“the essence of inherent deep human connectedness sparked by deliberate divine love”
Long Live the Courageous and Joyful Spirit of Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Long Live!
The vociferous voice of the voiceless has taken his final breath! Archbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu was part of the greatest generation that bequeathed us a liberated South Africa. Also known as “The Arch,” he embodied the message and meaning of ubuntu – the essence of inherent deep human connectedness sparked by deliberate divine love, compassion and peace. At just five feet five inches, this former teacher stood tall as a bold prophet and priest who organized and mobilized against the tyranny of institutionalized racial hatred perpetuated by white supremacy, the politics of exclusion and religious nationalism. The systemic vices of life under apartheid were no match for his spiritual resistance nor his reimagined vision of a rainbow nation. Even after the end of white minority rule, his progressive and independent-minded disposition never wavered in his fight for a fairer and more inclusive democratic South Africa.
Known as the moral compass and conscience of the nation, his courage in defending human rights, advancing social justice while representing a God of liberation was always apparent, even at great personal cost. “A prisoner of hope,” Archbishop Tutu’s fellowship of a Jesus that was all about liberation, resolutely set him on a path to pursue a cause greater than himself, his community, church and country. Thus, his truth-telling activated a moral awakening at the intersection of inhumanity and oppression called Klerksdorp, Soweto, Johannesburg, Cape Town and the world. His fearless stance against the ruthless apartheid regime reverberated like an earthquake throughout the land. His courageous and catalytic leadership resulted in a pulpit that had national, continental and global impact. As a Nobel Peace Laureate, Archbishop Tutu, continued to challenge the lack of outrage and indifference in the west at wanton destabilization and destruction of human life in South Africa. He unapologetically opposed all forms of violence – that of repressive and unjust systems, and that of those who seek to overthrow such systems. As the General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches, “The Arch” led the charge to defund apartheid through the non-violent strategies of economic sanctions and cultural boycotts. Such extraordinary courage to advance social justice, equality and inclusion continued beyond the fall of apartheid.