A tribute by Stephen Abebreseh, CEO of GhanaProNet
Komla Afeke Dumor was a breath of fresh air on the modern journalism scene, both at home in Ghana, and in the UK where he last worked as a presenter for BBC World News and its Focus on Africa program.
On both platforms, he represented what is greatest about a brilliant and educated African professional: he was extremely articulate, insightful, witty, passionate, introspective, and gallant!
Komla used his gifts to re-brand his profession and its perspective of Africa, as he brought news of the continent and the plight of its citizens to the world stage in positive, diverse, and colorful dimensions.
This feat was an oddity in the western media past, but in Komla many Africans could look forward, with pride, to news of an Africa they could recognize, understand, and embrace.
Born into national heroic royalty, as the grandson of Philip Gbeho – the composer of Ghana’s national anthem – Komla nevertheless charted his own path into patriotic stardom seizing every opportunity to sacrifice for his country. He became a household name, as the morning show host for Joy FM in Accra.
Even after a Harvard education and the many opportunities abroad, Komla returned to Ghana to pay his professional dues by giving himself to the service of his country. And his all, he gave and much more.
He was the 2003 winner of the Journalist of the Year award given by the Ghana Journalists Association. His exceptional quality in broadcasting is still a benchmark legacy to the nation. In his latest position at BBC in London, he lifted the national pride of Ghanaians as the only West African reader on the station’s World News. Through it all, he never shirked from displaying his national pride, even during work. One cannot forget how he openly wore his Ghana Black Stars jersey, while covering the 2010 World Cup.
This megaphone of a voice for Africa and from Africa has been snatched so suddenly from us by the unforgiving pangs of death’s jaws. Komla’s relatively short time on Earth has unquestionably impacted so many. One can only imagine how much greater he would have been, had he been spared a longer life. Insight lies in his own confession during a presentation at TEDxEuston when he stated that while his love and pride for his native Ghana remains intact; through his work, his emphasis on his identity as Ghanaian has “increasingly become less and less important” to him in substitution for his identity, as African.
Komla’s travels across vast distances on the continent broadened his understanding of an interrelated, interdependent, and transnational Africa – despite its sovereign nations – where the artificial barriers are shredded to make room for cooperation, contact and commerce. Komla tows the line that only few amongst Africa’s greatest statesmen like Kwame Nkrumah and Nelson Mandela have fully understood and practiced.
Komla Domor! Ghana Global Professional Network (GhanaProNet) salutes your accomplishments! You were the embodiment of the values, personality, and achievement that our organization celebrates. You had so much more to offer to Ghana, Africa, and the world! We are truly saddened by your departure!
Long live your legacy! May peace and comfort be restored in your immediate and extended families!
Stephen Abebreseh, CEO