Komla Dumor

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Komla Afeke Dumor
Komla Dumor.jpg
Born (1972-10-03)3 October 1972
Accra, Ghana
Died 18 January 2014(2014-01-18) (aged 41)
London, United Kingdom
Cause of death Cardiac arrest
Nationality Ghanaian
Education University of Ghana
Harvard University
Occupation Journalist
Notable credit(s)
Home town Aflao, Volta Region[1]
Spouse(s) Kwansema Dumor
Children 3

Komla Afeke Dumor (3 October 1972 – 18 January 2014) was a Ghanaian journalist who worked for BBC World News and was the main presenter of its programme Focus on Africa.[2][3]

Early life and education[edit]

Dumor was born in Accra, Ghana. His father, Ernest Dumor, was a professor of sociology and his mother, Cecelia Dumor, had a master's degree in Mass Communication.[4] His grandfather was Philip Gbeho, composer of the Ghanaian national anthem.[5] Dumor initially studied pre-clinical medicine at the University of Jos, Nigeria, but left for his home country where he started as a medical student[6] at the University of Ghana but later graduated with a BSc. in Sociology and Psychology, and from Harvard University with an MA in Public Administration.[3]

Broadcast career[edit]

Dumor started as the morning show host for Joy FM[7] in Accra, Ghana, and was the 2003 winner of Journalist of the Year award given by the Ghana Journalists Association.[3]

In 2006 Dumor joined the BBC African Service in London[8] as host of the radio programme Network Africa. From 2008 to 2012 he presented The World Today on the BBC World Service. In 2011 Dumor began presenting the World News and Africa Business Report on BBC World News and early mornings on BBC One and the BBC News Channel. When the latter was relaunched in 2013, fellow BBC correspondent Lerato Mbele was chosen as host.

In December 2013, he was named as one of the 100 most influential Africans of 2013 by New African magazine, with the citation: "It has been a coming of age for Kumla Dumor this year. The presenter of Focus on Africa, the BBC's flagship and first-ever dedicated daily TV news programme in English for African audiences, broadcast on BBC World News, has established himself as one of the emerging African faces of global broadcasting. As a lead presenter for BBC World, Dumor has considerable influence on how the continent is covered."[9][10]

At the time of his death, Dumor was the only West African newsreader on BBC World News. In the words of BBC Radio 4 Today and BBC News presenter Mishal Husain, "Komla developed his own unique on air style, seamlessly moved between TV and radio and influenced Africa coverage across the BBC."[11] He was also described by Peter Horrocks, the BBC's global news director, as "a leading light of African journalism – committed to telling the story of Africa as it really is."[11]

He conducted interviews with a wide range of high-profile figures, including Kofi Annan, Bill Gates[8] and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie,[12] and the many important news stories that he anchored included the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, President Barack Obama's trip to Africa, and the funeral of Nelson Mandela.[8]

Personal life[edit]

In 2001 Dumor married Kwansema Quansah, with whom he had three children.[3][8]


Dumor died on 18 January 2014 in his London home after a cardiac arrest, having been on air the day before.[3][13] President of Ghana John Mahama said in a message on Twitter that Dumor was one of Ghana's "finest ambassadors" and "was a broadcaster of exceptional quality and Ghana's gift to the world."[14]

On 3 February 2014 Komla Dumor's body was flown back to Ghana, where it was received at Kotoka International Airport by a group of family members, friends, government officials, sympathizers and members of the Aflao traditional council, who also performed some traditional rites, since Aflao was his hometown.[15] Funeral ceremonies for Dumor were held 21–23 February 2014 in Accra.[16]


  • The Association for International Broadcasting (AIB) presented a special posthumous Founders Award to Dumor's family in November 2014.[17]
  • At the 2014 African Achievers Awards Dumor was honoured with a posthumous award for Excellence in Broadcasting.[18]
  • Honouring Dumor's legacy, in 2015, the BBC launched the BBC World News Komla Dumor Award, presented each year "to an outstanding individual living and working in Africa, who combines strong journalism skills, on air flair, and an exceptional talent in telling African stories with the ambition and potential to become a star of the future."[19] The winner is given a three-month training and development contract in BBC News.[20]


  1. ^ "Komla Dumor's funeral rites to be held in accordance with Roman Catholic tradition". tv3network.com. Retrieved 26 January 2014. 
  2. ^ "BBC announces major new focus on Africa". BBC, Media Centre. 7 June 2012. Retrieved 18 January 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "BBC World TV's Komla Dumor dies at 41". BBC News. 18 January 2014. Retrieved 18 January 2014. 
  4. ^ Marcus Williamson, "Komla Dumor: Respected and admired radio and television presenter who played a leading role in transforming the coverage of Africa" (obituary), The Independent, 22 January 2014.
  5. ^ "Komla Dumor's Ghana". BBC World Service. 2 March 2007. Retrieved 18 January 2014. 
  6. ^ "Komla Dumor Wanted To Become a Medical Doctor Despite His Passion for Journalism But…". Peace FM. 21 January 2014. Retrieved 4 February 2014. 
  7. ^ Komla Dumor biography, BBC World Service, 11 September 2006.
  8. ^ a b c d Solomon Mugera, "Komla Dumor obituary – BBC broadcaster who made a substantial contribution to the coverage and greater understanding of Africa" (obituary), The Guardian, 21 January 2014.
  9. ^ "2013: 100 Most Influential Africans", New Africa, December 2013.
  10. ^ "Hannah Tetteh, Komla Dumor, other Ghanaians among 100 most influential Africans 2013", GBN, 28 November 2013.
  11. ^ a b Press Association, "BBC presenter Komla Dumor dies", The Guardian, 18 January 2014.
  12. ^ Chimamanda Adichie, "Komla Dumor: We Have Lost A Star", Premium Times, 19 January 2014.
  13. ^ Chris-Vincent Agyapong Febiri (18 January 2014). "Ghanaian/BBC Broadcast Journalist-Komla Dumor Is DEAD!". GhanaWeb. Retrieved 18 January 2014. 
  14. ^ John Dramani Mahama @JDMahama (18 January 2014). "Twitter". Retrieved 18 January 2014. 
  15. ^ "Body of Komla Dumor arrives in Ghana". myjoyonline.com. 3 February 2014. Retrieved 4 February 2014. 
  16. ^ "Komla Dumor: Funeral ceremonies for BBC presenter". BBC News. 23 February 2014. 
  17. ^ Kojo Akoto Boateng (24 October 2014). "Posthumous award for Komla Dumor Nov. 5". citifmonline. 
  18. ^ "2014: African Achievers get Presidential Honours". African Achievers Awards. 1 March 2014. Retrieved 19 January 2015. 
  19. ^ "BBC World News Komla Dumor Award". BBC News. Retrieved 29 February 2016. 
  20. ^ "Nancy Kacungira awarded the BBC World News Komla Dumor Award". BBC World News. 18 August 2015. Retrieved 29 February 2016. 

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