Reflection: Poems of farewell to the Chief

Reflection: Poems of farewell to the Chief

__”Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.” Matthew 5:9

Last month thousands of you shared your heartfelt condolences in response to a tribute I wrote about my dear friend, colleague and mentor, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan who will have a state funeral be buried today in Accra, Ghana.

I am sharing here just a few of your beautiful (unedited) poems and words, amongst thousands of comments received. They are mostly listed in the order they were posted.

Your outpouring of love and kindness was an amazing testament to Mr Annan’s impact here on this platform, across the African continent and the world, through his decades of humble service to humanity.

I will deeply miss my friend, the world’s peacemaker from Africa, who I respectfully called Chief, but his legacy shall continue to live on… right here and right now.

Next week we will get back to our #Re-ImagineRural series, a subject very close to his heart, and mine.

Strive Masiyiwa

13 September 2018



1# Oben K Djeudo

“The World’s Peace Maker From Africa” (Title copied from Dr Strive Masiyiwa)

18th August 2018.

An entire continent bleeds,
Swimming in rivers of tears,
Hearts are torn with grieve,
Bones are shrieking with pain,
Grinding teeth like metal, kissing
The rough tar.
Another star has fallen from the heavens
To spark no more.

Blessed be the earth upon which you tread.
The lives inspired, forever will remain grateful.
And to generations shall it be recounted,
That once, a great man made of it a better place,
This continent for which we all are proud.
For peace you fought and in peace you shall rest.
Your sun on earth is set,
But the rays of your light will remain eternal.

Oben K Djeudo

Rest in Peace Koffi Atta Annan


2# Ogbonna Michael Chinedu

Tribute they say, patches one’s wound,
Its line they say, heals fresh wound,
The recount of great deeds,
The treasure of good seeds.

Many a man, live and die,
Very few with destinies, fulfilled and discharged,
For not all men have insights,
Of the love of giving and putting on people’s light.

We might feel depressed,
A mixture of sorrow and deep stress,
For we’ve lost our chief to death,
The killer of joy and good friends.

But nature has its dance and footsteps,
So compassionate that we’ve got his gold reminiscence,
The tales of a father in his prime,
The legendary deeds of his time.

Our hope is that we find one like him,
A great consolation for African and its team,
A man with good heart,
A man bold and smart.

Forever shall his name thunder,
Forever shall he be remembered,
The doctor that cured famine,
The man, #KOFI_ANNAN.

Kofi Annan you live forever in our hearts, because we will always see you through your good works and Mentee like Strive Masiyiwa and ofthers.
Farewell until we meet to part no more.


3# Youmzybright S Bapkek 

A poem.

Tribute To Annan

If legendary is an inheritance,
Then I would have stood a chance
Of having another legend from your clans
But it went like a penance.

Africa and Africans still need You
But just like a Mountain Dew,
You went forth as God calls you
We love you and we will still love you.

All dreams of whitening Africa, just turned black
You were there for us, and we were at your back
Such a philanthropy quintessential
And an activist to human’s essential .

Our dream of being like you one day,
Draw me to some questions everyday
My dream of seeing you one day,
Just faded when RIP was written on your name that day.

If being a humanitarian is not my call,
I think I might have mistaken you
But I know that it can always be you
The real Kofi Annan I do liply call.

I have not seen you in my life
And I know how you thrive
To see that Africa sounds alive
Out of the softs and strifes,
You always stand for Africans
You forgot not at all, your motherlands.

In all nooks and crannies of the continent,
We celebrate your heart’s content
Filled with humanity
All the African Counties,
Need you now for all their failures
Corruption has been lures
And is eating deep our countries’
Leaders and its citizens
And the continent’s reputation is mint.

We love you Africans’ legend
Just like Mandela’s stories
Which always get my heart bleeds,
So is yours, getting my heart bend
And giving me many questions as breed
But I still fill my heart with a legend’s story.

God is infallible
I would have loved to ask some questions
But that I know, can’t be answerable
Accept my heartfelt condolences and notion.

