BY OYIN OGUNKANMI||
Recently a great man died, a man of substance was taken away from the world and went to sleep forever. But he will be forever remembered as a shining light in journalism, a man passionate about his home continent of Africa and fighting to present the right reflection of Africa to the world. In truth I only knew of him after death, but in my inquisitive nature I already know so much about him and that is an evidence of the legacy he has certainly left behind.
His name was Komla Dumor.
He played an outstanding role in transforming the coverage of Africa, not only for the BBC but across broadcasting. And he brought a depth of understanding, a great deal of courage, a joyous charm and boundless charisma to his work. He was a man who worked hard and lived to fulfil his dream.
Mr Dumor, who was born in Accra, Ghana, in 1972, hosted Network Africa for the BBC World Service between 2007 and 2009 before joining The World Today programme. In 2009 he became the first host of Africa Business Report on BBC World News. Earlier this year he was named one of New African’s 100 most influential Africans in 2013.
I recently watched an intellectual programme called “Ted Talk” which Komla took part in. A master of words, possessing alacrity of thought, Komla had me captivated throughout his 20 minute presentation. He was clear, concise and assured in the delivery of his message- which I have discovered trait of his journalism. The message was thought provoking and insightful- “Telling the African Story- How to cover Africa in 2012 and beyond”, Komla stressed the importance of self-determination of one’s narrative or to put it in simpler terms; Africans telling the story of Africa.
Komla Dumor said something that struck a chord with me, something that I think is vital for every young mind from Africa to hear and truly comprehend; “The narrative will always be told from the point of view of the hunter, until the lion learns how to write.” This encapsulates the attitude that I think the youth need to adopt, we must be engaged, learn and strive to be the writers of our own story, the main protagonists of our own futures, the generation that rises above the negative image that has been previously cast and presents a new one to the world.
Komla was a hard worker and he was dedicated to improving himself, he didn’t just rely on his passion but instead used it to fuel his ambition. His legacy must inspire the African youth to be proactive and to work towards their goal. The time of excuses are over, now is the time to be the leaders of industry, influencing the political, economic, social and cultural spheres. Now is the time to turn potential to reality.
Komla Dumor is gone from this world, but he will never be forgotten. He made the most of his 41 years on earth and as William Shakespeare said “all the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.”
Komla Dumor played his part, my question to you is; what part will you play? Will you be remembered?
Oyin Ogunkanmi is an aspiring lawyer with a passion for writing and engaging with literature. He also enjoys creating and engaging in stimulating sociopolitical discussions.