Happy birthday Arch: Desmond Tutu celebrates his 90th on Thursday

Besides planning to attend a special service at the St George's Cathedral in the city, Tutu and his wife Leah will be spending the day at home in Cape Town, surrounded by loved ones.

FILE: Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. Picture: @TutuLegacy/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu celebrates his 90th birthday on Thursday.

Besides planning to attend a special service at the St George's Cathedral in the city, Tutu and his wife Leah will be spending the day at home in Cape Town, surrounded by loved ones.

"Happy birthday Arch on this big, big number 90," Nelson Mandela Foundation's chief executive, Sello Hatang, said.

Love and well-wishes are pouring in for Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu on his birthday.

Hatang has shared some fond memories he's had with Tutu over the years.

Hatang recalled a moment with the Arch, in which he was reminded about the importance of looking after the environment.

"One day I was with him and someone dropped nuts in the floor and he said: 'Man, this pains me whenever I see it because littering has become South Africa's best sport.'"

Tutu is also being honoured by the University of the Western Cape, an institution he has had ties with in the past.

UWC Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Tyrone Pretorius, said that it felt like Tutu was much younger than his age suggested because of his activism.

"He served as chancellor for the University of the Western Cape over an unprecedented 25 years and helped to build the foundation of what we are today."

Tutu's birthday celebration is being marked by a series of events arranged by the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, including the online presentation of the 11th Annual Desmond Tutu International Peace Lecture.

WATCH: Unforgettable moments from ‘The Arch’ as he turns 90

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.