Komla Dumor was more than just a well-loved journalist. He was a well-loved man.
For a brief moment my sadness was lost in the mists of gratitude to God that such a man existed. That I was blessed to have listened to Komla Dumor when I lived in Ghana for a brief stint, and would wake up to his voice on Joy FM. That was a good 8 years ago or so. Yet his voice still resonated with me that morning when I woke up from falling asleep on the sofa to hear and see a familiar face on the BBC World Service in the early hours of the morning. One of the first things that came to mind as I adjusted my mind from subconsciousness was; “Wow! Why is he on TV at night? He should be on day time TV!“
And that was just a few days before his passing.
I should have tweeted!
I should have tweeted that very night I woke up to BBC World Service with Komla Dumor reading the news to me. I should have used all my 140 characters to express that I was inspired just by seeing him on my TV…. Even a tweet with its annoyingly minimal characters can say the words “I’m an aspiring journalist. You inspire me…”
But I didn’t. And so I might have lost an opportunity to have connected with someone I admire, but I’m determined to make that minimal from now on. And that’s why I didn’t miss the opportunity to tell BBC George Alagiah when I spotted him outside of the church, that I am studying journalism (and of course ask for a picture as proof I actually spoke to the BBC News reporter). The news reporter wished me luck on my course, which I will need! I’d love the opportunity to interview Mr Alagiah who attended primary school in Ghana, and recently visited my country of origin to report on Ghana’s luxury building boom.
If I have learned anything from the Thanksgiving and Farewell service, it’s that we cannot wait for the people we admire to depart before we tell them how much we admire them. Whether it’s a loved one moving away, or an elder in their last stages of life.
All the tributes read left a deep feeling of sorrow in my heart. None more so than the well presented Reading of 1Thessalonians 5:14-23 read by Elinam Dumor, Komla Dumor’s daughter. I just thought how strong and bold she is facing a mass of mourners when she herself is mourning in her own way at the loss of the most important man in every little girl’s life; her father. It took me back to when I was around Elinam’s age. My father was also a journalist, and despite having that in common I had nowhere near the amount of courage she possessed to face us. Perhaps a trait from her father who himself was courageous to bear the responsibility of reporting on Africa as it is – “the good, the bad, and the ugly” truths, as the many eulogies established.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of the late Komla Dumore.
*I recorded this vlog when I arrived home a few hours after the church service in St Martin-in-the-Field.