General News of Monday, 19 January 2015
Late BBC and Joy FM broadcaster Komla Dumor turned down ‘juicy’ offers from African governments including that of his home country Ghana, to occupy top positions and chose to follow his dream of telling the African story, says Herbert Mensah, a close friend of Komla’s.
According to him, Komla’s love and passion for bringing change in the practice of journalism in Africa and the world, had a stronger influence on him than personal gains.
The iconic broadcaster died suddenly on January 18, 2014 at his home in London after presenting his BBC radio programme, Focus on Africa, the previous day.
Family and friends of the late Dumor held a series of activities over the weekend to mark the first anniversary of his demise and also unveiled his tomb at the family house in Accra.
Speaking on the Super Morning Show on Joy FM, Monday, January 19, 2015, Herbert Mensah said Komla’s desire to see change “is about we the living”.
“He would hope that new [and] younger people will come and take up the mantle and become bigger and better than himself,” the ex-chairman of Kumasi Asante Kotoko Football Club told Kojo Yankson, host of the Super Morning Show.
He revealed, the former host of the Super Morning Show “was offered public positions which he turned down”.
“Not only in Ghana; there were other governments who offered him huge sums and there were leaders of business and boards in industry who [in 2014] had wanted him to join their own foundations and boards to see what they could do in Africa”.
Describing the void created as a result of Komla’s demise, Mr. Mensah noted; “Every single day, there’s a gap that will never be filled”.
“I don’t close my eyes and see tears, I see that big booming smile…”
“I’m humbled by him and…I feel a little [maybe] bit silly that I didn’t realise that I was such a god friend to him,” he added.
In a separate development, the BBC where Komla worked until his death, has launched an award in honour of its presenter, Komla Dumor, a year after his unexpected death at 41.
Komla Dumor was an exceptional Ghanaian broadcaster who in his short life made an extraordinary impact – in Ghana, in Africa and around the world.
He represented a confident, savvy and entrepreneurial side of Africa.Through his tenacious journalism and compelling storytelling, Komla worked tirelessly to bring a more nuanced African narrative to the world.
Speaking via the telephone, the BBC Africa Editor, Solomon Mugera said the BBC is committed to continuing Komla’s legacy.
Mugera himself, is a beneficiary of a similar award in 1987 by the Reuters news agency in honour of Mohammed Amin, a photojournalist. He said the award “is an appreciation of Komla’s contribution to humanity”.
“We [BBC] haven’t still moved on because, Komla does not just exist in our memories, Komla is right in our existence”.
The award will be given to an outstanding individual living and working in Africa, who combines strong journalism skills and an exceptional talent for telling African stories, with the ambition and potential to become a star of the future.
Through the award, we will invest in the future of African journalism by offering the winner the chance to come to the BBC and share Africa’s stories with the world.
The winner will be given an opportunity to gain recognition and experience, working with teams across BBC News during a three-month placement in London.
The winner will also have the chance to broadcast on TV, radio and online to the BBC’s audiences of 265 million across the world.