The year is 1965, Former General Secretary Kofi Annan got married to Titiola Alakija. They have two kids, Ama and Kojo.
Along the way, there is a separation and Mr Annan has to do all the caretaking and upbringing. When Kofi Annan and his first wife separated, Ama was old enough for boarding school but Kojo was not. Titiola was ‘sorting out her situation’ so Kofi Annan took Kojo from New York to Geneva. That’s where the single parent life began for Mr Annan.
He’d try to go to bed early for an early wake so he could prepare his son for school. A female friend gave him the ‘hack’ to juggling all that he had to do as a single parent without necessarily going to bed early. That know-how gave Kofi Annan a ‘heightened respect for women’. He also learned a lot.
In 1984, another chapter of marriage is opened for Kofi Annan. He married his second wife, Nane Maria whom he met in Geneva.
Kofi took two children, Ama and Kojo, to the marriage. Nane Maria also had a daughter, Nina, making a happy family.
The deceased global icon praised his wife for being by his side through thick and thin, including during the difficult times as UN Secretary-General.
“She was extremely supportive and, honestly speaking, I don’t think I could have done it without her.
“The two of us came to recognise that one lives in two worlds – the big world, which is the UN out there, trying to solve these problems and the small world which is family, friends, going for walks, listening to music.”
Kofi Anna was loved by the world for his goodwill and selfless service. But he also loved his wife and family in a similar manner; if not more.