Desmond Tutu's True Self
South Africa's anti-apartheid leader will be rightly remembered for his place beside Nelson Mandela in the decades-long fight for racial equality and justice in South Africa. But he touched people’s lives in many other ways, not least by speaking out against child marriage.
LONDON – With the passing of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the world has lost an unstoppable force for good who taught compassion and forgiveness, and pursued his mission with a will of iron.
“Arch” will be rightly remembered as the international voice of the anti-apartheid movement and for his place beside Nelson Mandela in the decades-long fight for racial equality and justice in South Africa. But he touched people’s lives in so many other ways.
In particular, I want to acknowledge his contribution to global efforts to end child marriage. His involvement began with another of his great qualities: the humility to admit what he did not know. I remember the moment when he learned that child marriage rates in Sub-Saharan Africa were as high or higher than in South Asia or the Middle East. “I didn’t think this was an African thing,” he said to me frankly.