Passing during the holidays …Bishop Tutu

While the Christmas Holidays are usually a joyous period, the COVID-19 pandemic wasn’t the only bad news your Eyewitness got. (Like about neighbouring Trinidad where they’re averaging 27 daily?). The passing of Bishop Tutu in South Africa was particularly poignant. Here was a man, just 5’ 5” in height who stood tallest for four decades fighting first against White apartheid and then against those in the Black Government who betrayed the promise after Apartheid fell in 1994.

We all knew he’d pass on…after all, he’d long exceeded the biblical “three score and ten” allotment and reached 90. And he’d also been diagnosed with prostate cancer as far back as 1990. But still…he was more than just a man – he represented a moral compass in a world where man’s inhumanity to man had taken its deepest roots. Imagine living in a world where the evil logic of “race and racism” were taken to its bizarre conclusion and human beings were officially classified as “higher and lower” life forms!! Whites at the top and Blacks at the bottom. Making every other group fight for intermediate positions – decided by Whites – and kicking those below them.

It’s not too well known that Tutu and Mandela were both from the same street in the black township of Soweto. And imagine that street producing two Nobel Prize winners! They pipped our St Lucia with its two Nobels since that’s a whole island!! Anyhow, the two boys chose two different paths to fight the evil Apartheid system they were born into. Mandela became a lawyer and then joined the ANC. And was jailed for his troubles 27 years for choosing violent resistance.

Tutu chose to enter the priesthood – which happened in 1960 –- and then used that platform to wage the struggle against the same injustices, peacefully. As he rose through the hierarchy of the Anglican Church – the Church of England – his bully pulpit became very powerful by the time he became Bishop of Cape Town. And with all the militants either in prison or in camps in neighbouring countries. sometimes it looked like he was fighting a David against Goliath war. He won the Nobel in 1984, which gave his voice – openly calling the Government “Nazis”! – that much more moral force.

After Apartheid fell, he oversaw the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that attempted to offer Reparative Justice  to those who had been victimised by the evil system. However, he expressed his great disappointment when the new Black ANC government became an arm of vested interests and many of its leaders became billionaires. His struggle demonstrated that institutions alone can’t remove injustices.  Good people are more important!

Bishop Tutu died a disappointed man.

…“Father Christmas”

Your Eyewitness was never a fan of Santa Claus who was foisted on us by the British –- on whom it was foisted by Queen Victoria after she married the German Prince Albert. Imagine the Brits had to hide the German connection after their World Wars. In 1917, the name of the royal house was changed from the German Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to the English “Windsor”. That’s right…the House of Windsor is as German as can be if we go by that REAL Englishman William Shakespeare who asked, “What’s in a name…a rose is a rose” and all that!!

So back to the Chubby fella who supposedly crawl down our chimneys bearing gifts for the kiddies!! We don’t have chimneys here – but don’t the kids wonder how the fella could get past all those grilled windows meant to keep out kick-down-the-door bandits??  Anyhow, hopefully COVID-19 put a halt to all those poor kids lining up to cuddle in Santa’s lap!

And life went on for them, didn’t it?


It was only for two days, but with the newspapers not publishing, thankfully the politicians didn’t feel compelled to offer soundbites. To divide the nation.

Could this but continue till the New Year!!