Tu­tus celebrate vows with love and laugh­ter

CityPress - - News - POLOKO TAU and BI­ENNE HUIS­MAN poloko.tau@city­press.co.za bi­enne.huis­man@city­press.co.za

Cel­e­brat­ing 60 years of mar­riage, Arch­bishop Emer­i­tus Desmond Tutu and his wife, Leah, yesterday stood be­fore their daugh­ter, Rev­erend Canon Mpho Tutu.

The con­gre­ga­tion at the Holy Cross Angli­can Church in Or­lando West, Soweto, gig­gled as she led her par­ents in the reaf­fir­ma­tion of their vows, first ask­ing her fa­ther: “Dad, do you ac­knowl­edge Mum as your wed­ded wife?” Tutu replied: “I do.”

Af­ter ask­ing her mother the same ques­tion, the cou­ple read their vows.

When it was all done, one of the coun­try’s favourite cou­ples sealed their re­newed vows with a kiss. When pho­tog­ra­phers asked them to kiss some more, Leah (83) said: “We have been kiss­ing for 60 years, peo­ple, and you still want us to do it again!”

The el­derly cou­ple ear­lier joined in singing and danc­ing to a lively gospel song by the Soweto Gospel Choir.

Yesterday was the sec­ond leg of their an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions. The first (on Thurs­day) was held at the St Ge­orge’s Cathe­dral in Cape Town, where the cou­ple also re­newed their vows.

Among the Tu­tus’ guests in Soweto were for­mer pres­i­dent Thabo Mbeki, whom Tutu (83) com­mended in his short speech for his me­di­a­tion ef­forts in Su­dan. Seated next to Mbeki was Graça Machel.

Af­ter the cer­e­mony, the cou­ple care­fully ne­go­ti­ated a ramp with their walk­ing sticks.

When asked where they would be go­ing on hon­ey­moon, Leah pointed at her stick and asked: “How would we go on hon­ey­moon when I am look­ing like this?”

This week they had some sage – and hu­mor­ous – ad­vice on love and re­la­tion­ships for the rest of us.

“One would think that lov­ing re­la­tion­ships would be a breeze. But re­gret­tably, they are not.

“There have been oc­ca­sions that some of us have felt moved to put up no­tices in the house pro­claim­ing: ‘You are en­ti­tled to your WRONG opin­ion.’ But those of us with a strong sense that our opin­ions are sel­dom wrong, have never felt threat­ened or di­min­ished by these no­tices. “Many have sug­gested it helps in re­la­tion­ships for the par­ties to know ‘who wears the pants’. But this does not work in our case. There have been long pe­ri­ods of our mar­riage in which nei­ther of us has worn pants in public.

“Laugh­ter is a key en­abler; the abil­ity to laugh with each other, at each other and at our­selves. When we take our­selves too se­ri­ously and lose the abil­ity to see the hu­mour in who we are and what we do, we lose touch with our own hu­man­ity – and, there­fore, with each other.

“Our mar­riage to each other 60 years ago af­firmed our love of and com­mit­ment to each other. We were spright­lier and eas­ier on the eye then than we now are, and have ex­pe­ri­enced our fair share of tur­bu­lence along the way.

“But our love is undi­min­ished.”

A BIG­GER BAR­GAIN This five-bed­room man­sion in Craighall Park in the north of Joburg has three garages and a dou­ble staff room, all for R6m

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