal Theological Seminary at Alice on the Eastern Cape.
  • 1970 : Lectures in theology at the University of Botswana in Roma, Lesotho.
  • 1975 : Becomes first black Anglican Dean of Johannesburg.
  • 1978 : Appointed as the first black General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches.
  • 1984 : Gets Nobel peace prize for speaking out against apartheid.
  • 1985 : Elected as Johannesburg’s first black Anglican bishop.
  • 1986 : Elected as first black Archbishop of Cape Town.
  • 1995 : Leads Truth and Reconciliation Commission, to gather evidence of apartheid – era crimes.
  • 2007 : Presented with the International Gandhi Peace Prize.
  • 2008 : Travels to Gaza on a UN mission, to investigate the killing of 21 Palestinian civilians, by Israeli shelling, in November 2006.

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