On Wednesday 7 June, Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, Nobel Peace Prize winner and chairman of the historic Truth and Reconciliation Committee, received the first honorary doctorate ever awarded by the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. The event was part of the university's 10th anniversary celebrations. Less than a week before the event, contact was made with Sibongile Khumalo, the famous South African mezzo-soprano, with the idea that she sing at the award ceremony. Miraculously, this fantasy became reality, and we document here some of the moments of this unforgettable event. Sibongile has been one of the key participants in the Global Song Project, and can be heard singing the Millennium Song in Zulu by clicking here .
Sibongile arrives at Barcelona airport, Tuesday 6 June.
Nicholas Hooyberg and Michael Greenacre were there to meet her.
A few hours later, Sibongile rehearses with pianist Pau at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
The next day, Wednesday 7 June at noon, Archbishop Desmond Tutu arrives at the university from the Catalan Parliament,and Sibongile starts to sing a South African song of welcome as he enters the hall.
Desmond is well suprised and greets her warmly as he passes. Here he is being escorted into the hall by Joan Egea, Dean of Law, and Teresa Garcia-Mila, Dean of Economic and Business Sciences, of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
Desmond Tutu hugs Sibongile Khumalo, with the mayor of Barcelona, Joan Clos, and the president of Catalonia, Jordi Pujol, looking on.
The celebratory lunch afterwards, where Sibongile also sings by special request of the Archbishop.
The South Africans.
Sibongile in the Parc Guell in Barcelona.
Sibongile and Michael under the magnificent stone arches of Gaudi in the Parc Guell.
No visit to the Parc Guell is complete without this picture!
Sibongile with her Barcelona bodyguards.
Sibongile gazing up at the spires of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.
Only 30 hours after arriving in Barcelona, Sibongile is on the point of departing again. Just before leaving, in the foyer of the Hotel Gran Derby, Michael sings her his setting of "The Zulu Girl" by Roy Campbell, and dedicates it to Sibongile.