Lessons in love and life from Arch and Leah

Arch Bishop Tutu with his wife Leah
Image from Benny Gool
A close up of Richard Branson smiling, looking at the camera
Richard Branson's signature
Published on 14 September 2020

“Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” I often think of these wise words from Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and even more so during this challenging year for so many people.

Arch is one of the most positive, funny, life-affirming people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. So I’m sure he is looking on the bright side after his cottage was damaged by a fire. Thankfully Arch and Mrs Leah Tutu are both fine and there were no injuries. Having experienced quite a few fires ourselves over the years, Joan and I were pleased to hear they are in good spirits.

It was Arch and Leah’s 65th wedding anniversary recently, and they shared the delightful, moving tale of their relationship. It details their routine, their habits, Arch serving Leah coffee in bed, Leah nursing Arch when he isn’t feeling well - the little things that add up to an enormous whole.  

“We (human beings) are made for loving. If we don’t love, we will be like plants without water,” Arch says. “He was fragile when we married, but his spirit was stronger than a lion. His inner self is much stronger than his body.” Leah says. Thank you for the inspiration, Arch and Leah, and wishing you all the best from all of us around the Virgin family. 

Arch of course won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his work in the fight against apartheid, and led South Africa's remarkable Truth and Reconciliation Commission. I was very sad to learn of the recent passing of George Bizos, the great anti-apartheid lawyer. He defended Nelson Mandela and was a true champion of human rights. I had the honour of meeting George on many occasions in South Africa and he was a delightful man as well as an inspiring advocate for humanity. 

I last saw George when he joined The Elders at the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg to mark Madiba’s 100th birthday. Jean Oelwang, Virgin Unite’s president, thanked George for all the good he had done in the world, and he responded: “No one ever does it alone.” A testament to his humility as well as his wisdom. Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones.