Last night, as I sat on my couch chilling and watching mindless TV, I decided to check up on Facebook and see what exciting things my friends were up to. Sadly, one of my updates was from a friend and former colleague Pumza, who now works at the BBC. Her update was about her colleague Komla Dumor, the host of Focus on Africa on BBC News, who had sadly passed on. I couldn’t actually believe what I was reading. I saw him just six weeks before this. He came to our office, where we did an interview with the man beyond the news anchor. This was the second time I did an interview with him and let me tell you he was a gentle giant.
He was friendly, professional, intelligent in his responses, engaging and captivating. He had a presence. One where you want to listen to him for hours on end. He wore his smart suits to both interviews and his strong, deep, but warm voice echoed throughout his responses. He loved the continent and it was for that reason why he was perfect for the role of taking her stories to the world. After this last interview we sat and chatted about a whole host of other, somewhat random topics, but that’s the sort of person he was. You could sit and talk for hours, compare notes and experiences and just hang with someone who could be a good mate. I remember some thirty minutes later or so, Komla together with his publicist from the BBC Jessica, decided they actually had to go now because they had another interview at another media house and off they went. I recall saying see you soon, thinking he’d be back in the country this year for another story and therefore an interview for us. Sadly, this is where we are now.
I’m still in shock. He looked in good health and showed no sign of illness whatsoever . It’s believed he suffered a heart attack 😦 Very sad news indeed, but to honour one of Africa’s greatest ambassadors, we strive to continue telling Africa’s stories in his memory. My deepest condolences to his family during this time and may Koma Dumor Rest In Peace!