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African Student Association hosts Keynote Speaker Mr. Cocoyam


On Thursday, Jan. 31, the African Student Association (ASA) and African, Latino, Asian, and Native American (ALANA) Services invited comedian and social media influencer Mr. Cocoyam, to speak to students as a way to wrap up their African Diaspora Celebration.

Instead of focusing on his accomplishments, Mr. Cocoyam focused on the struggles he’s gone through in his life to create a meaningful message on the ideas of personal freedom and what that has meant for him. He also spoke on the subject of being confident in your decisions and trusting yourself.

Having grown up in a small Ghanaian village, he explained that everything in his life was dictated by his father. He studied hard and eventually got into the most elite high school in Ghana. After hitting a rough patch there, his father moved him to New York to continue his education.

In New York, Mr. Cocoyam finished high school with an incredibly high GPA, setting himself up for a successful college career. In college, though, he again ran into more roadblocks, facing depression and hard decisions about what to do with his life.

Mr. Cocoyam’s overarching theme was about the potential dangers of personal freedom. He offered some words of advice to Loyola community members, saying, “freedom–mental freedom–is dangerous but beautiful. Crop out the dangerous part; keep the beauty part.”

Mr. Cocoyam is now focusing on the new life ahead of him. He said he purchased new cameras and equipment to produce more social media content. He has bookings for comedy shows and speeches almost every weekend. Now, he’s diving in headfirst with his friends to create a first-of-its-kind travel agency to Ghana.

Kierrah Harris ’22 and Jovial Njinyi ’22 said how they were inspired by the speech, and they enjoyed the message on personal freedom. Njinyi noted how she especially liked that Mr. Cocoyam’s story related to what a lot of people go through regarding finding their own way in the world and making tough decisions.

Julie Rivera, director of ALANA Services, commented that this speech was wrapping up a week of events celebrating the African Diaspora Celebration that started with Wazobia, presented by the ASA on Jan. 25. You can find more upcoming ALANA sponsored events at .


Image Courtesy of Greyhound News

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African Student Association hosts Keynote Speaker Mr. Cocoyam