It seems just like yesterday but its already half a decade since one of the best journalists to emerge from Africa passed on. Komla Afeke Dumor, was a Ghanaian broadcaster revered in the industry; he was pioneer presenter at the BBC World News programme, Focus on Africa, launched in 2012. Dumor died from cardiac arrest in 2014 at the age of 41.
A role model and an inspiration to many young African journalists, Dumor started his career in Ghana as a traffic reporter with Joy FM while studying at the University of Ghana.
With his scooter,he would ride through the streets of Ghana’s capital, Accra, to inform Joy FM listeners of how to beat traffic jams and then race off to attend lectures at the University of Ghana.
Even from those early years, Komla was outstanding and in 2003, was awarded for his outstanding work as a journalist.
In 2006 Komla was given an international offer and this, from the British broadcasting Corporation, BBC, (a strategy to gain more ground in Africa) as a pioneer presenter of the monthly Africa Business Report which took him around the continent. He was first host of the programme and stamped his name on the international scene with it.
Given his impeccable contributions to the BBC, it could not afford to let him go off its memory hence the creation of the Komla Dumor Award.
The requirements for the award where exactly who Komla Dumor was, as evidenced by his beginnings in the world of broadcasting. Komla was born in Accra on October 3, 1972, to academician parents.
Komla’s father, Ernest Dumor, was a professor of sociology and his mother, Cecilia Dumor, was an educationist, editor and writer of children’s books who influenced Komla to take up journalism.
He attended St Thomas Secondary School in Kano State, Nigeria, and then qualified to study medicine in the late 1980s at the University of Jos in Plateau State. However, Komla returned to Ghana where he enrolled at the University of Ghana for a degree course in sociology and psychology. He continued his education at Harvard University where he earned a master’s degree in public policy.
While at the University of Ghana, Komla
Komla’s moments with the BBC were timeless and Africans loved their stories being told in the best light with a balance, which is exactly what Komla Dumor stood for. He was listed among the top 100 most influential personalities in Africa in 2013 by the New African magazine.
“There’s so much more to tell about Africa than the usual stories about war, famine and disease.”
“Hire the best talent to tell the story, or the view is great from my hotel.”
“There is only one standard – a global standard. Be consistent, operate at 100% every single time you’re given an opportunity.”
“You can always have big dreams but you also have to have the patience to achieve them. You can make it wherever you are.”
These were some quotes from Komla Dumor and they reflect his fine personality that Africans can’t get enough of. The continent is indeed missing him and his powerful voice and cheerful smile.
Komla Dumor left behind three children: Elinam Makafui, Emefa Araba and Elorm Efadzinam.