Photo: Tshepo Masango Chéry

A South African Professor Recalls Exchanging Letters in Exile with Archbishop Desmond Tutu

With Archbishop Desmond Tutu being laid to rest this past weekend, a professor, who moved to Atlanta as a young child with her family during apartheid, remembers the personal memories she has of "Uncle Des."

When I was in the first grade, I invited Archbishop Desmond Tutu to visit my class. Three years later, he showed up.

As a seven-year-old, living in my new home in Atlanta, I had found a children’s biography of Archbishop Tutu in my school library. I promptly wrote my name on the little card in the back cover and borrowed it. Tutu’s story hit especially close to home, partly because it was—I had fled South Africa without my parents at the age of six because of my parents’ own engagement with the anti-apartheid struggle.

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Photo by Oscar Gonzalez/NurPhoto via Getty Images.

#EndSARS: Nigeria is a Nation of Elites and 'Everyone Else'

Op-Ed: Andrew Akpan, a Nigerian based in South Africa, reflects on class divides among Nigerians and how that has affected the way in which #EndSARS protesters are perceived and treated.

I have personally experienced two incidents with the Nigerian Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), one of which was notably traumatising. While driving with a friend, we were stopped by the police unit and although I wasn't the driver of the vehicle, I was asked to step out of the car. Once I was out of the car, one of the officers advanced towards me to search my pockets. Before I could ask him what he was doing and why, he landed a big stick on my knee—without so much as an explanation. One could say that I was quite lucky compared to the many other horrific stories of torture, maiming and even death suffered at the hands of this rogue unit.

This kind of story is precisely what energised Nigerians to take to the streets of major cities and demand the disbandment of SARS, for weeks on end. The government's subsequent response to the protests unfortunately culminated in the military shooting and killing at least 38 peaceful and unarmed protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos. What followed this event was a widespread breakdown of law and order through the destruction of public and private properties.

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