The Late Desmond Tutu (Nobel Prize Winner)
Former British Union Conference Education Director, Dr Keith Davidson, hosted an online forum attended by over 60 individuals on Thursday, 30 December, to honour the late Emeritus Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The anti-apartheid campaigner and Nobel Laurette died on 26 December in Cape Town aged 90.
Many have described Tutu as the moral conscience of the South African nation during and after the apartheid era. Nelson Mandela, then President of South Africa, appointed him to chair the truth and reconciliation commission tasked with fostering peace after the dismantling of apartheid with a primary focus of 'No Victims'.
Many world leaders have paid tribute to the anti-apartheid giant, including the South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa. He said, "From the pavements of resistance in South Africa to the pulpits of the world's great cathedrals and places of worship, and the prestigious setting of the Nobel peace prize ceremony, the Arch distinguished himself as a non-sectarian, inclusive champion of universal human rights."
Below is the tribute from Dr Keith Davidson.
We mourn the death of the late Emeritus Archbishop, Desmond Tutu, a great global leader. His life centred on:
- A love for God and the gospel of salvation.
- Compassion for those who are in need.
- A champion for the cause of justice for all peoples.
- Fearlessly speaking up for what is morally right and verifiably true.
- Practising the value of humility as a religious and social leader.
- Empathy with those who suffer injustices, discrimination and marginalisation, at the hands of the strong and powerful in life and society in general.
- Reconciling people in conflict and removing divisions among peoples.
How do we preserve the legacy of the late Desmond Tutu?
- In our small corner of influence in life, let us resolve to use every opportunity to do good deeds for humanity.
- Speak the truth (as found in his belief in God), despite the costs to us personally.
- Share our lives in service to all, irrespective of race, gender, skin colour or social status.
- Use Desmond Tutu's life and work as a lesson for teaching present and future generations how to live a purpose-driven and fulfilling life.
Ultimately, the challenge he has left us is that we should not emulate the standards of our oppressors in our relations with other human beings. Instead, we should live our lives, modelled on the injunction to love our neighbours as ourselves.
Dr Keith Davidson
Educationalist, Author and Publisher