The name Tutu, in his family’s traditional IsiXhosa language, means “ash.” His middle name, Mpilo, means “hope.” During apartheid he downplayed his specific ethnicity in favor of wider black unity… Desmond Tutu married the former Nomalizo Leah Shenxane, who then went by Leah Tutu, in 1955. They remained married for 66 years until his death in 2021. They had a son, Trevor, born in 1956, and then three daughters: Thandeka Theresa (b. 1957); Naomi (b. 1960); and Mpho (meaning “gift,” b. 1963)… After his death in 2021, Reuters reported that Tutu “was diagnosed with prostate cancer in the late 1990s and in recent years was hospitalized on several occasions to treat infections associated with his cancer treatment.”
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