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A tribute to an icon – By Adeyemi Abidemi Adebola
A Tribute to Desmond Tutu
The Priest of Liberty
The last Icon of the struggle against Apartheid is gone! He died today 26th December 2021(Boxing day). Desmond Tutu stood on the pages of the Bible to wage war against apartheid, the purity of his morality, spirituality and social crusade reverberates across the world. His death and legend is a great opportunity for South Africans and Africans at large to revisit and reinvent the course of social justice.
The world needs so many of Desmond Tutu; in this generation that the pulpit has been turned to a platform to grandstand and acquire material progress, Desmond Tutu is not only a spiritual but moral relief! His studious stand against racial justice and LGBT rights defined him as a non-segregationist and universal human right activist.
I was attracted to him not just because of his activism but his immense intellectual sagacity, his book ‘Hope and Suffering’ is one of the most treasured collection in my library, he gave life, meaning and hope to the struggle against apartheid.
He was ordained a priest in 1960 and thereafter he became the bishop of Lesotho from 1976-78. In 1984 he received the Nobel Peace Prize for his nonviolent struggle against apartheid, according to the Nobel Committee Tutu was regarded as a “unifying leader figure in the campaign to resolve the problem of apartheid in South Africa” He became the Bishop of Johannesburg in 1985 and subsequently appointed the first black Archbishop of Cape town. From the pulpit he spoke out against oppression of the black people and injustice all around the world. In 1994 Desmond Tutu was appointed the Chairman of Truth and Reconciliation Commission(TRC) which was created by President Nelson Mandela. He brought his moral authority to bear on the commission.
One of the most inspiring aspect of his leadership is the consistency of rejecting abuse of power during apartheid and post-apartheid South Africa. He was indeed a man of high principles! In his life time over 100 universities around the world bestowed honorary degrees on him.
He won the Gandhi Peace prize award in 2007 and was awarded the presidential medal of freedom in 2009 by the government of America.
Desmond Tutu is one of the bravest and most courageous African that ever lived.
Rest in Peace Desmond Tutu!
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