Tutu wants social division and injustice to burger off

By staff writers
September 7, 2007

Getting together round the fire and having a good nosh and natter is a great way to combat prejudice and social division, reckons ex-Cape Town Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who has just become patron of South Africa's Barbecue (Braai) Day - which takes place later this month.

Admitting that he has lost count of how many good causes he has leant his name too, Dr Tutu, a Nobel Peace laureate and stalwart anti-apartheid campaigner, said that the traditional outdoor fry-up is a unifying force in a divided country.

He celebrated his appointment by donning an apron and tucking into a sausage outside his office. An observer quipped: "He wants us to get injustice to burger off" - though she said that she personally was a vegetarian.

"This is something that can unite us. It is so proudly South African, so uniquely South African," Archbishop Tutu declared - though Australians and others may wish to share that particular crown.

Braai Day takes place on 24 September, which is also National Heritage Day. Organiser Jan Scannell told the BBC that the idea was not to have a mass braai, but rather many small ones with friends and family.

"There are so many things that are pulling us apart, this has a wonderful potential to bring us all together," Archbishop Tutu told reporters on Wednesday 6 September 2007.

He went on: "We have 11 different official languages but only one word for the wonderful institution of braai: in Xhosa, English, Afrikaans, whatever."

"We've shown the world a few things. Let's show them that ordinary activities like eating can unite people of different races, religions, sexes... short people, tall people, fat people, lean people," Tutu added.

The retired Anglican archbishop continues to speak out against injustice at home and abroad. Freedom in Burma, human rights for all, and equality for lesbian and gay people have been among his recent appeals.

Tutu has founded a peace foundation and supports several HIV and TB centres. He is patron to a number of other organisations, including children's hospitals, hospices, nutrition clinics, orphanages and a soccer team.

"Sometimes I am surprised when people say, 'You are our patron'," Archbishop Tutu said yesterday.

"We are delighted that Desmond Tutu is an Ekklesia patron", commented the UK Christian think tank's co-director Simon Barrow. "Our values and his stand side-by-side. But I guess we ought to remind him of his sponsorship sometime!"

Archbishop Tutu finished his sausage promptly and talked to a range of people before heading off to another event.


Support the Desmond Tutu Peace Centre: http://www.tutu.org/

Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.