A Tribute to Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Mpilo Tutu

Image source: Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation

Messages of condolence, admiration and gratitude have been streaming in from every corner of the nation and the global community at large since news broke on the passing of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Mpilo Tutu on 26 December 2021.

Tutu, widely revered for his stellar role as a champion for truth and justice in South Africa, will be remembered for his dedication to end apartheid, healing the nation and advancing social justice.

Born on 7 October 1931 in Klerksdorp, Tutu evolved into a clergyman who preached against the apartheid government from the pulpit. He was firm in his stance on non-violence, and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his opposition to racial discrimination in South Africa.

The Arch, as he was affectionately known, will always be remembered for his humanity, faith, conviction and passion for his country.

As we mourn his passing, we also celebrate the powerful and uplifting impact that he had on our country.

His legacy is moral strength and moral courage at our nation’s most challenging moments.

The Arch was our nation’s most consistent moral compass and voice, and critical conscience.

Here are 10 of some of his most memorable pearls of wisdom, and humorous quotes, immortalised in his very own words:

"If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality."
"Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness." 
"You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them."
"God's dream is that you and I and all of us will realise that we are family, that we are made for togetherness, for goodness, and for compassion."
"Your ordinary acts of love and hope point to the extraordinary promise that every human life is of inestimable value." 
"We may be surprised at the people we find in heaven. God has a soft spot for sinners. His standards are quite low."
"I am a leader by default, only because nature does not allow a vaccum."
"The universe can take quite a while to deliver."
"I have an easy name, Tutu, and any European can say, any American can say, “Tutu.”
"Don't raise your voice, improve your argument."

*Image source: The Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation