Referred to as the ‘face and voice of Africa,’ BBC presenter Komla Dumor has died of a heart attack. In an effort to rebuff the stereotypical views of Africa in the news, Dumor pioneered and championed the Africa Business Report on the BBC World News.
The author writes:
“Komla Dumor was the face and the voice of Africa – a new young, enterprising, internationally connected, ambitious Africa, with a can-do attitude.”
Dumor was respected for his willingness to bring balance to coverage of African nations instead of over correcting the proliferation of damaging images by presenting only glowing or sanitized images. “There must be balance or please, don’t patronise me,” he used to say.
The accidental journalist was born in Ghana to a family of academics. Dumor intended to become a doctor and set off to attend Nigeria’s University of Jos. Deciding that medicine wasn’t for him, Dumor returned to Ghana and took a class in sociology and psychology. Affectionately referred to by classmates as KD, Dumor responded to an ad for a traffic reporter during the 1998 strike at the University of Ghana. As they say in the U.S., the rest was history.
His mother, a media scholar that passed away in 2008, is credited with being central to his development as a journalist, helped to guide his career. His father was a professor of sociology. Dumor’s grandfather Philip Gbeho, a renowned musician, was asked by the country’s founding father Kwame Nkrumah to compose Ghana’s national anthem following independence from the UK in 1957. Dumor was destined for greatness.
The author reports:
“After his success at Africa Business Report, Komla was the natural choice to host the BBC’s flagship Focus on Africa TV programme in 2012 – its first TV news programme for the continent.
Once Komla was asked what he loved about Africa: ‘Its resilience. After all, we have been through, we are still here.'”
A graduate of Harvard University with an MA in Public Administration, Komla leaves behind a wife, lawyer Kwansema and three children. He was 41.
Read more at BBC News.