Bonaventura Coffi Codjia was born the 9th of December 1967 in Segboroue, Benin. Son of a Benin father and a mother from Chad, already at the age of 16 he started a career in refereeing. In 1994 he became an international referee, ten years later he was the most important in Africa. He retired officially at the end of 2011, but he quit before that.
Codjia was a good football player as well, but had to stop in 1986 because of an injury. He took up refereeing as more or less a last resort. Helped by his father, also an international referee, he climbed quickly up the ladder and became the youngest African on the international stage.
Two World Cups (one match in 2002, two matches in 2006), three Confederation Cups (1999, 2003, 2009), see his palmares for a long list
Codjia officiated the final of the Victory Cup 1998 between Espérance from Tunisia and Primero de Agosto from Angola.
The final of the CAF Cup 1999 between Etoile du Sahel from Tunisia and WAC Casablanca from Marocco
The 2001 Champions League final between Mamelodie Sundowns from South Africa and Al Ahly from Egypt.
The final of the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations.
Codjia was on the short list of referees for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. That would have been his third, but then he was suspended by CAF (see did-you-know section) after CAN 2010 and he did not appear on FIFA's final list.