Kofi Annorh

Kofi Annorh dreamed of coming to the United States since he was a child in Ghana, studying English with American teachers. Indeed, Annorh grew up with a travel bug, eventually visiting 36 countries. But none of those destinations replaced his dream of moving to America. In 2001, after losing his brother to the war in Sierra Leone, Annorh finally decided to make the leap. “As a child I had American teachers who inspired me a lot,” he says. “Detroit had been on my mind in a way. When I arrived here I was like, Okay, this would be good for me.” Annorh got his start in his new country working in a gas station, then soon moved on to a job as a janitor at the Jewish Community Center in West Bloomfield. In 2005 he started his own janitorial company, buying cleaning equipment at garage sales. He and his crew of part-time employees began cleaning apartments in Waterford, then picked up contracts for various McDonald’s restaurants. Annorh’s great great grandfather had had a business in organic products in Ghana, and in 2009 Annorh decided to return to his roots by importing them to Detroit. His Kofano Networking Services provides organic African products like spices, shea butter, cheese and black soap to retailers and organizations around the country. “It’s going places,” Annorh says of the venture. Before coming to the United States, he says, “I couldn’t believe I would be able to employ people and have a customer base. I have about 23 sales representatives in 23 states. I’m very optimistic the business will grow.” Annorh also reports on African news for a Pontiac newspaper and is a motivational speaker. He says Michigan’s struggling economy doesn’t phase him. “I feel the economy is buoyant,” he says. “No one will say that. But I’m coming from a Third World country and, comparatively, we don’t have such opportunities. With the spirit that I have, nothing stops me.”

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