Desmond Tutu

Topics: Nelson Mandela, South Africa, Desmond Tutu Pages: 3 (1095 words) Published: June 20, 2013
Desmond Mpilo Tutu (known fondly as the “Arch”) was born in Klerksdorp on 7 October 1931. His father, Zachariah, who was educated at a Mission school, was the headmaster of a high school in Klerksdorp, a small town in the North West Province. His mother, Aletha Matlhare, was a domestic worker. At the age of twelve his family moved to Johannesburg. In 1945, he began his secondary school at Western High, a Government secondary school in the old Western Native Township, near Sophiatown. Around that time he was hospitalised for over a year with tuberculosis. Although he had fallen behind at school owing to his illness, his principal took pity on him and allowed him to join the Matriculation class. Tutu later decided he wanted to follow his father’s example and become a teacher. In 1951, he enrolled at the Bantu Normal College, outside Pretoria, to study for a teacher’s diploma. In 1954, Tutu completed a teaching diploma from the Bantu Normal College and taught at his old school, Madipane High in Krugersdorp. In 1955, he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of South Africa (UNISA). Tutu began teaching at Munsieville High School, where his father was still the headmaster. He is remembered as an inspiring teacher. But after three years of teaching, Tutu quit in protest at the deteriorating of Black education that resulted from the implementation of the Bantu Education Act of 1953. During his stay in Munsieville, Tutu thought hard about joining the priesthood. He offered himself to the Bishop of Johannesburg to become a priest. Later, Tutu returned to South Africa in 1975 to take up a post as the first Black Anglican Dean of Johannesburg and the Rector of St Mary’s Cathedral Parish in Johannesburg. Here he brought about radical changes, often to the chagrin of some his White parishioners. On the 16th of June 1976, Soweto students began a wide scale rebellion against being forced to accept Afrikaans as the language of instruction and the inferior...
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