The grieving Dumor family has revealed they have set up a Komla Dumor Memorial Foundation that will sustain the “legacy of Komla Dumor by pursuing plans he had for promoting the ideals that he stood and worked for.”
Ghanaian-born Komla died suddenly of a suspected heart attack in his London home on January 18, 2014. He was 41.
A statement signed by the Dumor family spokesperson Esther Cobbah said the foundation would promote excellence in journalism with particular emphasis on broadcast journalism. Komla started off his journalism career as a traffic announcer on Joy FM in Ghana and at the time of his death, was a radio/TV presenter for the BBC.
There was international out-pouring of grief following his tragic and unexpected death and his family is banking on the goodwill shown to them sometimes by total strangers to establish a foundation that will forever help keep the memory of their son, brother, father and husband alive. Bank account details for contributions were provided in the statement.
Prof Ernest Dumor, father of the late presenter said, “Komla sought to give of himself to the society and set an example, especially to the youth. He was always eager to ease the pain of those in need. It is our hope this foundation will enable us to continue pursuing and realising Komla’s dream.”
The foundation will be managed by a board of trustees in Ghana and distinguished personalities around the globe who believe in what Komla stood for, according to the family statement.
The BBC will hold a memorial service for Komla tomorrow February 1, 2014 at the St Martin-in-the-fields church near Trafalgar Square in London.
Forever Our Hero
Ghanaian gospel singer Celestine Donkor and rapper Edem have released a single in honour of the fallen journalist. Titled “U live in our hearts,” the song pays glowing tribute to the journalist, saying he will live forever in the hearts of Ghanaians and all those who met him during his short time on earth. The release of the song shortly after Komla’s death shows the level of national pain and grief in Ghana following Komla’s sudden and tragic death.
The musicians took just a day to record the single. “I never got the opportunity to meet him but hardly a day went without me tuning in to listen to Komla on the SMS (Super Morning Show on Joy FM). I’ve been looking forward to reading Komla’s book,” Celesine Donkor said following the release of the single.
The song is available on reverbnation and you can listen to it here
Calls for State Funeral for Komla
The Ghana Journalist Association (GJA) has added its voice to the controversial calls for a state funeral for Komla.
Speaking to Citi News in Ghana, GJA president Affail Monney said Komla was a “…national hero from all angles because he did not only do his work well as a journalist, internationally, he projected (the image of) Ghana more than one ambassador could do…in recognition and appreciation for this… the state should accord him the highest honour by according him a state burial.” There have been other calls from eminent Ghanaians and civil society organisations for the state of Ghana to give Komla a state burial.
Writing on Facebook, Adzovinad Torsu questioned “…we may want a state burial for Komla but will that humble and noble man have wished for one?” Another facebooker Oheneba Richy was even more cynical, “what of our numerous soldiers who died on international missions? Please don’t reduce the standards of state burials.”
Kennedy Amoako Kennedy added his voice to the debate by asking, “how can a man paying tax in the UK be given a state burial (in Ghana) where he does not pay tax?”
Ghanaian president John Dramani Mahama, who had met Komla personally, paid glowing tribute to him shortly after his death, describing him in a tweet as one of Ghana’s “finest ambassadors.” So far, the Ghanaian government has not indicated if Komla would be given a state burial.
Known affectionately as the “boss player,” Komla’s remains will be flown home where he will be buried. He leaves behind his wife Kwansema and three children Elinam, Elorm and Araba.