Today is a very sad day for all of us. We have lost the Father of our Rainbow Nation, a loyal friend, and moral giant. We join Ma Leah, the Tutu family and our entire nation in grieving the immeasurable loss of our Dearest Arch.
Like so many, I was an admirer of the Arch as an outspoken critic of apartheid and for his passionate activism, and how one man’s voice can make a difference. We are fortunate to have been inspired by him and to have had a cherished three-decade friendship with him and his family.
Always warm and generous with his time, the Arch was very supportive of my work. I was fortunate to have him as our guest of honour when we opened our cinemas in Cape Town 21 years ago, and when we made our TRC-themed film, Red Dust, he provided us with invaluable advice. He and Ma Leah also attended the World Premiere of the film at the Dubai International Film Festival in December 2004. I was honoured to have been a fellow award recipient together with the Arch from the New York-based social investment fund, Shared Interest in 2014.
My family and I loved spending time with him. We had a standing joke that he should not be in a hurry as he had a “first-class ticket to heaven” and we needed him with us longer. Sadly, this day has arrived. We are privileged to have had him as a very special friend, and were fortunate to have visited him at his home a few months ago and he was in good spirits. We will miss our Arch, his humanity, simplicity, honesty and his wicked sense of humour.
We will miss you dearly Arch. May your soul rest in peace.
My family and I send our love and sincerest condolences to Ma Leah, Mpho, Naomi, Trevor, Theresa and the extended Tutu Family, and wish them strength and fortitude during this difficult time of bereavement.
26 December 2021