I have just returned from a book launch here in Cape Town at this awesome venue, where the guest speaker for the evening was Archbishop Desmond Tutu. What an incredible experience. As you may or may not know, Desmond Tutu is a world-famous South African activist and retired Anglican bishop who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984.
He received it after rising to fame for his vehement activism in opposing the regime of Apartheid (look that up on Google!) He was the first black South African Archbisop of Cape Town, South Africa and Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa. Today he defends human rights and campaigns for the oppressed. He has campaigned to fight such things as AIDS, tuberculosis, homophobia, transphobia, poverty and racism Other awards he has received are the Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism in 1986, the Pacem in Terris Award in 1987, the Sydney Peace Prize in 1999, the Gandhi Peace Prize in 2005, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009. He is the publisher of many books. What he had to say at the launch was about equality, respect and family – we as humans must realise that we are all family! Regardless of race, culture and social or religious background. I passionately believe this too. He spoke about the Word of God and how it was God’s intention for us all to see each other as family … just as you can’t choose who your brothers and sisters are… so you didn’t choose who you were put on this Earth with. And even though we may not like some people we are still family and must treat each other with respect, help and care where we can. He said even though South Africa isn’t known to be the ‘richest’ or ‘most prosperous’ country in the world… we can become known as the most caring. If we just give ourselves a chance. I love exchanging ideas and exploring topics that challenge me – from politics and business to lifestyle and philosophy. This is ironic because I don’t really read as often as I’d like to. But it does inspire me to learn about the work other people are doing. Everyone arrived at 5pm, we had snacks and wine and mingled for a bit. It was hard to find seats because it was so packed. First up was the author of the book, Di Smith, who spoke about it and her journey writing it. It is called “You’re Awesome”. Afterwards, Archbishop Desmond Tutu spoke.