Tutu's Children

Tutu’s Children

Desmond Tutu leads an experiment to build a network of inspirational leaders to tackle Africa’s most stubborn problems.

Who can we believe in to change our world for the better?

From the economic turmoil in Europe, to the revolutions in the Arab world, to the presidential race in the US, it seems that everywhere leadership is in crisis.

No less so in Africa, where Archbishop Desmond Tutu is heading up an experiment to build a new network of inspirational leaders, who are together committed to tackling their countries’ most stubborn problems.

Tutu is a living legend for many.

He has been a fierce advocate of peace and justice his whole life, unofficially leading millions without ever holding political office.

With exclusive access, this series follows Tutu’s 23 person-strong class of 2012, focusing in particular detail on the lives of five very different participants, as together they are coached to become a ‘moral task force’ for Africa.

 Zied Mhirsi – Tunisia

A fiery Arab revolutionary, media entrepreneur and public health expert, Zied is very outspoken, endearing and provocative. Having been involved in the Tunisian revolution, he now has high hopes of making another change.

 Ndumiso Luthuli – South Africa

A businessman and a lawyer with a passion for social justice, Ndumiso has made a success of himself from harsh beginnings. So how will his strong opinions go down with the group?

 Swaady Martin-Leke – Ivory Coast

A glamorous, cosmopolitan entrepreneur, Swaady founded a tea company to show that African products are more than handicrafts. She uses her mixed heritage to provide an international perspective to Africa’s problems.

 Marc van Olst – South Africa

An inventive and quirky private investor who helps African entrepreneurs get started. Marc’s hope is to be accepted as a legitimate leader by the group, but will the colonial past get in the way?

 Lydie Hakizimana Kalisa – Rwanda

Despite being a huge business success and changing literacy rates in Rwanda, Lydie is still a reluctant leader. Memories of the genocide has made her eager to help create a better future for her people.


But can self-sacrificing leadership be taught?

Once they pledge themselves to Tutu’s mission, the participants are put through group tasks designed to bring out their true colours – from conducting a choir to cooking under pressure.

They are provoked to re-examine their opinions in debates on the most controversial ‘African’ issues – racial hierarchy, corruption, privilege and Western democracy.

This experiment also pushes them out of their comfort zones emotionally, culturally and intellectually.

The question is: Can this new generation resist becoming just another African elite?

Tutu’s Children offers a rare chance to witness a turning point in the lives of those who may one day change the course of Africa’s history.


Tutu’s Children can be seen from Thursday, January 10, at the following times GMT: Thursday: 2000; Friday: 1200; Saturday: 0100; Sunday: 0600; Monday: 2000; Tuesday: 1200; Wednesday: 0100; Thursday: 0600.