You live as a hero
And die as legend
Heaven is ready for your sainthood
And your family remained a Family Hero
Then we are ready to prove our Africahood
In giving them all the comfort without lend.

Your family love you,
We, Africans, love you,
United Nations love you,
And happily, God loves you!
We really really love you a lot.
Rest in peace with the Lord!

©Youmpkang S Bapkek Bright;
9:38 AM.


4# Progress Ibrahim

Tribute to Kofi Annan.

The capacity of a man can be more than that of ten thousand men.
I have clearly seen that war can annihilate an entire generation.
But he who can end war amicably has an extra-ordinary capacity.

The wise says ‘peace is the absense of war’
yes, a peacemaker is one who gives life to the people.
A peacemaker is one who sustain life, love and harmony.

I can hear a tunderous sound that he who make peace shall reap peace.
He that makes peace will reap immortalised life
Kofi Annan is a global peacemaker, will reap immortalised life.

But, how should we continue from here oh Africans?
Should we watch and see the continent tear apart as a result of selfishness?
No! No! No! We must be ready to learn the skills of peacemaking.

For the labour of Kofi Annan wont be in vain when we continue his exploits of peacemaking..

RIP Chief Kofi Annan

written by:
Ibrahim M.O. Progress.


5# Isaac Athantono

The wind seize
The clouds form
There was a sudden silence
The ocean became calm
Even the birds began to mourn
Then a sudden rain showers just to wipe out tears.
He is gone.

May his soul rest in peace.
Chief Kofi Anna.


6# Bishop Mospet Sasa

The sky is no more blue. The cool breeze I saw is now somewhat windy.
The African dust has barely settled down. The great Atta Kofi refused to see no more days here.. He has shifted his allegiance. He has kissed the sun and now like a star blindedby it’s own light he is fallen. But his smile and easy laugh can be felt all over Africa in echoes of his wisdom. Here in Kenya he once took a walk with few startled men and reassured our women and children that the sky shall once again turn blue.
RIP. Kofi. Africa’s great son and peace maker.
BISHOP Mospet Mospet sasa.


7# Comfort Deborah Achiampong

My heart really hurts because you left.
But I still feel proud being Ghanaian because you were.
Many stars have fallen from the skies of our dark world;
But yours is the only one,
whose light not only leaves it feeling gloomy,
but cold and lonely too.
For walking the heights with steady feet,
I’m grateful you took each step never letting go off the hand of humility.
I believe you were upheld
by His Righteous Right hand;
And that’s why you weren’t just a man of wisdom, but understanding.
Today, though my heart aches
that our nation has suffered a great loss
I salute you, great conqueror of our time.
You were one of the few
who conquered with the weapon of peace
Many have made a name
that was washed away by the tides of time;
But yours I believe, will remain firm and grand
like Mount Everest at its best.

God rest your soul Kofi Annan.
You are adored


8# Daniel Kadric

Sleep on, beloved, sleep and take thy rest;
Lay down thy head upon thy saviour’s breast:
Thou shalt wake no more to toil and weep:
Thine is a perfect rest, secure and deep.
We love thee well; but Jesus loves thee best
Until we meet again before His throne,
Clothed in the spotless robe He gives His own.
Goodnight Legend!!!


9# Ubong Faith Oluwanifemi

The heavens bleed once again.

The stars roar in sadness

Their brightest in the dark cloud is severed from them against their will.

How painful is the feel it brings

Tell the cockerel to cease it’s sound

Let the fowls of the air be silent in obeisance

Tell the aquatics to hold their peace.

No melody is good enough to sweeten this bitter drip

The sun is rolled away when it’s most needed

What light then will illuminate again the paths of the sons of men.

This aches so much more like a gridiron

A luminary is gone never to appear again

But the shadows of the paths you tread are left behind,

Shadows brighter than some most luminous present day stars.

