Desmond Tutu - The struggle continues

When and where were you born?

In Matolosane, Gauteng, on July 10, 1933.

When and where did you matriculate?

From Johannesburg Bantu High School, Western Native Township in 1950.

Who was your favourite teacher and why?

Mrs Todd Langa was my favourite.
I liked English, which was the subject she taught.

Any fond memories you have of your school days?

Yes, my school days were mostly fun.

How did your education influence your choice of career?

My education didn’t influence my choice. I initially wanted to be a doctor because I wanted to alleviate people’s suffering, but couldn’t because of a lack of funds. I then became a teacher, and later resigned because I didn’t want to teach under the newly introduced Bantu Education system at the time. That’s when I decided to become a priest.

How did you feel about winning the Nobel Peace Prize?

I was humbled and honoured to receive the Nobel Peace Prize because it was for our people. It said our struggle was noble and that the world was on our side. The prize opened doors that had previously been closed and gave me a new authority.

How did you become the chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC)?

I was chosen by the then-president

Nelson Mandela after our Synod of Bishops had nominated me for membership of the TRC.

How does somebody become a bishop?

To become a bishop you study to be a priest. You are first ordained deacon and then priest. Bishops are elected. A bishop is the father-in-God of the people of his diocese.

What are your views of education today?

We need to do a great deal to undo the bad effects of Bantu Education. There are very good schools and very good teachers, and well-equipped schools. There are, sadly, also very bad schools and very bad teachers. Teachers will have to be helped

to be better equipped and to have their morale lifted. They are critical to a good educational system and we must keep upgrading their skills and equipping our schools.