At the age of 90, Desmond Tutu died

 At the age of 90, Desmond Tutu died

At the age of 90, Desmond Tutu died.

On October 7, 2017, thousands gathered outside St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town to celebrate Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s birthday by unveiling an arch in his honor.

Desmond Tutu, the 90-year-old Archbishop Emeritus of South Africa, has died. On Sunday, he died of a heart attack.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has sent his heartfelt condolences to Mam Leah Tutu, the Tutu family, the board and staff of the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, the Elders and Nobel Laureate Group, and the iconic spiritual leader, anti-apartheid activist, and global human rights campaigner’s friends, comrades, and associates nationally and globally.

“The passing of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu is another chapter in our nation’s mourning for generation of remarkable South Africans who have handed us liberated South Africa,” Ramaphosa said.
“Desmond Tutu was an unrivaled patriot; principled and pragmatic leader who gave new meaning to the biblical insight that faith without works is dead.”

‘Immeasurable loss’

According to the Nelson Mandela Foundation, Arch Tutu’s loss is unfathomable. “He was larger than life, and his life has been a benefit for so many people in South Africa and around the world.”

“His contributions to struggles against injustice, both locally and globally, are equaled only by the profundity of his ideas regarding the creation of liberatory futures for human communities,” the Foundation continues.

“The Arch meant everything to me,” said Sello Hatang, the Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer. “I initially met him during the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s work, and I’ve had the honor of collaborating with him on a number of projects over the years.” He was Madiba’s and the Foundation’s friend.”

Desmond Tutu’s life timeline includes the following dates:

Desmond Tutu is born in Klerksdorp, a town about 170 kilometers (105 miles) west of Johannesburg, in the year 1931.

Tutu’s Methodist family converts to the Anglican Church in 1943.

Tutu contracts tuberculosis while attending a secondary school near Sophiatown, Johannesburg, in 1947. After recuperating from his sickness, he befriends a priest and serves in his church.

In the run-up to the 1948 general elections, the white National Party declares apartheid. It has widespread support among white voters who wish to keep their power over the Black majority.

Tutu marries Nomalizo Leah Shenxane in 1955 and begins teaching at the Johannesburg high school where his father is the headmaster.

Tutu leaves the school in 1958, unwilling to be a part of a teaching system that promotes segregation of Black children. He decides to become a priest.

Tutu moves to the United Kingdom in 1962 to study theology at King’s College London.

Tutu returns to South Africa in 1966 and begins teaching theology at an Eastern Cape seminary. He also begins to express his opposition to apartheid.

Tutu is appointed as the first Black Anglican Dean of Johannesburg in 1975.

Tutu leads a delegation of church leaders to Prime Minister PW Botha, urging him to end apartheid. Despite the fact that nothing comes of the meeting, it is a watershed moment in history in which a Black leader confronts a senior white government official. Tutu’s passport is seized by the government.

Tutu receives the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his efforts to end white minority rule.

Tutu is appointed as Johannesburg’s first Black Bishop in 1985. He publicly supports an economic boycott of South Africa as a means of bringing apartheid to an end.

Tutu is appointed as the first Black Bishop of Cape Town and the head of the Anglican Church of the Province of Southern Africa in 1986. He mediates conflicts between Black protesters and government security forces with the assistance of other church leaders.

1990 – South African State President FW de Klerk lifts the ban on the African National Congress (ANC) and announces plans to release Nelson Mandela from prison.

1991 – Apartheid laws and racist restrictions are repealed, and power-sharing negotiations begin between the state and 16 anti-apartheid organizations.


Tutu coined the term “Rainbow Nation” to describe the coming together of various races in post-apartheid South Africa after Mandela sweeps to power as the ANC’s leader in the country’s first democratic elections in 1994.

Mandela requests Tutu to chair the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which was established to hear, record, and, in some cases, give amnesty to perpetrators of apartheid-era human rights atrocities.

Tutu leaves the church in 1996 to focus completely on the commission. He continues to advocate for equality and reconciliation and is later dubbed Archbishop Emeritus for his efforts.

Tutu gets diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1997. Since then, he’s been in the hospital for treatment of repeated infections.

The Dalai Lama opens the annual Desmond Tutu International Peace Lecture via satellite link after the South African government denies him a visa.

Tutu makes controversial remarks regarding the ANC in 2013. He claims that he will no longer vote for the party since it has failed to solve issues like as inequality, violence, and corruption.

Tutu expresses his support for LGBT rights in 2013, claiming that he would never “worship a God that is homophobic.”

2021 – A frail-looking Tutu is wheeled into St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town, which used to be a safe haven for anti-apartheid militants, for a special thanksgiving service celebrating his 90th birthday.

Tutu dies in Cape Town on December 26, 2021, at the age of 90.

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