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Commemoration and Farewell for the Life of Komla Dumor

News St Martin – Talking Points

Monday 3 February 2014

On Saturday 1 February  more than  700 people attended a Service of Thanksgiving and Farewell for the life of Komla Afeke Dumor at St Martin-in-the-Fields.

Komla was an inspirational Ghanaian who fronted BBC World News and the BBC Africa Report and became for many “the voice of Africa.”  He was most recently seen in his insightful interviews with the family of Nelson Mandela after Mandela’s death.  Komla died tragically after a heart attack at the age of 41 leaving a wife Kwansema and three children.

Komla Dumor wanted a broader deeper reporting of Africa and was instrumental in bringing that about. While never shying away from reporting on the tragedy or suffering or exposing injustice he also portrayed Africa’s energy, dynamism, creativity and enterprise. He had a charismatic charm and at the same time an ability to ask the penetrating question and see to the heart of an issue.  In  Lyse Doucet’s words- Komla Dumor “was a man who looked for the light as well as the darkness.”  He spoke with a rare combination of both authority and truth but also deep affection. He was loved in his native Ghana, and loved throughout the world.

Speakers at this moving service included his wife Kwansema Dumor,  Josephine Hazeley the Deputy Editor of the BBC African Service, and Peter Horrocks the Director of BBC Global News. His young daughter Elinam read the lesson.  Singing was led by St Thomas the Apostle Ghanaian Choir, and Choral Scholars from St Martin’s and the was conducted by Revd Richard Carter. The service was both filmed and recorded by the BBC World News.

Revd Richard Carter

Associate Vicar, Mission