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Desmond Tutu

Desmond Mpilo Tutu

South African Cleric and Activist

Born 07-10-1931 in Klerksdorp South Africa

Desmond Tutu is a South African cleric and activist who rose to worldwide fame during the 1980s as an opponent of apartheid. In 1984, Tutu became the second South African to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Tutu was the first black South African Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa, and primate of the Church of the Province of Southern Africa (now the Anglican Church of Southern Africa). Tutu chaired the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and is currently the chairman of The Elders. Tutu is vocal in his defence of human rights and uses his high profile to campaign for the oppressed. Archbishop Desmond Tutu announced his retirement from public life in July 2010.

Contact details

O: (021) 552-7524

M: 082 459 2731

Business Address

Desmond Tutu's Professional details

Current Position(s)

Chairperson | The Elders
South Africa | 2007 - present

Social Development | Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs)

Founder & Director | The Desmond Tutu Peace Centre
South Africa | 1998 - present

Social Development | Non-profit Organisations (NPOs)

Previous Position(s)

Visiting Professor | King's College
2004 - 2010

Honorary Chair | Artists for a new South Africa's Amandla AIDS Fund
South Africa | 2003 - 2010

President | All Africa Conference of Churches
1987 - 1997

Tenth Lord Archbishop & Eleventh Bishop | Cape Town | Church of the Province of Southern Africa
1986 - 1996

Bishop | Johannesburg
1985 - 1986

General-Secretary | South African Council of Churches
1978 - 1985

Bishop | Lesotho
1976 - 1978

Anglican Dean | St. Mary's Cathedral
Johannesburg | 1975 - 1976

Associate Director | Theology Education Fund of WCC
1972 - 1975

Lecturer | Department of Theology | National University of Lesotho
Roma | 1970 - 1972

Professional Services General | Higher Education

Chaplain | University of Fort Hare
1967 - 1969

Various positions | Fed Theology Seminary
Alice, Cape | 1967 - 1969

Part-time Curate | St Mary's
Bletchingley, Surrey | 1966 - 1966

Part-time Curate | St Alban's
1962 - 1965

Teacher | Munsieville High School
Pietermaritzburg | 1955 - 1958

Teacher | Johannesburg Bantu High School
1954 - 1954

Educational history


Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University

Awarded in 2007

Honorary Doctorate

College of Pretoria Bantu Normal

1951 - 1953

Diploma in Teaching

Bachelor of Arts

University of London

Bachelor of Divinity

St Peter’s Theology College



University of London


Master of Theology



Sydney Peace Price | 1999

Mexican Order of the Aztec Medal (Insignia Grade)

US Presidential Medal of Freedom

Spiritual Leadership Award | Dalai Lama

Light of Truth Award | Dalai Lama

2005 Gandhi Peace Award | Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

Order of Merit Grand Cross | Federal Republic of Germany

Order of Meritorious Service (Gold) | State President

Albert Schweitzer Humanitarian Award | Emmanuel College USA & Human Behaviour Foundation

Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour for anti-Apartheid Activities | French President Jacques Chirac

Humanitarian Award | African Times

Bill of Rights Award | American Civil Liberation Union Fund

Order for Meritorious Service Award (Gold) | President Mandela

Award for Outstanding Service to the Anglican Communion | Archbishop of Canterbury

Bishop John T Walker Distinguished Humanitarian Award

Fellow | African Academy of Science

Freedom Of The City

Freedom Of The City

Third World Prize (jointly)

Freedom Of The City

Cities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Freedom Of The City

Cities in England

Freedom Of The City

Cities in Wales

Freedom Of The City

Cities in Italy

Martin Luther King Junior Humanitarian Award

Nobel Peace Prize | Nobel Foundation

Numerous Honorary Degrees from Universities locally & abroad

media exposure

Co-Author | Love in Chaos: Spiritual Growth and the Search for Peace in Northern Ireland | 1999

Author | The Rainbow People of God | 1994

Co-Author | Bounty in Bondage: Anglican Church in Southern Africa - Essays in Honour of Edward King, Dean of Cape Town | 1989

Author | Hope and Suffering: Sermons and Speeches | 1983

Author | Crying in the Wilderness | 1982

Co-Author | God Is Not A Christian: And Other Provocations | 2011

Author | Made for Goodness: And Why This Makes All The Difference | 2010



Harmony Child Foundation

Patron, 1995 - 1995

Hospice Association of southern Africa

Patron, 1995 - 1995

World Campaign Against Military & Nuclear Collaboration with South Africa

Patron, 1994 - 1994

Beacon Millennium

Patron, 1994 - 1994

Action from Ireland

Patron, 1994 - 1994

Cape Town Olympic Bid Committee

Patron, 1993 - 1993

Educational Opportunities Council

Trustee (Chair Executive Committee)

Desmond Tutu Education Trust


Children's Trust South Africa


Africa Europe Institute

Trustee (Chair of Board)

Kagiso Trust & many others


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