Everyone needs This One Thing on their bookshelves


When the young Dan Vaughan decided to work as a Dutch Reformed Church missionary, he could never have dreamt that for much of his life he would serve as right-hand man to Archbishop Desmond Tutu – or of the extraordinary experiences that would come his way as travelling companion to this effervescent icon.

Vaughan’s delightful book This One Thing is essentially Tutu’s story. It takes us back to the heroic and singularly crucial role Tutu played in the struggle to end apartheid, specifically through his controversial call for sanctions against South Africa.

Tutu himself, reading the manuscript before his death, described this gripping account as “riveting”. Vaughan recounts incident by incident how the South African Council of Churches, with Tutu at the helm, courageously and relentlessly confronted the apartheid government.

John Allen, Tutu’s authorised biographer (Rabble-Rouser for Peace), said This One Thing is quite unique in providing a vivid insider’s account, conveying both the flavour and the detail of what it was like to work alongside the Arch. “I know of no other work that does that, so it fills an important role in the literature on the Arch’s life … It’s also unique to my knowledge in reflecting the experience of a white South African coming in from a conservative church background.”

It further provides, to Allen’s knowledge, the first account of sketching some of Tutu’s post-retirement ministry, which has not been documented in an accessible form before. In this regard, Vaughan remembers many encounters on travels during these years to Haiti, Colombia, the USA, Northern Ireland and the Sudan among others, as Tutu crisscrossed the globe in the early years of this century with his message of peace.

But Vaughan also blends his up-close account of Tutu with his own story of discovery – from indifference to his country’s racism, to seeing his faith dramatically transform as he journeyed the long road with Tutu.

For more information and to request a review copy of This One Thing: Journeying with Tutu, please email Carina le Grange at [email protected]

Available from Amazon internationally and in South Africa (Cape Town) from Clarke’s Bookshop, Book Lounge and African Sun Media at: [email protected]