Ghana mourns BBC journalist Komla Dumor
Publish Date: Feb 21, 2014
The casket of BBC presenter Komla Dumor lays in the middle of a church during his funeral on February 21, 2014, in Accra, Ghana. PHOTO/AFP
A presenter on the British broadcaster's World News channel and its "Focus on Africa" programme, Dumor was honoured by former colleagues and dignitaries including Ghana's ex-president Jerry Rawlings at Catholic Cathedral in Accra.
"Komla was a people person," said Kwami Sefa Kayi, a journalist who worked with Dumor.
"So even though he was such a huge global icon he was still the ordinary guy on the street for most people. Everybody has been affected by Komla both alive and in death," Kayi added.
Dumor joined BBC radio in 2007 after working as a broadcaster in Ghana, where he won the 2003 Ghana Journalist of the Year award.
Komla Dumor died of a heart attack. PHOTO/AFP
He co-anchored the BBC's coverage of Nelson Mandela's funeral in December, one of many high-profile assignments.
"Undoubtedly, Ghana has lost one of the finest journalists and broadcasters of our time," Minister of Trade and Industry Haruna Iddrisu told reporters outside the funeral. "He demanded honesty and sincerity from public officials."
Funeral ceremonies for BBC TV presenter Komla Dumor, who died last month in London at the age of 41, are taking place in his home country of Ghana.As is customary in Ghana, they are being held over three days.
The funeral service itself is taking place on Saturday in the forecourt of State House in the capital, Accra.
It will be followed by a private family burial and there will then be a thanksgiving service at the capital's Roman Catholic cathedral on Sunday.
Friday saw a requiem mass at the Roman Catholic cathedral in Accra, where his body then lay in state until the funeral.
Ghanaian President John Mahama said the nation had lost one of its finest ambassadors with the death of Mr Dumor.
"He was very passionate about Africa, he was very passionate about Ghana. I think Komla is one of the gifts we gave to the world," Mr Mahama told the BBC.
He was presenter for BBC World News and its Focus on Africa programme.
The fact that Saturday's funeral service is taking place in the forecourt of State House reflects Mr Dumor's profile in Ghana, correspondents say.
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Komla Dumor's meteoric rise
- Born: 1972
- 1988: Began medical studies in Jos, Nigeria, before quitting to study sociology and psychology in Ghana
- 1998: Joined Joy FM as traffic reporter
- 2000: Hosted Joy FM's morning show
- 2003: Named Ghana journalist of the year
- 2006: Joined BBC, presenting Network Africa on World Service radio
- 2009: Launched Africa Business Report on World TV
- 2012: Launched Focus on Africa TV
- 2013: Named on New African magazine list of 100 most influential Africans
Mr Dumor started out as traffic news reporter at the local Joy FM station whilst a university student, and within two years was hosting the station's breakfast show, becoming a household name.He developed his reputation as a charismatic presence on radio and television on a global stage when he went on to join the BBC.
He first presented the BBC World Service African breakfast programme, Network Africa, before launching Africa Business Report on BBC World TV.
His death on 18 January after a heart attack at his London home prompted an outpouring of tributes from across the world.
He left a wife and three children.
Former UN chief Kofi Annan, who is Ghanaian, said Africa had lost one of its brightest young talents.
"Komla was an inspirational journalist, always determined to find the facts and report on the truth. I shall miss his smile and wonderful sense of humour," he said.