Happy Birthday Arch and Mama Leah! – 07 October 2013

CAPE TOWN: A series of family and community events are underway to celebrate the birthdays of Archbishop Desmond (who turns 82 today) and Mrs Leah Tutu (who turns 80 on 14 October).

Festivities began on Saturday morning at the Marconi Beam Primary School, around the corner from the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation offices, where the school celebrated the acquisition of its new playground and sports field. The handover from government was facilitated by the Foundation which has adopted the school as one of its community partners.

On Saturday afternoon about 180 members of the extended Tutu family and close friends gathered for Mrs Tutu’s official birthday lunch at a restaurant in Blouberg. Mrs Tutu sobbed as the Archbishop’s biographer John Allen recounted stories of the adversity and meanness she endured from the apartheid system – not only as an African woman struggling to raise a family, but as the wife of the dreaded archbishop.

On Sunday, St Luke’s Chapel in Joe Slovo was the venue for a celebratory service led by the Archbishop of Cape Town Thabo Makgoba. The tiny chapel was filled to bursting point with family and friends, with celebrants overflowing into a marquee.

Today, to honour the environment, the Legacy Foundation will lead a beach clean-up in Milnerton, in partnership with the seabird preservation agency SANCCOB and local children.

Later, at UWC, former secretary-general of the United Nations Kofi Annan will deliver the third annual Desmond Tutu International Peace Lecture.