Lillian Okoye | Essays From The Great Wall

A tribute to Kofi Annan

A tribute to Kofi Annan.

Very rarely do I have difficulty writing and reflecting. It's hard not to shed a tear as I write about Kofi Annan.

It's because Kofi Annan's spirit of connecting communities and countries in times of war and peace was legendary, and his story inspired me to follow my own path.

Kofi Annan also made it very cool for young black boys and young black girls to aspire for careers in international studies and diplomacy.

I was inspired by Kofi Annan.

At times when I thought I couldn't pursue international studies or engage in a career in diplomacy, Kofi Annan was always someone who I thought of. I thought to myself, “He's proof of what's possible. If he can do it, I can too.”

It often surprises me when I shed tears for someone who I have never met personally.

Those tears happened at 6 AM CST this morning, and I know why. It's because on a subconscious level, Kofi Annan's work had a huge impact on my life.

I ended up going down a different path, but Kofi Annan was someone I looked up to and was always amazed by.

He broke so many barriers and he showed all of us that you can really compete at the top, in high stakes international politics at the United Nations.

He gave me no excuses to become the best I could possibly be when it came to competing at an international level, for what I wanted, when I wanted. And that's why I took my international studies in East Asia to a new level.

Kofi Annan, thank you for your spirit, thank you for inspiring me, thank you for guiding all of us.

Dear God,

Thank you for bringing the son of Ghana to shine his light for the world to see.

And inspire souls like me and others.

We will always remember Kofi Annan.

Your son of Ghana.

His dreams.

His visions.

All that he gave to the world.

In the spirit of his legacy, we thank you, oh God.

Amen.

#thankyou #kofiannan