As Ghana prepares to receive the mortal remains of Kofi Annan, on Monday, to begin his State Funeral, his Cape Coast Ebiradze (clan) Family say they are yet to recover from the shock caused by the news of his passing.
“We were shocked to the core and heart-broken,” Mrs Florence Nduom, his 76-year-old maternal aunt told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) during a visit to his Maternal Family House.
“I experienced sudden feverishness and nearly died too. Indeed, it is true that shock can kill. Kofi Annan was the tree that we all sought shelter”.
The Former United Nations Secretary-General and Nobel Peace laureate died in Bern, Switzerland, after a short illness, aged 80.
His state funeral will begin on Tuesday, September 11, and end with a private burial on Thursday, September 13.
The mood in the Family House, which had been adorned in the traditional mourning colours of black and red, was very solemn.
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Prominently displayed at its entrance was a large portrait of the ‘Man of Peace,’ who headed the UN from January 1997 to December 2006.
Surprisingly, the family members were not clad in the usual red, black and brown mourning clothes.
They explained that, customarily, they were not supposed to dress as such to mourn a twin. Mr Annan’s twin sister passed on in the 1990s.
“We very much feel the pain from our loss, but we can’t express it in colours because we must respect our custom,” Mrs Nduom said.
Mrs Nduom described Kofi Annan as ‘a blessing and a strong backbone of the family,’ saying he worked for the betterment of all.
“As a family, we are satisfied with the legacies he left us, and the impact he made across the world,” she said.
“He was extremely generous and made sure that we are sufficiently fed and housed”.
She said they had proposed the establishment of a museum to be sited at Akwamufie in the Eastern Region, in his honour for his meritorious services to humanity.
Kofi Annan was devoted to humanitarian services and global peace, initiating the Millennium Development Goals to minimise poverty around the world.
“We believe that his sacrificial deeds and inspiration to the world, and Africa, in particular, must well be documented and preserved to serve as motivation to generations to come,” Mrs Nduom said.
“After his funeral, we will push for the establishment of an ultra-modern museum with ancillary facilities that would ensure that his legacies are protected. He was a global statesman and a deeply committed internationalist who fought throughout his life for a fairer and more peaceful world.
“We pray that this facility would be established at Akwamufie in the Eastern Region, his ancestral home, which was not known to many. He would be happy if this is done in his honour posthumously.”
She applauded the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, for his tremendous contribution to ensure that he receives a befitting funeral and pledged their commitment to it.
Kofi Annan was born within minutes of his twin sister, Efua Atta, on April 8, 1938 to Mr Henry Reginald Annan and Madam Rose Eshun, in Kumasi where he had his early education.
He attended the elite Mfantsipim School, a Methodist Boarding School, from 1954 to 1957.
He joined the Kumasi College of Science and Technology in 1958 for a degree in Economics and then undertook Graduate Studies in Economics at the Institute Universitaire Desautes Studes Internationales in Geneva, Switzerland, from 1961 to 1962.
Kofi Annan served as the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations and founded the Kofi Annan Foundation to continue with his dream for a better world when he retired.
Mr Kofi Annan and the UN were the co-recipients of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize.
He was survived by his wife, Nane, and three children.