Chief sir! You’re an eternal excellency…

You live forever… Forever you live…


10# Charles Banasco Frimpong

Allow me to mourn with this poem of my

The days of the songs are over
The fires we sit around to listen to stories been told has been quenched.
Tears now run down our cheeks for it’s reservoir has been a flood.
No one listens for everybody is wailing,
A pillar has been pulled,
My household no more hold monopoly of merriment.

The great Odum tree now lies helpless like a toy,
Our clothes has changed,
red and black has now been our team colour.
A tragedy has now befallen the great house of heroes,
My blood has run cold,
Zephyr has just come to pass me by when i needed her not.
Tears of blood, do they flow freely down without warning.
Needless do i say.
hopeless do i look,
helpless do i stand

Who is going to set the fire for me?
Who will gather us to sit around the fire?
Who is going to tell us the stories of great hunters?
Oh whom will i run to when the bullies chase me with stones?

My fears has gripped me tightly that i can not release myself even a bit.
Middle of meetings I can not sit anymore to boast of strength, Wisdom, Maturity.
The strong has faded,
Wisdom has depleted,
maturity has dried out.
I mourn my great hero
I mourn my kofi
I mourn my heritage
I mourn the great son of my mother


11# Ekwem Douglas

To a Sage.
One of our brightest sons.

Bold in heart.
Bold in conviction.

To a Diplomat
With extraordinary negotiation abilities.

It was you
Yes you who reformed the bureaucracy at the UN.

May our ancestors light up your path as you journey to meet them in the land of no return.

RIP Koffi Atta Annan.

Ekwem Douglas
From Nigeria


12# Udorji Esther

A Dirge from me to Kofi Annan, sir
**** What is life ***
Each morning I wake up with the bitter truth
Life has offered me the bitter fruit
With no choice but to take
What everyday I wish was fake

For how be it?
How deemed fit?
That death is always there
To take only those that are dear

Claiming to take rest
I think you too needs rest
That our loved ones might stay long
At least before the sorrowful song is sung

Everyday I pounder
One day my soul shall go younder
Thoughts as frightening as thunder
Yet I shouldn’t cease to wonder

At birth we come
At death we are gone
Stricken off loved ones by her sharp knife
Oh! after all this what is life!!!
Adieu Kofi Annan
Ebyfinest##udorji Esther**


13# Kiptum Cliff Joash

They say when someone is born,
Only the child cries but the rest celebrate,
Chief mediator, chief peace maker,
Chief well wisher, chief African loyalist
Many I know have cried for your demise,
They not crying because of your but your impact in influencing positively their lives,
Am sure you totally accomplished your purpose to live on heart,
Am sure God knew you’ve finished your assigned task on this earth..
Rest in peace as you always wanted all to live in peace
You celebrated especially here in Kenya,
Where at one time we were in total darkness on political instability,
But you charged your torch and came and light love between all tribes in Kenya,
Bless you chief,

Rest On The World’s Peacemaker from Africa!
Generations to come will hear your story!


14# Edwin Chege

He has achieved success who has lived well,
who has filled the niche and accomplished his
who has left the world better than he found it,
who has given the best he had,
whose life was an inspiration,
whose memory a benediction.

Fare thee well the “world’s peacemaker from Africa” @Kofi Anaan.
15# Zedekia Okoth

True man
Hero has passed away we will miss his wisdom.
Koffi Annan let place every thing in the hand of God but its so sad and painful


16# Van Luciano Uruakpa-Cajetano

Made in Africa, for the world.

He was a good man and lived a limitless life of service to humanity.

May his gentle and kind soul rest in perfect peace.


17# Audu Akoji Samuels

18=8=18…Kofi Bows Out
What a Man, What a Day,
What a Continent, What a Loss,
What a Heart, What a Personality,
What a Soul, What a Glory,
All but beholding Kofi Annan
African Stand-up Leader
The World’s Peacemaker

Rest on, Rest on, Rest on Kofi.


18# Ojo Hezekiah Idowu

On the planet earth, you subdued the darkness.
You fought so hard to make light take its rightful place.
The light stays and you are gone to eternal rest.
May the light you won find you in your eternal nest.



19# Maggie C. Shirima

Across the bridge, there’s no more sorrow
Across the bridge, theres’ no more pain
The Sun will shine across the river
And you’ll never be unhappy again

Kofi Annan – our very own pride of Africa!!

Rest on Legend!!!


20# Aniekan McDominic

Tributes to “The Man called Peace”

To the man called Peace;
To a gallant General;
To a global Colossus, a selfless Elder Statesman, a Leader with humanity at the centre of his heart and calling, a great Father of Africa and the world, a Mentor and Advocate for peace and unity of purpose… the list is endless.

You have fought a good fight and you have finished your course. You have exited the mortal stage as a Man of Honour, and we’re so grateful for the eight decades you spent shaping the world for good.

I never met you, but like Dr Strive (during his early years in life), I have read about you, and will continue to read about you, because your values and legacies are worth living for.

I mourn for the vacuum your transition to the higher realm of existence has created, but I rejoice that you had a plan for succession. Even if I do not know them all that you raised, I’m glad that global shapers like Dr Strive have sat, drank and have been impacted directly by your mentoring grace.

Grandfather, “Chief” (in Dr Strive’s voice), rest on, and sweetly in the bosom of our Lord. Amen!

Indeed you came, you lived, you conquered and you have taken a bow to grand stands of the greatest men that ever walked this planet.

Adieu “Chief”;
Adieu Dr Kofi Atta Anan.


21# Kojo Mensa Gavu

Monoliths and Kaleidoscopes by Kojo Mensa Gavu
(An ode to the Busumuru)

A journey on this quagmire called earth
Is adorned with beautiful surprises
Some meant to be grabbed on all fours
The rest to be completely ignored

Littered on this journey is time and chance
Time to make and unmake errors
A chance to be and to become
Such is the complexity of this simple voyage

Some give their all for nothing
Others give nothing to gain everything
And for some others anything goes
As long as there is enough breath for another step

Life and death are opposing partners
Flooding it’s beneficiaries with varied emotions
The joy of life and it’s newness is quickly countenanced by tears and pain of death.

This journey will end here for some and will not be ending for believers of the afterlife
This journey is simple and complex
A classic juxtaposition of monoliths and kaleidoscopes


22# Ugwuoti Paschal 

18th August

When our hands cannot but shake the hairs of the sun
When our eyes are dead hoping to resurrect with tears
And we sniffle our nose without pepper
When the heart have grown to live shivering
And our teeth grind without force
Then the coldness of our heart tanish without hope
Then we called without answer
Observing without sight
Then we know our Hope’s growing
Not in the rivers but in “” legacy””
Adieu Kofi Annnan, you made it right.


23# Agbor Enu

The tears will Neva cease to run
It seems darkness hás won.

Blessed be that day U were born
Cursed be that night which from us U were torn.

Alas! How are the mighty fallen
Leaving our great Map crestfallen.

Who will comfort us?
Who to destiny will escort us?

Oh! Mother Africa, if only you had added 20yrs more… Rest on, Light of Africa. Tu me manques certainement…
Princess Agbor.


24# Udeme Inyang

Let’s plant a tree, an iroko,
Let’s plant an olive
our forest weeps for her lost
Who dares to take the place
of an iroko in a forest of trees


25# Okoye Robinson Chibuzo

I see him as the greatest UN secretary general.

Growing up, never knew he was African.

I saw in him a reason to believe in myself as African.

A colossus.

World icon..

Global great man and peace maker.

And I will love to wear your shoe…

Rest on great Koffi.


26# ThankGod Ebo

A great diplomat and pace-setter.

Though out of the mortal world, his legacy still remains.

May God grant him a peaceful voyage to his divine abode.


27# Obioma Okezie

He was human
and so he understood
what it meant to be inhuman
He was a man many called good

He gave
His best to the world
He was brave
To everything peaceful, he gave a nod


28# Job Endurance Ijaja

Kofi Anan,
From Africa land,
A warrior with peaceful band
Finally lives in sand.

