Tearfully, I struggled to read World/African football greats’ tributes to Bosomuru Kofi Annan, the truest Ghanaian, African and World citizen. Nwankwo Kanu, Samuel Eto’o Fils, and Didier Drogba had all identified themselves with the Africanness of the great United Nations scribe, writing beautiful words about Kofi.
(Bosomuru is Asantehene’s sword of swords. Consecrated by the great Ɔkɔmfo Anokye, its power delivers victory before a shot is fired in battle. It intermediates between Manhyia and the Sahene (war general) Krontire Division. A new Asantehene gets recognized only when he swears his oath of office at Pampaso with it.)
Of all the tributes flowing from all corners of the world: north, south, east, west and all other points close to or distant from these cardinal ones, none captures the man better than the one which says: ‘Kofi Annan was the UN and the UN was Kofi Annan.’ Another said his ‘triumph’ was not without ‘tribulation;’ an apparent reference to a ‘blemish’ of the Rwanda debacle and Iraq War; for both of which everyone holds the Security Council responsible.
He did not give the command to fire the missile that killed two presidents at once. Also, he was emphatic that the Iraq war was illegal; telling it to the face of the biggest financier of the organisation.
Immortalised with what matches his towering image he must be; with what I can’t tell. I do recognise there are two important state institutions bearing his name, the Kofi Annan International Centre for Peacekeeping (KAICP) and the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre for Excellence in Information and Communication Technology (AITI-KACE). The former is internationally widely known. However, the latter could push the name into greater limelight.
That one marks his dream to transform us through technology. I wish, like the best university in the world, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) he attended, the Kofi Annan ICT Centre will be doing things that will keep the name regularly and positively in the news with inventions that would speed up our transformation from digitally poor to digitally rich.
Kofi Annan has left the world a better place than he met it, says another tribute. To me, his hardly-would-ever-be-matched legacy is his resilience in being Ghanaian through and through. In name, looks, manners, perseverance and accomplishment, he was a true Ghanaian. Let whoever talks on our radio, television and in film adopt his Ghanaian accent and stop mimicking in locally acquired foreign accent (LAFA) and foreign acquired foreign accent (FAFA). With that accent, this small motherland has produced BBC Man of the Millennium, first Black president of the Security Council and a whole UN Secretary-General.
Shame me that I am yet to read his book ‘Interventions: A Life in War and Peace.’ It’s definitely first on my list these days I have to do more writing than reading. It should be on every library shelf and therefore available for all to read. All disciplines must find a way of getting their students to read it.
Everything apart, I will miss Bosomuru Kofi Atta Annan as an election arbiter. That must have been his quietest diplomacy. Peeved presidential election losers listened to him whenever he pleaded conceding. Not many compatriots would know that. We all know, though, how disputed election results have harmed some African nations. No conceder has told me he encouraged him to concede. However, my always substantiated intuition tells me those who concede have been listening to his persuasions. It’s hard to imagine who’ll fill this particular role.
Let’s honour his humility with a monument from which the young in politics would learn to eschew mediocrity, greed, arrogance and avarice while cultivating humility, warmth, selflessness and class, if this nation is to survive. Let Kofi Atta Annan not die!
Just like I still haven’t read his book, I doubt whether our filmmakers have documented his life of navigating war and peace, disease and wellness, and trying to fix a gaping digital divide to find solutions to the bad to be good, the good to be better and the better to be best. Let us treasure Kofi gold, black gold and brown gold. Don’t let us in our usual profligate ways, squander an opportunity to write a treasured history by talking and doing Kofi Annan for, at least, the next one year to ensure every child, woman and man in the motherland, is aware that a son of the motherland called Kofi Annan ruled the whole wide world.
To the congress vultures, Kofi Annan is above state burial and not just ‘deserve’ it as their scribe claims. His congresspeople must be dreaming how they would have cashed in to create, loot and share over someone’s funeral. Bosomuru Kofi, Damirifa due! Damirifa due, due! Bosomuru does not die; Bosomuru Kofi Atta Annan must not die.
By Kwasi Ansu-Kyeremeh