Wish you had instant access to the world’s most powerful people? Well, we’ve brought you one man who was a source of inspiration to Africa and Africans.
In perhaps, one of the greatest displays of zeal, spontaneity, humour and perfect presentation skills, Komla Dumor created awareness and consciousness about Africa within its people and to the world.
Komla was born in Accra, Ghana to a family of academics. His mother, Cecilia, was an educationist, editor and writer of children’s books, and a key influence in encouraging him to take up journalism. Komla was said to have inherited both his powerful voice and striking physique.
Komla attended St Thomas secondary school in Kano State, Nigeria, after which he went to the University of Jos in Plateau State to study medicine in the late 1980s. He, however, returned to the University of Ghana to take up a degree course in sociology and psychology and then studied for a master’s in public administration at Harvard.
His Inspiring Career
Komla started his broadcasting career on the back of a motor scooter, negotiating the crowded streets of Ghana’s capital, Accra, telling Joy FM listeners how to beat traffic jams and then racing off to attend lectures at the University of Ghana. By the time Joy FM, the country’s leading commercial radio station, offered him the role of host of its morning show in 2000, Komla had become a household name.
In 2006 he moved to London to join the BBC’s African service. 3 years later, he became the pioneer presenter of , a monthly BBC World News television programme about the African continent. In 2012, BBC launched Focus on Africa, and Komla was the host. A position he held till the day before he died. Asked what he loved about Africa, he once replied: “Its resilience. After all we have been through, we are still here.”
Komla died on 18 January, 2014 in his London home after a cardiac arrest, having been on air the day before.
The 2017 BBC Komla Dumor Award
In case you haven’t heard, the BBC has launched the 2017 BBC World News Komla Dumor Award in Blantyre, Malawi. Journalists from across the continent are invited to apply for the prestigious prize – which aims to uncover and promote fresh journalism talent from Africa.
For more information on how to apply, entry criteria, and terms and conditions visit http://careerssearch.bbc.co.uk/jobs/job/komlaaward/19947 and use hashtag #BBCKomlaAward
In honour of Komla, we’ve posted this TEDxEuston video where he spoke on the need for Africans to rewrite history by writing, and teaching others to do so.