I learned from him that peace making is not by “swords” but by “words”.
My wishes are not effective. Rest on Sir!


29# Gifty Gifty


A hero has fallen!! that one man who wore education on his shoulders
And made the children under the old mud house, who gather around
Fires in the night adore the gift of learning
That hero who spoke words of wisdom and made peace with the world

He lived long yes he did…he was selfless and became a king when his skin wasn’t supposed to be royalty
He made it all work when he ruled and made the world a beautiful place for those who had no hope in it

The dead welcomes you home but the living will serve you whole
And that is how beautiful your soul and your spirit took you out of debt, debt to humanity.

Da yie!! Damirifa Due!
When the canoe to the other world reaches, let the riches of your selfless deed pay for your entrance into eternal peace
We shall continue with your legacy and paint your name on our lips and teach it to our children
We shall with one accord here in the motherland proudly carry your deeds on our heads and sell it at the market of freedom and justice
You freed a lot of minds…
You lead and you won.



#30 Desmond Asase

“Blessed are the peace makers for they will be called the sons of God.” You lived a well fulfilled life. Rest in peace Sir.( Chief Kofi)




Author:Strive Masiyiwa

Strive Masiyiwa is the founder and Executive Chairman of the Econet Group. He serves on several international boards including Unilever, and the Global Advisory boards of the Council on Foreign Relations and Stanford University. A board member of the Rockefeller Foundation for 15 years, he also serves as Chairman of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). He is a co-founder of the Carbon War Room, Pathways for Prosperity, and the Global Business Coalition on Education. He and his wife, Tsitsi, co-founded the Higherlife Foundation and are signators of the Giving Pledge.

11 Replies to “Reflection: Poems of farewell to the Chief”

  1. People like Kofi Annan only appear in the world once after a century. As the curtains close today on a great Peacemaker, I reflect on his life not with a somber mood, but with gladness in my heart in the knowledge that I felt the impact he rippled through our generation during my time. I rejoice to the fact that I have been here when Chief was here. May his soul Rest In Peace.

  2. I am prevailage to learn from every single post of yours. To admit, since I came in contact with you through this platform, my life as taken an forward and upward trenches in my private and professional life. I thank you, Sir. I wonder at time how my life was going to be without you. Again. I say a resounding thank you for effecting my life. I luv you!

  3. I am prevailage to learn from every single post of yours. To admit, since I came in contact with you through this platform, my life as taken an upward and forward trenches in both my private and professional life. I thank you, Sir. I wonder at time how my life was going to be without you. Again. I say a resounding thank you for effecting my life. I luv you!

  4. Thank you a lot Dr Strive . The peacemaker from Africa’s Legacy will remain green to mould future Africa in what dream paths he believed, worked and lived for ..

    You do so much a lot yourself connecting across Africa bridging the divide between Young and Old. You inspire a lot ..

    Thank you , again .

  5. I asked one of my elders how Kofi Annan became S.G of U.N. I was in awe that an African could become the leader of a major world organisation. “Could an African have such authority in the global world?” I asked myself.
    I grew up hearing his name and seeing him on the news as a “big” man. He was larger than my mind could comprehend. Of course, that was premised on my unbelief in SELF as a person of colour. The elder I asked did not actually know the answer to my question, so I took to google and discovered how his excellence in his organisation lifted elevated him all the way to being secretary general. It was based on merit, and not the colour of his skin, country (or continent) he was from, or even upbringing. He went on to prove he was for humanity with the work he did after his tenure. I am grateful to have such inspirational leadership. All the way to end, he served a life of purpose. He ran the race, and finished the course. Congratulations General! We take the baton and continue where you left.

  6. #KoffiAnnan, you lived and worked for the initiation, implementation and sustenance of justice and peace the world over. Justice and peace will surely be your portion, as you rest in God’s bosom. Hoping to emulate you…. RlPP.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *