DID STRESS AND RACISM AT BBC PUSH KOMLA OVER? -Was ‘mentally and emotionally drained by jealousy driven vicious insults’


Komla Afeke DumurDID STRESS AND RACISM AT BBC PUSH KOMLA OVER? -Was ‘mentally and emotionally drained by jealousy driven vicious insults’

21 January 2014

Ghanaians from all walks of life, and many people the world over, especially Africans, were Saturday shocked to learn of the death of renowned international broadcaster, Komla Dumor, at the prime age of 41.



Some reports indicate that the presenter of the BBC’s Focus on Africa programme and former host of Accra based Joy FM’s Super Morning Show died from heart attack at his London home.

Dying from a heart attack at age 41 has led to many speculations as to what might have caused the death of Komla at such a prime age, with some people tracing his sudden demise to the pressures of work in a resentful racist environment.

Indeed, the New Statesman can state that seven months ago, Komla Dumor collapsed in the BBC studio and almost suffered a stroke from that.

It has been proven scientifically by UK researchers that having a highly demanding job, but little control over it, could be a deadly combination, as "job strain" was linked to a 23% increased risk of heart attacks and deaths from coronary heart disease.

It appears the awful hours of work at the BBC and a push for a black person to prove himself while working in a resentful racist environment might have contributed to the sudden and what many see as untimely death of Komla Dumor.

In fact, on the eve of his death, the late Dumor had given indications that he was “emotionally and mentally drained”, having “to endure lots of jealousy driven vicious insults, backstabbing from petty people” at the BBC. But in the face of all these challenges, Komla allegedly had to remain silent in his “personal strife and misery.”

In a message he sent to a friend (name withheld), and intercepted by the New Statesman, Komla Dumor poured out his heart and the suffering he was enduring in the following words:

"God has been v good to me., last year I experienced a lot of illness ..my BP nearly gave me a stroke but I trod on..waking up at 2am and heading to work..exhausted sometimes..aching in my body a soul..mentally and emotionally drained ..but I kept going ..I smiled for the camera..I volunteered for extra shifts ..I showed respect to my colleagues from directors to the security guards..I took a lot of jealousy driven vicious insults and backstabbing from petty people without reply..I remain silent in my personal strife and misery..I kept smiling and pushing on to present better and to engage w my audience and increase my following., long days and frustrating times..but I kept going..through the west gate mall coverage through the Mandela funeral..even when illness had me collapsing I delivered..today my boss the head of television called me for a 1 minute meeting..he said Komla we have decided to make you the anchor presenter for our coverage of the World Cup in Brazil ..we shook hands and I left..I looked to the sky and said thank you Lord for reminding me that you are on my side ..the enemy will be scattered..Selah!Selah! Praise Him..tomorrow is another day."

Herbert Mensah confirms pressure at BBC

Meanwhile, Herbert Mensah, a very buddy of Komla, has confirmed the late international broadcaster had too much pressure on him at the BBC.

“He had so much pressure on him as a public, global figure; and a lot of the pressure is pressure that is put on him because of his job, the pressure that’s put on him as an African hitting the heights that he was hitting within the BBC, the pressure he’s put on himself to survive, to achieve, to deliver; the pressure he’s put on himself as having come out of Ghana, having succeeded and now being a global being and he was just preparing for this great thing at the world cup”, the former Kotoko Chief Executive said Saturday.

Herbert Mensah told Joy FM that he was discussing Komla’s nomination just before his death.

Komla was recently nominated by the BBC as the face of the British broadcasting giant for the 2014 World Cup.

Herbert Mensah told Joy FM that he was discussing Komla’s nomination just before his death. “…Just yesterday (Friday), we were talking about it when my wife told me, because my wife was in the house…where they live…she was there as a Doctor pronounced it… When she called me back I said ‘it’s a joke, it’s not true, put him on the line’ and she burst out crying and she said ‘no he’s gone’. Kufuor caught off guard

Ghana’s former President John Kufuor has been reported to have said he was “caught off guard” following the shocking death of Komla Dumor.

According to him, he was transiting in London to Africa when the sad news of the death hit him.

“He was only 41 and looked so fit. It is unbelievable that such a thing will happen to him now."

Asked if he listened to him on Joy FM, President Kufuor said “I knew him and at a point I asked him to serve on a board for the youth.”

“He was a social person, always with a smile and quite polite to the society. A bright broadcaster with great promise but who has been cut off midstream,” President Kufuor was quoted by to have said.

Mahama says Komla was a consummate professional

Describing him as a “friend, a brother and a patriot,” President John Dramani Mahama Saturday said “Komla was a hardworking, dedicated and consummate professional, who blazed a trail, from his days of great success as Ghana’s most popular broadcaster with Joy-FM in Accra, where he won the Ghana Journalist of the Year award, to his inspiring rise at the BBC in London.”

In a statement, President Mahama said Ghana, Africa and the world at large had lost “a great, dedicated and wonderful human being and world broadcaster.”

The president said it was with “great shock and profound sadness that I learned of the sudden death of one of the most illustrious sons of Ghana, the internationally-acclaimed BBC TV broadcaster, Komla Afeke Dumor.”

“On behalf of my Government and the people of Ghana, I wish to express my deepest sympathies and condolences to his wife, Kwansema and the children and also to his father, Professor Ernest Dumor, his siblings Mawuena and Korshie the entire family.

Our sympathies also go to his colleagues at the BBC and in the international broadcasting and journalism fraternity,” the statement added.

The Journalist Komla Dumor

Komla Dumor was born on 3 October 1972 in Accra, Ghana.

He graduated with a BA in Sociology and Psychology from the University of Ghana, and a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University.

He won the Ghana Journalist of the Year award in 2003 while working as host of Joy FM’s Super Morning Show and joined the BBC four years later.

From then until 2009 he hosted Network Africa for BBC World Service radio, before joining The World Today programme.

In 2009 Komla Dumor became the first host of Africa Business Report on BBC World News.

He travelled across Africa, meeting the continent's top entrepreneurs and reporting on the latest business trends around the continent.

He interviewed a number of high-profile guests, including Bill Gates and Kofi Annan.

Last month, he covered the funeral of former South African President, Nelson Mandela, whom he described as "one of the greatest figures of modern history".

He anchored live coverage of major events, including the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the funeral of Kim Jong-il, the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, the Norway shootings and the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

In his review of 2013, published last month, Dumor said the passing of Mandela was "one of the moments that will stay with me".

"Covering the funeral for me will always be a special moment. I will look back on it with a sense of sadness. But also with gratitude. I feel lucky to have been a witness to that part of the Mandela story."

Source: thestatesmanonline.com



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