South Africa’s anti-apartheid hero Desmond Tutu could have chosen practically any car in the world when billionaire Warren Buffett offered to buy him a vehicle.
But in 2008, the archbishop picked a modest Toyota Corolla with manual transmission over the luxury BMWs and Mercedes Benz favoured by government ministers. He gave the cash left over from the U.S. investor’s present to the poor.
The Desmond Tutu Intellectual Property Trust, which manages his legacy, has put the old car on show along with his books and possessions in honour of Tutu’s 92nd birthday, which he would have celebrated on Saturday.
The car, displayed in Cape Town, the city where the archbishop lived for most of his later life, became a symbol of Tutu’s values.
Widely revered across South Africa’s racial and cultural divides for his moral integrity, Tutu never stopped fighting for his vision of a “Rainbow Nation” in which all races in post-apartheid South Africa could live in harmony.