Nigerian based mobile movie service Afrinolly, was due to announce the winners of its short film contest on Monday, but decided to postpone the announcement to mourn competition judge Komla Dumor’s passing.
“A powerful storyteller with a very unique voice, BBC’s Komla Dumor represented the best of African broadcasters. We join the world in mourning one of Africa’s illustrious sons, a true gentleman, a man of foresight and a consummate professional who is passionate about anything that will further the progress of our Continent; Africa, especially her youths,” Afrinolly said in a statement.
The announcement has been rescheduled for 23 January 2014.
According to the African video service, Dumor agreed to officiate as a judge without meeting the Afrinolly team members “just because he was excited about what it means to African Filmmakers; that is the kind of person he is.” Afrinolly added that Dumor was involved in selecting the top ten finalists.
The Face of Africa
Dumor pioneered the Africa Business Report on BBC World News and according to the BBC, he was determined to change the stereotypical view of Africa.
“He was passionate about telling the story of how the continent was changing, of rapid economic growth and technological advances. He was determined to present a balanced story, warts and all, and to show the human face behind the headlines,” the BBC’s Africa editor Solomon Mugera wrote.
Born in Ghana, Dumor actually wanted to be a doctor and enrolled for a medical degree in the early 1990’s at Nigeria’s University of Jos. After dropping out from the university, he returned to Ghana and decided to study sociology and psychology. Dumor graduated from Harvard University with an MA in Public Administration much later in his life.
Dumor’s career as a broadcaster started 1998 when he answered the call for a traffic news reporter at the local Joy FM station and by 2000 the station offered him a permanent slot.
He joined BBC’s African service in 2003 and by 2006 he was hosting programs for the service. “After his success at Africa Business Report, Komla was the natural choice to host the BBC’s flagship Focus on Africa TV programme in 2012 – its first TV news programme for the continent,” Mugera explained.
Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama tweeted “Our nation has lost one of its finest ambassadors. @BBCkomladumor was a broadcaster of exceptional quality and Ghana’s gift to the world.”
Komla’s body is expected to arrive in Ghana “as soon as the necessary formalities have been completed, both in the UK and in Ghana,” the Dumor, Gbeho & Allied Families said in a joint statement.
Information from the family will be available at www.komla-dumor.com.
“Our condolences go to his family, friends, colleagues at the BBC and the people of Ghana who have lost a husband, father, brother, friend, mentor and son. Our prayers go to all who would miss this great son of Africa,” Afrinolly concluded.
Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor