Tutu''s Children - General
The series presents an uplifting experiment attempting to prove that great leaders can be produced rather than their emergence left to chance [Matthew Cassel/Al Jazeera]
Tutu's Children

About the series

A rare insight into a dynamic generation of Africans who may one day influence the fortunes of their continent.

What does it take to be an inspirational leader?

This series follows exceptional African professionals on an intense journey of discovery to find the answer to that question and, along the way, dig deep into their own motivations and capacities as leaders.

By following their journey, we get a rare insight into a new, dynamic generation who may one day influence the fortunes of their countries. Only time will tell just how.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the patron of the leadership scheme, signs them up to his vision to become a new moral task force for the continent.

But it is for viewers to decide whether they represent a break with the past; a fresh brand of African leadership, and as such, an uplifting experiment proving that great leaders can be produced rather than their emergence left to chance.

Filming first began in February 2012 in London, where 200 or more nominees for the course were assessed behind closed doors, and the final 25 participants were eventually selected.

In March, we filmed our five central characters at their homes, on the eve of meeting for the first time in Cape Town for the first part of the coaching.

We heard their hopes and expectations for the process and how at that point they viewed themselves as leaders.

Our crews then followed them throughout the Cape Town leadership retreat in fly-on-the-wall style, capturing the highs and lows of the experience for the whole group.

In June, we visited our five main characters again in their home countries, where they were in the throes of setting up social projects and working on presentations for the next part of the course, both pieces of homework essential to being awarded the Tutu fellowship.

Then the group met in August and our cameras followed the final half of their coaching in Oxford and London, where we see and hear them at the end of their intense journey.

This four-part observational series has been a whole year in the making, with locations spanning Tunisia, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, South Africa and the United Kingdom.

May we thank all those organisations, individuals and crew for fantastic contributions to the series, not least the African Leadership Institute for allowing us exclusive access to their process.


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.

Click here for more on the series