Tutu a 'humble, graceful man'

Desmond Tutu's long-time friend wants him to fulfill a promise he once made her.

Stephanie Smith is a long-time friend of Archbishop Desmond Tutu and also makes his cassocks. Picture: Graeme Raubenheimer/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Not many people get to call Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu "fat", but not everyone receives flowers on their birthday from the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.

"He will never forget your birthday. I get a birthday card and flowers every year."

Athlone tailor Stephanie Smith, who has known Tutu since 1976, says she is thrilled he is recovering at home after being treated in hospital.

The former Anglican archbishop was discharged on Tuesday after he received treatment for a persistent infection.

Standing in the living room of her small home on Monday, Smith flipped through old newspaper articles of Tutu.

The wall behind her displays a few faded and framed photographs of Tutu, who calls her 'ousi'.

Speaking to Eyewitness News she said her friend must stick to his promise that he will live until he is 90 years old.

Smith described Tutu as a friend, and a graceful and humble man.

She said he was the first person to phone her when her husband passed away.

"Flowers arrived on the same day and about two days after my husband was buried he came and I was home alone. He brought me some money."

Smith said she has sown many of Tutu's religious garments.

"I've done a lot of alterations because he's gotten fatter. I don't know what he looks like now because I haven't seen him for more than a year."

Tutu was discharged from a Cape Town hospital on Monday.

The archbishop will continue to be treated for prostate cancer.

Tutu will be spending some quiet time at his Cape Town home to "recover his sparkle".