A new exhibition entitled “Truth To Power: Desmond Tutu and the Churches in the Struggle Against Apartheid” is opening to the public on Friday, 25 March. The Arch Tutu tribute was in the planning stages for the past few months.

It’s a permanent exhibition at the Old Granary Building in the Cape Town CBD. This exhibition is hosted by the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation.

The foundation says: “Curated in partnership with the Apartheid Museum, this state-of-the-art exhibition celebrates the life and legacy of Archbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu. It is housed at the historic Old Granary building, the home of the Foundation and the Tutu IP Trust and will be a welcome addition to Cape Town’s popular cultural heritage precinct.”

The aim of the exhibition is to be more than just an ode to Arch Tutu but also a place where visitors world views are challenged and they are inspired.

Foundation chairperson, Niclas Kjellström-Matseke said in a statement: “We need to have the courage to speak out against injustice, just as the Arch did. In South Africa, we are seeing deeply troubling trends, such as the resurgence of xenophobia, attacks on whistle-blowers, as well as a relentless assault on our democracy due to rampant corruption. ”

He adds: “We are also living in unprecedented times where a pandemic has exposed the deep inequalities that continue to plague our global landscape.”

The exhibition has six different themes:

  • Apartheid Education: The Most Evil Act of All – How the apartheid-era policy of Bantu Education changed Tutu’s life and South Africa’s history
  • The Struggle in the Church: Fighting a False Gospel – The church as a site of struggle between those who supported colonialism and racial oppression and those who fought against it
  • Faith in Action: The Campaign for Sanctions – How apartheid’s policy of forcibly removing people of colour from areas designated for white settlement sparked international sanctions against South Africa’s apartheid state
  • Protest and Peace-Making: In the Streets and Stadiums – How Tutu took every opportunity to preach defiance of apartheid in all its manifestations, to advocate for justice and to plead for peace
  • Unfinished Business: Tutu, Truth and Reconciliation – The achievements of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission as well as its unfinished business
  • TU+TU = Freedom – Speaking truth for global justice – how Tutu did not stop his activism when South Africa gained democracy, choosing to continue to be an activist for justice across the world

There is also a special room celebrating the special relationship between the Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his beloved wife, Leah Nomalizo Tutu, and another dedicated to his relationship with President Nelson Mandela.

Venue: The Old Granary Building (entrance at the pedestrian walk on Longmarket Street, Cape Town)
Times: Monday to Friday 9:30 am – 3:30 pm (Closed on Public Holidays)
Admission: R50 adults, R25 pensioners, and students. Free for all under 12 years old

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu is celebrating his 90th birthday today and is being overwhelmed by all the birthday wishes. Desmond Mpilo Tutu was born of mixed Xhosa and Motswana heritage on the 7th of October 1931. The Arch was born in Klerksdorp.

He is an Anglican cleric and theologian and is known for his work as an anti-apartheid and human rights activist. Tutu also head-up the Truth and Reconciliation Commission at the dawn of democracy in South Africa.

Arch Tutu is married to Nomalizo Leah Tutu, fondly known as Mama Leah. The Arch is also a former Nobel Peace Prize winner.

Now retired, Tutu has many famous friends and many of them took some time out to send him their birthday wishes.

Marlene le Roux , CEO of  the Artscape Theatre and disability and women’s rights activist

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde

Comedian Marc Lottering

 

In a written message to Tutu, President Cyril Ramaphosa said: “You continue to remind us that fellowship, solidarity, charity and compassion for the vulnerable are values common to us all, and we should strive to live by them each day…We are further reminded that taking up the struggle for equality and social justice is not the responsibility of only government, civil society organisations or the clergy, but of us all.”

Mama Leah Tutu celebrates her birthday next week on 17 October, she will be 88 years old.