The widow of Kofi Annan, Mrs Nane Maria Annan, on Thursday joined thousands of mourners from across the world to celebrate her husband at a burial service in his memory.
In a tribute at the well-attended service, Mrs Annan expressed her fulfilment at having Mr Annan as a lifetime companion.
She said her husband did everything he could to make the world a better place, while he worked tirelessly to improve the cause of humanity.
Mrs Annan also eulogised her late husband for offering selfless services to the vulnerable across the world and called on all to make an effort to contribute to make the world a better place.
Wearing traditional Ghanaian mourning cloth, Mrs Annan said the late Annan loved Ghana such that he felt great whenever he visited Ghana.
She said even though many leaders from across the world were declaring Annan’s humanitarian works, many who were direct beneficiaries of his works could not get the chance to propagate his deeds.
That notwithstanding, she said, “Mr Annan had some aura around him which propelled him to work to make the world better a place.”
She was thankful for the moments she shared with her late husband, the memories of which she said would continue to give the family strength.
“I am grateful that we celebrated your 80th birthday in the fold of our beautiful family and made wonderful memories which will continue to give us strength,” she said.
Reading the tribute herself and occasionally putting up a smile, Mrs Annan expressed appreciation to her late husband for the “wonderous moments we had together and for sharing your courageous heart, your love of life and your deep humanity”.
She said his “wisdom and compassion will continue to light our way”.
The late Annan’s family, led by Ambassador Kobina Annan, also in a tribute, lauded the former UN Secretary General for not forgetting his roots, in spite of his many schedules.
He said the world had lost a leader, brother, husband, father, grandfather, uncle, cousin and man of deep conviction who was committed to instilling the values of fairness, integrity, kindness and service in everybody, as he advocated peace and human rights across the world.
Attired in a black suit, Ambassador Annan calmly read the tribute on behalf of the family, saying: “No call, email or text went unanswered, no personal crisis unaddressed, no major family milestones or celebrations unattended, no matter what was happening in the world, ... the family was never poorer for it.”
He said “now that Mr Annan has gone to be with his Maker, buoyed and comforted by the outpouring of love and support we have received from around the world, we are richer for having shared him with you”.
Describing the late diplomat as a “stubborn optimist”, he said “Mr Annan would want us to look foward with hope and keep striving to create a freer and more peaceful world”.
On behalf of the children, Mrs Ama Annan Adedeji said their father had generosity of spirit and described him as the most loving person who had time to listen to everybody, irrespective of one’s stature.
She said their father had a particular interest in the youth and always tried to encourage them to continuously acquire knowledge.
Mrs Adedeji said he believed that life was for the living and continuously sought for the truth, while fighting for freedom for all with his stubborn optimism.