Last year, Kofi Annan was in Ghana as a panellist on the annual Kronti ne Akwamu lecture of the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD Ghana) which was held in July 2017. He spoke on accountable governance and development issues but he also shared this little funny story which got the audience laughing hard.
Before introducing him to speak, it seems the moderator of the event might have said something to suggest that “Here is a man we all know. He doesn’t need any big introduction.” Kofi Annan disagreed with that so he took advantage to share his experience and why he needs to be properly introduced to the audience.
Somewhere around 2012, six years after his tenure as UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan and his wife made a getaway to a quiet village in Italy, presumably to lay low and take a break away from all the pressures of life that come with being the big man that he was.
After living in the village for some days, away from the world news and all the pressure of public life, Kofi Annan was beginning to get bored. They still had a few more weeks to go before this their vacation would end so he suggested to his wife that they should head out for a while and quickly buy a newspaper to take a peep at what’s going on in the world.
He went out with his wife to a certain spot in the village to buy the newspaper and he noticed some guys were watching him and talking among themselves, very sure that this face was a popular face they knew from somewhere.
Feeling that he had blown their cover and jeopardized their quiet vacation, Kofi Annan was now beginning to feel he had made a wrong move by coming outside when one guy walked up to him and stopped a short distance away, watching him. Then the guy said something to suggest “Wow. I don’t believe my luck.” The guy couldn’t believe his luck that his little Italian town would get such a visitor.
The former UN Secretary General was sure this guy had recognized his face. The guy walked up to him, gave him a pen and paper, and said: “Morgan Freeman, can I have an autograph?” Hahahaaa. The audience burst out laughing.
And guess what? When the guy asked him for an autograph thinking he was Morgan Freeman, he also smiled, scribbled the name Morgan Freeman on the paper and handed it to the guy. Then he quickly disappeared from the place.
Their resemblance is not so uncanny but still some people can’t tell the two apart. Some time ago, a group of monks trying to criticize the diplomat over the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar, went to use Morgan Freeman’s image!
We are left to wonder what the worst mistaking of the two men’s identities may have been like. Maybe it’s an untold story. Maybe not. Rest in peace, Kofi Annan!