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The Kofi Annan effect: Cartoonists worldwide celebrate a keen 'patron'

The Kofi Annan effect: Cartoonists worldwide celebrate a keen 'patron'


Kofi Annan was a known fan of the arts; he honoured concerts, met with heavyweights in the entertainment industry and was particularly a keen fan of cartoons.

Annan has been hailed by people in the industry for his role – direct and indirect in championing the cause of using the arts to reach across to others.

He was an honorary president for the Cartooning for Peace project which he helped found in 2006. “The loss of Kofi Annan, Honorary president of Cartooning for Peace, arouses a deep sadness and also represents a big loss for freedom of speech.

“After an outstanding diplomatic career, the former United Nations Secretary-General, also Nobel Peace Prize, gathered press cartoonists from all around the world in 2006 at UN: he wanted to build a bridge between press cartoonists and the various cultures on the planet,” Plantu, president of the group wrote in a tribute.

The group which has 183 editorial cartoonists from 64 different countries have since published 11 pieces in honour of their former honorary president. Their main aim is drawing for a better understanding and respect between people of different cultures and beliefs.

Several other cartoonists across Africa have also done works on the Kofi Annan effect. Over in Hollywood Forest Whitaker has paid respects along with the crew at Sesame street.

South African music icon Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Britain’s Naomi Campbell have all paid glowing tribute to the global diplomat who died aged 80 in Switzerland.

African cartoonists pay respects

Key dates in the life of Kofi Attah Annan

1 – 1938: Born in Kumasi, Ghana’s second city, seat of the Ashanti kingdom
2 – 1962: Starts working at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland
3 – 1965: Weds Titi Alakija. They have two children, a boy and a girl
4 – 1984: Marries Nane Lagergren, having divorced a year earlier
5 – 1991: Twin sister Efua dies
6 – 1993: Becomes head of U.N. peacekeeping operations
7 – 1997: Appointed seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations
8 – 2001: Wins Nobel Peace Prize
9 – 2006: Steps down as secretary-general after 10 years
10 – 2012: Becomes UN/Arab League Joint Special Envoy on the Syrian crisis
11- 2013: Made chair of The Elders, a peace and human rights advocacy group
12 – 2016: Leads the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State, Myanmar

Other cartoonists and artists celebrate Kofi Annan

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