Patron, Archbishop Tutu - The Ambassadors
Official Patron of Beyond Sport
Desmond Mpilo Tutu was born in Klerksdorp, South Africa on October 7, 1931. After three years as a high school teacher, in 1958 he entered the Anglican ministry and was ordained to the priesthood in Johannesburg in 1961.
From 1967 to 1978 he served in a number of increasingly prominent positions, before being named Bishop of Lesotho. By 1978, in the wake of the 1976 Soweto uprising, South Africa was in turmoil, and Bishop Tutu was persuaded to take up the post of General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches (SACC). He became a prominent leader in the crusade for justice and racial conciliation in South Africa and in 1984 he recieved a Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to that cause. In 1985 he was elected Bishop of Johannesburg.
In 1986 Bishop Tutu was elevated to Archbishop of Cape Town, and by 1995 President Nelson Mandela appointed him Chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a body set up to probe gross human rights violations that occured under the Apartheid.
In 1996, shortly after his retirement from office as Archbishop of Cape Town, Tutu was granted the honorary title of Archbishop Emeritus.
Though his vigorous advocacy of social justice rendered him a controversial figure, today Archbishop Tutu is regarded as an elder world statesman with a major role to play in reconciliation, and as a leading moral voice. He has become an icon of hope far beyond the Church and Southern Africa.