South African icon and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Desmond Tutu has died at the age of 90. Through out his well lived life, Archbishop Tutu had always used his position and platform to be the voice for the voiceless and the defender of the defenseless.
A good friend of the late former South African President Nelson Mandela, the Archbishop was with Mandela all the way through the fight against the apartheid rule and stood hand in hand with him on the day he was elected the first democratically elected South African President.
Desmond Tutu was ordained Archbishop a few months into the Sharpville massacre which claimed the lives of 69 innocent South Africans who lost their lives in the shootings in 1960.
This event proved to be a pivotal point in South African history and in the life of Desmond Tutu who experience a form of awakening and used his position in the church to mount a campaign against oppressors rule and also be the champion of a people who were brought to their knees.
He mounted a campaigned for the release of prisoners who had their freedom taken away from them for political reasons sometimes intervening personally and was part of some clashes in the fight against the apartheid rule.
The Black Community at a point began to turn on itself and it was Desmond Tutu who reminded them on the need for them to stay united in the fight against a common enemy whose very presence threatens their freedom, giving them a form of guidance in their darkest moments.
He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 but did not rest on his laurels but quickly channeled the praise and recognition to push for change.
Mandela may be the poster boy in South Africa’s fight against the apartheid rule but there is no denying the enormous role Desmond Tutu played in their fight for freedom and the man affectionately referred to as South Africa’s ‘naughty uncle’, will forever be remembered by his country for putting it first in all his endeavors.