Desmond Tutu is dead. He will possibly be remembered for his different selfless efforts in support of human freedom and dignity. I will remember Archbishop Desmond Tutu for his unusual texture of ‘femiphilia’ in global governance for peace.
Just as the word femiphilia means – Desmond Tutu was known for having a socially justifiable soft-spot for women in politics and leadership. Desmond Tutu was the living antithesis of ‘Femiphobia’ – irrational or unjustified fear of women in power and politics.
This special phenomenology in the spirituality of Desmond Tutu was revealed in one of his speeches at the world peace summits. Archbishop Desmond Desmond Tutu accepted that peace is so illusive, that the earthly governments have tried but still peace is not yet proving achievable. This is when Desmond Tutu came out to challenge world politics to move out of the age-long fear that has cemented the masculine cocoon of world politics and give chance to a woman.
Desmond Tutu argued that ‘may be peace on earth can be achieved if we give leadership to a woman’. This was some ten years ago.
So far, patriarchal culture in today’s world politics has not yet given chance to this voice of reason in the words of Desmond Tutu. However, the available empirical experience in world politics has proved that global peace is possible if only women are given chance to participate in politics. Not only participate but manage political offices at high levels as it has been seen in the work and legacies of Johnson Sirleaf and Angela Merkel; the two women in world politics that clearly testify the essence of motherly consciousness in the achievement of world peace.
Mainstreaming women into top-notch political positions is a model of peace assurance that Desmond Tutu realized and dreamed of having it enjoyed and the unblemished universal implementation. This is a virtue that must be admired by all of us that are ready to be self-honest when thinking about how to achieve and maintain global peace. This is only one of the peace lessons to learn from Desmond Tutu.
But on the human rights front, Tutu was a beacon of peace who never feared controversy, especially the controversy that was meant to protect and defend human rights, human freedom and human dignity through the practice of good governance. This is why Tutu was fearless when speaking truth to power as it was when he smoothly lambasted the Apartheid government in South Africa over its hand in the cold-blooded killing of Bantu Steve Biko. It was a lesson that peace and human freedom can only be assured if there are those among us that are ready to speak out against the excesses of power.
When President Jacob Zuma wavered in his political morals, Desmond Tutu candidly came out and announced that he was not going to vote for ANC because of its hand in corruption. ANC was the political party of President Jacob Zuma. This is not a common virtue among the modern Christian clergy, especially under the current light where the world has a lot of evidence where sometimes faith is sacrificed in service to money and social privileges. A flap which Desmond Tutu always cruised above. He crested above it for the sake of peace and dignity of the powerless.
It is not possible to mourn Archbishop Tutu in one day. He deserves an entire season to be mourned. He was not just an individual, but a social institution from which the human race of his time learned the value of inclusivity or thinking beyond the color of the skin in politics and governance.
Desmond Tutu was a monument of intellect and culture, he wrote poetry that exuded bliss and truce to human heart under torment of despair. He was a beacon of unflagging benevolence which testified that it is possible for man to live by doing good things to others and doing good things to nature. He was a crusader of peace, and just as the beatitudes of Jesus Christ in the Sermon on the Mount promises a chance for ‘peace makers to meet God face to face,’. we the living also pray the same for the soul of Archbishop Desmond Tutu.