As the world mourns the death of Desmond Tutu, the iconic archbishop of Cape Town who fought apartheid unrelentingly and peacefully, the Independent remembers his travels through Santa Barbara in 2005 and 2011. Desmond Tutu was the first Black archbishop for the Anglican Diocese of Cape Town, won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to bring justice to South Africa, was a critic of the government when it failed its people, and worked to gain LGBTQ rights — all with a fiery passion tempered with well-timed humor. He was 90 years old when he died of prostate cancer in Cape Town on December 26, 2021, and will lie in state at St. George’s Cathedral before an Anglican Requiem Mass is held on January 1, 2022.
Sam Kornell interviewed the archbishop for a cover story that appeared shortly before his talk at the Arlington Theatre in 2005, sponsored by UCSB Arts & Lectures. The post was one of the first at Independent.com.
Archbishop Tutu visited Montecito in 2011 in support of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. When reporter Brandon Fastman spoke with him the next day, Tutu told him that humor was “one of the best ways to get people’s attention. They relax a little bit, and they are more prone to hearing what you are saying when they were expecting something rather dour.”