Bono calls Tutu a rock star

2011-10-07 09:10

Cape Town - Music, jokes and the sound of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu's signature chuckle filled St George's Cathedral in Cape Town on Thursday at the start of festivities for the anti-apartheid churchman's 80th birthday.

Irish musician Bono told Tutu, who turns 80 this week, that he was "the only rock star in the room" before breaking into the song, Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, backed by the Soweto Gospel Choir.

"There is only one rock star in this room sitting in front of me," said Bono, who was speaking at the launch of the book Tutu: The Authorised Portrait.

"At 80 you are on one punk rock level higher than I am. You are also more dangerous than any rock star because, Arch... you're radical like the Christ in whose footsteps you tread. Whatever grace is, Tutu's got it."

Bono joked he was only in the country because he was "not radical enough not to get a visa".

Earlier this week, Tutu criticised the government for the way in which it had handled the visa application of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, who he had wanted to attend his birthday celebration.

'Fly to Zimbabwe'

Bono said: "If I don't do what he asks me to, he tells me he will personally see to it I won't get into heaven."

Veteran journalist Allister Sparks who co-authored the book on Tutu's life, made fun of a remark by President Jacob Zuma that the ANC would rule until Jesus Christ returned.

Tutu said earlier this week he would pray for the downfall for the ANC, like he had prayed for the downfall of the apartheid government.

"If it all boils down to who has greatest pull in this instance I know who I will have my money on," Sparks said to laughter from the audience packed into the cathedral.

Radio host Redi Thlabi, who hosted the function, said she had read a note on the social network site Twitter, possibly from Tutu. The joke was a letter to the Dalai Lama from Tutu, urging him to "fly to Zimbabwe" and walk over the border - "no visa required".

Julius Malema

It had also been suggested that the Dalai Lama be smuggled into South Africa.

"Smuggling in a in man in an orange robe and another in a pink dress might prove to be a little difficult," she said.

Tutu had remarked he would pray to bring down the ruling party. Thlabi asked if perhaps ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema's being admitted to a Limpopo hospital with flu symptoms on Wednesday had anything to do with this.

"I'm just saying," she said as the audience laughed and clapped.

Thlabi said Zuma had stopped saying the ANC would rule until Jesus came, after he found out that, according to the book of Revelations "Jesus cometh soon".

"That put an end to that," she said.


  • Ampers - 2011-10-07 09:55

    Rock star? How could Bono insult the archbishop like that? Rock stars are very low in the hierarchy of things.

      Darckie - 2011-10-07 10:10


      Winston - 2011-10-07 10:41

      @ AMPERS. Are you stoned or what???

      artchef - 2011-10-07 10:46

      Seriously dude...relax. It's like when you say to someone "you rock" or "thanks, you're a rock star".

      ExleOnSaneSt - 2011-10-07 11:38

      Would you like some help removing that stick up your a*rse?

      Travie - 2011-10-07 12:13

      watch out Bono I will call steve for you

  • ConcernedMom - 2011-10-07 10:03

    Grow a sense of humor Ampers

  • Matt :-) - 2011-10-07 10:06

    Bono, on stage: "every time I clap my hands, another child in Africa dies of starvation" Guy in audience: "well stop clapping then"

      ExleOnSaneSt - 2011-10-07 11:39

      Bit old now that one Matt.

  • TrippiZee - 2011-10-07 10:06

    I call Bono a maaifoedie

  • Gansie - 2011-10-07 10:10

    The Arch is an unusual rock star - he is causing the Maaifoedies to do the twostep - in the s..t, out of the s..t.

  • Allie2011 - 2011-10-07 10:12

    He is a Rock Star for standing up when it counts. Everyone - from the Groot Krokodil to JZ was and is wary of his political savvy and wit. Not bad for a diminutive man in a violet dress at the age where most would only dream of tomorrow's bingo and soup at the retirement village.

  • matubeng - 2011-10-07 10:13

    Bono can only perform in Birthday parties for people like Desmond Tutu, not Zuma. Anyway, even children reminded the "President" himself yesterday.

  • Gerrie - 2011-10-07 10:25

    Please guys/gals go to Wikipedia and learn about one of the most remarkable people of our lifetime-Bono. He is a huge adovocate for those that suffer, have raised millions and continue to perform fantastic music- he would tell you it is for very different reasons than when he created the Joshua Tree album.I agree with Bono, the Archbishop is THE "Rockstar" of human rights.Remember our past have tarnished everybody's image, but outside our Country he is just as big as Madiba.Glad the ANC got dragged into this embarrassing moral mess-they just dont get it-Government has an enormous responsibility in shaping the image of a country worldwide. this coupled with their recent stance in Libya and the handling of Malema are three events in 2 months that have been broadcasted across the world - they have made everybody thorougly aware that they no longer share Madiba's vision for our country and its people.They are creating a legacy that words cant describe.Sad...

      g t - 2011-10-07 14:18

      Bono is a self-righteous prat! He even moved all his money out of is home, Ireland, to avoid paying tax. He's a wanna-be-Bob-Geldof

  • stofsuier - 2011-10-07 10:25

    Bono should have been called "Bozo"

  • Ian - 2011-10-07 10:28

    used to love U2 when they first started out in the late 70s and early 80s , now there music and themselves are just like every other boring act, fame, money and making an ass of themselves, even that sharpness of there music is gone, shame

      York Hunt - 2011-10-07 11:40

      Yes and Bono's charity is a corrupt money making scheme that only benefits "interested parties". Didn't he also approve of the "Kill the Boer" song?

      mkerruish - 2011-10-07 14:46

      No, York Hunt, Bono did not 'approve of the "Kill the Boer" song'. He made a qualified statement comparing it to Irish Republican songs during the time of the Troubles. This was then taken as approval by a juniorised corporate media feeding off sound-bite attention spans. Look up what he actually said.

  • shrubber - 2011-10-07 10:30

    And for what good reason is Bono's opinion more newsworthy than that of my pets?

  • anafrican2 - 2011-10-07 10:45

    Jip you ROCK Tootles! Happy Birthday.

  • SatanTheAccuser - 2011-10-07 10:58

    Bono - Guilty of politically correct whoredom.

  • alv1990 - 2011-10-07 11:08

    Why is this Dumb Ass Irishman getting involved in things he knows f***all about !! I'm disgusted......the Arch is far superior to a Rock Star !!

  • woodifer - 2011-10-07 13:12

    now piss off back to wherever your mansion is bono....goodbye!!!!

  • NoKaK - 2011-10-07 14:58

    Wow people need to lighten up here. Holy crap mense. Tutu invited Bono and wanted him here. The man is just praising the likes of Tutu and you all having a go? And to that - Bono does more for humanity than most of these famouse wank stains who booze and drug their money away!!!

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