Nomalizo Leah Tutu: Age, children, Desmond Tutu, early life, career

Nomalizo Leah Tutu: Age, children, Desmond Tutu, early life, career

Nomalizo Leah Tutu is a true example that behind every successful man is a great woman equal to the tasks for which her husband takes responsibility. The female South African has been a backbone for one of the most renowned activists, Archbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu, in the history of the African continent.

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Nomalizo Leah Tutu
Activist Nomalizo Leah Tutu. Photo: @sumayahisham
Source: Twitter

Nomalizo Leah Tutu is not just a bystander in the history that her husband could make in ensuring that apartheid became a thing of the past in South Africa. Instead, she was an active participant in ensuring that her husband's will and enthusiasm for equality amongst black and white South Africans came to fruition.

Nomalizo Leah Tutu's biography summary

  • Birth name: Nomalizo Leah Tutu (neé Shenxane)
  • Date of birth: 14th of October, 1933
  • Age: 88 years old (as of 2021)
  • Profession: Nurse, Activist, co-founder, and educationist
  • Famous for: Marrying the anti-apartheid crusader, Desmond Tutu
  • Birthplace/hometown: Krugersdorp, Gauteng Province, South Africa
  • Nationality: South African
  • Current residence: South Africa
  • Religion: Christianity
  • Ethnicity: African
  • Zodiac sign: Libra
  • Eye colour: Black
  • Hair colour: Black
  • Marital status: Married
  • Spouse: Archbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu (deceased)
  • Children: Trevor Thamsanqa, Naomi Nontombi, Theresa Thandeka, and Mpho Andrea Van Furth-Tutu
  • Grandchildren: Lizo and Palesa Tutu (Trevor's children); Nyaniso and Onalena (Mpho's children); Xabiso Gxashe (Thandeka's child); and Tebogo Joy, Nompumelelo, and Mpilo (Naomi's children)

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Background information

The relentless activist was born in Krugersdorp, Gauteng Province, South Africa, on the 14th of October, 1933, to Mr and Mrs Shenxane. So, how old is Desmond Tutu's wife? Nomalizo Leah Tutu's age is currently 88 years.

Little is known of Nomalizo Leah Tutu's early life and other family members. However, she is educated enough to have qualified to practice as a nurse and later become an educator.

Nomalizo Leah Tutu
Leah and her husband maintained an intimate relationship until her husband passed on. Photo: @MKalinda
Source: Twitter


The activist and educationist was employed at the University of Botswana, Swaziland, and Lesotho between 1970 and 1972, and her role was to assist the registrar. Besides, as an activist, Leah is a co-founder of the South African Domestic Workers Association.

Her zeal towards ensuring balanced labour and humanitarian relationships in her country saw her become a director at the Domestic Workers and Employers Project instituted by the South African Institute of Race Relation between 1976 and 1984.

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The woman supported her husband's work as a non-violent protester against apartheid. She became a co-founder of the Desmond Tutu Peace Center (DTPC) in 1988. Leah was also happy to share her wealth of knowledge at symposia and lecture women in churches and other influential groups.

Leah and her husband, Desmond Tutu

On Sunday, 26th of December, 2021, news broke out that the iconic South African activist, Desmond Tutu, had transitioned to the great beyond. This news threw the whole of South Africa and the world into a mournful state.

However, someone who will feel this departure most will be Nomalizo Leah Tutu. The woman was married to Desmond for over 66 years since they married in July 1955. The love birds did everything together and supported each other's goals up to the end. This was evident in several honorary awards given to both of them simultaneously.

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The couple had a marital vow renewal sometime in 2015 and lived together till death finally took them apart. They were awarded the Mattie J.T. Stepanek Peacemaker Award in 2009 by the We Are Family Foundation.

Much earlier in 2000, she bagged an honorary doctorate alongside her husband by the National Louis University, Atlanta. This was in respect to her zeal towards human rights and her consistent support of her husband's humanitarian struggles.

Nomalizo Leah Tutu's children

While the union of Leah and her late husband, they were blessed with four children. Interestingly, the children are adults and have started a family of their own in different parts of the country and the world. Below is a quick look at them and their families.

Trevor Tbamsanqa Tutu

He is the first child and son born to Leah and was delivered sometime in 1956, meaning he is 65 years old. As the first child of the Tutu dynasty, he has represented his father in different capacities at several symposia and lectures. He is married with two kids: Palesa and Lizo Tutu.

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Theresa Thandeka Tutu-Gxashe

She is Nomalizo and Desmond's first female child born in 1957, which translates into 64 years old. She is associated with her father's works, among other things and is the current CEO of the Tutudesk campaign.

Nomalizo Leah Tutu
Nomalizo and Desmond Tutu. Photo: @TutuLegacy
Source: Twitter

She is associated with the United Nations and was listed on Real Magazine's 100 Real Global Leaders. She has a kid, Xabiso Gxashe.

Naomi Nontombi Tutu

This lady is the third child of Leah and her second daughter. She was delivered to her parents in 1960, making her 61 years old. Besides, she is well educated and obtained various degrees from the University of Cape Town and the University of Connecticut.

She is married with kids and is a reverend who directs the affairs of important departments at the Cathedral of All Souls in the United States.

Mpho Andrea Tutu

Mpho is the youngest of Desmond and Leah's children, born 58 years ago, in 1963. She has authored several projects and is an avid activist like her parents. In addition, she is associated with her parents' foundation in executive capacities.

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Nomalizo Leah Tutu fought the good fight alongside her husband. However, now that her beloved husband is gone, it is only reasonable to assume that she must already be missing the man she shared dreams, goals, and enthusiasm with.

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