The entire country of Ghana was thrown into mourning Saturday as the news of the sudden death of Ghanaian BBC TV presenter, Komla Dumor, was announced by the broadcast station.
Dumor was said to have died at his home in London from what seems like a heart attack at age 41.
Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama said that his country had lost one of its finest ambassadors.
Describing him as a “friend, a brother and a patriot,” the president said “Komla was a hardworking, dedicated and consummate professional, who blazed a trail, from his days of great success as Ghana’s most popular broadcaster with Joy-FM in Accra, where he won the Ghana Journalist of the Year award, to his inspiring rise at the BBC in London.”
Mahama said Ghana, Africa and indeed the world have lost a great, dedicated and wonderful human being and world broadcaster.
“On behalf of my government and the people of Ghana, I wish to express my deepest sympathies and condolences to his wife, Kwansema and the children and also to his father, Professor Ernest Dumor, his siblings Mawuena and Korshie the entire family,” he said.
Justice Lee Adoboe wrote from Accra, Ghana: “Komla was the trailblazer of modern radio journalism in Ghana. He was the icon, most of us local journalists looked up to, for inspiration. May he rest in peace.”
Many others who had interacted with the ace reporter or simply admired him from afar took to their twitter handles to express their grief at the sudden loss.
“I first met Komla while we were both students at the University of Ghana around 2000-2001. He was working at JOY FM while still studying at the time. He was affable, friendly and had a good sense of humour… He made a mark on radio journalism in Ghana, and was a great source of inspiration for many Ghanaian youth, especially, those who wanted to get into radio. May his soul rest in peace,” said Emmanuel, New York City, USA.
“I never knew him personally but always looked forward to his posts on Facebook. My Facebook page will not be the same without him. Every Ghanaian loved him and we still do. Forever in our hearts. My sympathies to his wife, children and entire family. Life is really unpredictable. Rest in Peace.” twitted Benjamin Tetteh, Accra, Ghana.
“I remember his coverage at the world cup 2010. The time he took off his shirt to reveal the Ghananian football team jersey he was putting on. He was a light indeed to many particularly African journalists. He will be greatly missed for his tireless effort in journalism.” noted Anderson Chinorumba, Gaborone, Botswana.
“I loved this enthusiastic and dedicated man. My heart goes out to his family and friends in this tragic time. Hard to believe I will not see his smiling face and down to earth assessments of his home roots, Africa, again. A tragedy and one which I trust BBC will honour and respect to the best of their ability. Amongst all of the BBC’s many great and famous human assets, Komla Dumor’s name should today be irrevocably established.” from Jimbo, Pattaya, Thailand.
“I am in deep shock, hearing of the early death of Komla Dumor. He added a different aspect on the world’s developing stories, somehow making many, pleasant and more understandable, even with sensitive subjects. He will be really be missed by the viewing audience.” offered Jack Wolstenholme from Kranevo, Bulgaria.
The BBC reports that the Ghana-born presenter had suffered a heart attack in the past.
Dumor joined the BBC in 2007 and became a presenter for BBC World News and its Focus on Africa programme.
BBC Global News director, Peter Horrocks called Dumor a leading light of African journalism who would be deeply missed.
“He was committed to telling the story of Africa as it really is. Africa’s energy and enthusiasm seemed to shine through every story Komla told,” Horrocks said.
BBC director of News and Current Affairs, James Harding, spoke of Komla Dumor’s singular role in transforming the coverage of Africa.
“He brought a depth of understanding, a great deal of courage, a joyous charm and boundless charisma to his work,” Harding said.
Dumor had a wide-ranging career as an interviewer and presenter. He won the Ghana Journalist of the Year award in 2003 and joined the BBC four years later.
From then until 2009 he hosted Network Africa for BBC World Service radio, before joining The World Today programme.
In 2009 Komla Dumor became the first host of Africa Business Report on BBC World News. He was a regular presenter of Focus on Africa and had fronted the programme the day before he died.
He travelled across Africa, meeting the continent’s top entrepreneurs and reporting on the latest business trends around the continent.
He interviewed a number of high-profile guests including Bill Gates and Kofi Annan.