Desmond Tutu

© Eric Miller
Archbishop Desmond Tutu in his Cape Town office 13/11/2001.
One of South Africa’s most loved icons, Desmond Tutu is most known for being a human rights activist and a 1984 Nobel Prize winner. He became a household name as a Bishop of the Anglican church in the 1970s and 1980s, when he actively opposed apartheid governance. He later became the Archbishop of Cape Town, becoming the first black African to be elected into the role.

Coining the term “rainbow nation”, Tutu stands firm in his dedication to the ideals of tolerance and inclusiveness, which informs both his political and theological work. His interest in people and the pursuit of a peaceful world has led him to become involved in human rights issues not only in South Africa, but all over the world.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu Post Apartheid Work

Even after apartheid was abolished, Archbishop Desmond Tutu knew that his work was far from over. He still had a dream for world peace and remained focused on spreading his message and building his legacy....more

Desmond Tutu and the End of Apartheid

In 1990 FW de Klerk announced the unbanning of political parties like the ANC and political prisoners were released, among them Nelson Mandela. In the build-up to South Africa’s first democratic elections in 1994, Tutu was excited at the prospect...more

Desmond Tutu: Becoming a Leader

When Desmond Tutu started his theological study and became involved in the church he was politically uninvolved. All through his career, he tried to remain apolitical by refusing to align himself with any specific political party....more

Desmond Tutu: Life at a Glance

On 7 October 1931, Desmond Mpilo Tutu was born to Zachariah (a teacher) and Aletta (a domestic worker) in Klerksdorp. Desmond began high school at Western High School near Sophiatown in 1945....more

Desmond Tutu: The Man Behind the Legend

Desmond Tutu has been described as a man of many layers and contradictory tensions. He is known as being a sensitive, passionate soul: something his wife often teased him about....more

Desmond Tutu's Contribution to Dismantling Apartheid

In 1984 Tutu won the Nobel Prize for Peace, becoming then the second South African to do so. He was honoured for his efforts to dismantle the oppressive rule in South Africa....more

Desmond Tutu's Work Outside South Africa

Desmond Tutu always wanted to be a physician, but when he struggled to find the funds to pay for medical school he opted to pursue a career in teaching. He started training at the Bantu Normal College in 1951....more

South Africa in 1980's: Desmond Tutu

In 1980 on my initiative some of the leaders of the South African Council of Churches and of member churches went to see Mr P W Botha who was then Prime Minister and his senior Cabinet colleagues....more