On Wednesday, October 20 2021, the reports went viral that popular African spiritual leader Desmond Tutu had passed on at the age of 90.

This news of Desmond Tutu’s death was made public in an announcement by the Bishop of Johannesburg, Stephen Moreo, via his official Twitter handle on Wednesday.

Moreo’s in his tweet, revealed that the Anglican Diocese of Johannesburg had received the sad news of the death of Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

For those who may not know, all and sundry so admired Desmond Tutu that he won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1984.

Following the announcement of his death, world leaders, as well as prominent figures across the world, have been sending messages of condolences to the South African government as well as the family of the late archbishop.

This article is focused on what you should know about Desmond Tutu, continue reading to see more.

Profile Summary

Full name Desmond Mpilo Tutu
Gender Male
Date of birth October 7 1931
Place of birth South Africa
Nationality South African
Age 90 in 2021
Date of death October 2021
Marital status Married to Nomalizo Leah Shenxane
Known for known for his work as an anti-apartheid and human rights activist
Children 4
Education King’s College London, University of London
Occupation Priest, author, social activist

Desmond Tutu’s Biography

His full name was Desmond Mpilo Tutu, and he was born to a low-income family in Klerksdorp, South Africa. The name of his parents were Allen Dorothea Mavoertsek Mathlare and Zachariah Zelilo Tutu

Desmond Tutu was a South African by birth and celebrated his 90th birthday in October before he died the same month.


Desmond Tutu was trained as a teacher, but after being ordained an Anglican priest in 1960, he moved to the United Kingdom to study theology at King’s College London.


After Desmond Tutu finished from King’s College, he returned to South Africa in 1966, where he became a teacher at the Federal Theological Seminary and then the University of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland.

Owing to his activeness, he was made the Theological Education Fund’s director for Africa, which was based in London and required him to travel within Africa in 1972.

Desmond Tutu was the first dean of St Mary’s Cathedral in Johannesburg in 1977, and from 1978 to 1985, he served as the general secretary of the South African Council of Churches.

He continued to rise in the religious ladder, and in 1985, he became the Bishop of Johannesburg, a year after, Desmond Tutu became the Archbishop of Cape Town, which is the highest ranking in southern Africa’s Anglican hierarchy.

Until his death he was recognised and respected globally as world religious leader


Apart from Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu was another prominent opponent of South Africa’s apartheid system that created racial segregation between the black majority and white minority.

Desmond Tutu was, however, against violent protest as he moved for non-violent protest and made use of foreign economic pressure to bring about change in the voting system in South Africa.

Because of his impact, Tutu became Bishop of Johannesburg in 1985 and in 1986, he became the Archbishop of Cape Town, the most senior position in southern Africa’s Anglican hierarchy.

Personal life

Desmond Tutu was married to Nomalizo Leah Shenxane, and they were together until his death; their union was blessed with four children.


Desmond Tutu died on the 20th of October 2020.