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Opinions of Friday, 6 May 2022

Columnist: www.mynigeria.com

If only Nigerian pastors can be like Desmond Tutu

Desmond Tutu Desmond Tutu

Apartheid was destroying the fabric of South Africa and the people needed a reprieve and it came in a churchman.

Desmond Tutu used his voice to change the trajectory of his people. His tiny voice and rich smile was bold to fight oppression.

Desmond Tutu had strong convictions on the possibility of a free South Africa and he took his conviction seriously in ensuring that someday things will change in South Africa.

Desmond Mpilo Tutu was born of mixed Xhosa and Motswana heritage to a poor family in Klerksdorp, South Africa. Entering adulthood, he trained as a teacher and married Nomalizo Leah Tutu, with whom he had several children.

In 1960, he was ordained as an Anglican priest and in 1962 moved to the United Kingdom to study theology at King's College London. In 1966 he returned to southern Africa, teaching at the Federal Theological Seminary and then the University of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland.

In 1972, he became the Theological Education Fund's director for Africa, a position based in London but necessitating regular tours of the African continent. Back in southern Africa in 1975, he served first as dean of St Mary's Cathedral in Johannesburg and then as Bishop of Lesotho; from 1978 to 1985 he was general-secretary of the South African Council of Churches.

He emerged as one of the most prominent opponents of South Africa's apartheid system of racial segregation and white minority rule. He constantly fought on all his life and use his realities as a panacea to move for the future we all deserve.

Bishop Tutu’s life is an indication that the clergy can be a panacea for societal change and this is apt for Nigeria where most religious leaders are concerned about themselves and pockets, Mr Tutu never chased moved but used his position to fight oppression and suppression, today he is celebrated as a legend but what I will remember will be his smiles and I am sure the Angles are smiling too.