ANA and Citizen Reporter
Premium Journalist
3 minute read
2 Jul 2015
12:30 pm

Desmond, Leah Tutu celebrate 60 years of marriage

ANA and Citizen Reporter

Celebrations around Anglican Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and his wife Leah’s more than 60-year love story took place on Thursday at St. George’s Cathedral in Cape Town.

The Arch and wife Leah have a laugh before the ceremony begins. Picture: ANA

“We feel so very blessed,” said the Archbishop, fondly referred to as “the arch”.

“We could not have imagined we would be here in 1959.”

“Here?” asked Leah, “We could not have imagined we would be together, let alone here!”

The two broke out in laughter, setting the tone for the renewing of their wedding vows and the celebration of their 60th anniversary.

The ceremony was attended by, among others, Tutu’s successor as Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, Njongonkulu Ndungane, Reverend Canon Professor Barney Pityana, and the cathedral’s Very Reverend Michael Weeder.

“Long live mama and papa! Long live!” said Ndungane, while Weeder read out a letter sent from Thabo Makgoba, the current anglican archbishop of Cape Town, who could not make it to the ceremony.

“Gogo of the province and to Baba…you have been a channel of God’s richest blessings,” wrote Makgoba.

“I am so sorry to be away overseas for this loving occasion.”

Pityana recalled his first meeting with the Tutus and visiting their home during the apartheid era.

“Their home became a place of gathering and sharing,” said Pityana.

“We saw at close quarters the real sense of what it meant to be a loving home.”

Pityana explained how he imagined a young, romantic arch courting “a beautiful Leah”.

“I can imagine the young arch whispering sweet nothings to Leah with a fond smile on his face,” he said.

“As an english teacher he would have recited love poems and sonnets,” said Pityana, to which the Arch reacted with a shy smile.

Reverend Canon Mpho Tutu, the couple’s daughters, presided over most of the ceremony and took charge when it was time for the couple to renew their vows.

“Do you take Desmond as your lawfully wedded husband, for better or for worse?” asked Mpho of her mother, trying to hold back her own laughter.

“For better and for better!” joked Leah as the couple again broke out in giggles.

The ceremony continued with laughter, love, and the arch shuffling happily along to the marimba band playing in the cathedral.

Tutu married Leah Nomalizo on July 2, 1955. The couple met at a college, where Nomalizo was a teacher. They have four children (Trevor Thamsanqa Tutu, Theresa Thandeka Tutu, Naomi Nontombi Tutu and Mpho Andrea Tutu) and seven grandchildren together.

Desmond and Leah Tutu’s renewal of their wedding vows was officiated by their daughter Rev Mpho Tutu at St. George’s Cathedral. Below is their wedding picture, looking fresh and young. Happy 60 years anniversary to the Tutus, we can only wish them the best.

Desmond and Leah Tutu on their wedding day. Picture: SABC

Desmond and Leah Tutu on their wedding day. Picture: SABC


And of course, Twitter had some congratulatory messages for the couple: