Headmaster Honored with Desmond Tutu Social Justice Award

On the evening of the Saturday of Spring Long Weekend, while others will hopefully be devouring either their first long-awaited home-cooked meal or their favorite dish at their favorite restaurant, Headmaster Temba Maqubela, who has dedicated his life to pursuing the dream of freedom and inclusion, will be honored with the Desmond Tutu Social Justice Award along with Albie Sachs, an activist and former judge on the Constitutional Court of South Africa.

Left: Mr. Maqubela. Center: Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Right: Justice Albie Sachs (boston.com) (wikipedia.org) (ifacca.org)

Left: Mr. Maqubela. Center: Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Right: Justice Albie Sachs (boston.com) (wikipedia.org) (ifacca.org)

The award, announced by South Africa Partners, an organization with the mission to build “mutually beneficial partnerships between the United States and South Africa in the areas of health and education,”  honors those who have “demonstrated a commitment to social justice, community empowerment, and peace and reconciliation—hallmarks of the Archbishop’s many years of service.”

Indeed, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, was the first black Archbishop of the Church of the Province of Southern Africa. He, like Mr. Maqubela, fought against apartheid, defending human rights for the oppressed. In addition, he also campaigned to fight AIDS, tuberculosis, poverty, racism, sexism, and numerous other causes on behalf of his people and the world.

“Archbishop Tutu is a man of truth,” said Mr. Maqubela in an article on Groton School’s website. “I’m humbled beyond words.”

Justice Albie Sachs, who will be receiving the same award, is also a tenacious fighter for equality. Like Mr. Maqubela, he too was arrested and exiled for his work against exclusion. Despite a bombing incident that took both his arm and his sight in one eye, he nevertheless returned to South Africa to dedicate himself to preparing for a new democratic constitution. Then, he served as a member of the Constitutional Committee and as the National Executive of the American National Congress.

“I am really a junior recipient of this award next to a man I have admired all my life,” said Mr. Maqubela during an interview with South Africa Partners, for which he has served on the Board of Directors for many years. “Justice Albie Sachs did so much for the liberation of South Africa.”

The ceremony will be held at Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge. Coincidentally, this day will also be Freedom Day, a public holiday to celebrate the 20th anniversary of democratic elections in South Africa.

South Africa Partners has invited the Groton School Jazz Combos and the Charisma Saxophone Quartet to perform towards the end of the ceremony.

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