Komla Afeke Dumor, one of BBC’s finest broadcast journalist has been laid to rest in peace with his ancestors and in the arms of The Lord. The 3-day funeral which is usual of Ghanaian funeral customs was one of respect, composure and regretful farewell.
Komla Dumor was laid in state at the forecourt of the State House and many Ghanaian dignitaries, personalities including President John Mahama, international dignitaries and the general public turned up to pay their last respects to the legendary African journalist. I attended the laying in state to not only pay my respect but also to share his journey back to his fathers. I listened to part of the service via the live broadcast from JoyFm and got there just when the widowhood rites were about to be performed, (yes I was late 🙁 ) I couldn’t help but admire how strong Kwansema Dumor (wife of Komla Dumor) was strong in delivering her tribute as I listened in on my way to Makola for fabric shopping. She recollected her dating years, how many of her friends asked her what she saw in her school-going boyfriend and her response being, ‘Komla is deep. He isn’t like the others.’ His eldest daughter also recounted how much they always looked forward to his arrival home after trips abroad. It was a solemn ceremony.
Some details I picked up during the vote of thanks; the coffin Komla was buried in was designed to be like that of the late Pope John Paul’s to signify that he was like a father to many and the wood was made out of Mahogany just like that of the late President John F. Kennedy’s.
I was moved by the deepening silence as the body was placed into the hearse. It was one of silent respect and inward reflection by the living as they watched the departed. There was no wailing and dramatic mourning or ‘crocodile’ tears which are often common at most Ghanaian funerals. I heard recently that there are professional criers which can be hired to cry at a family funeral. WTH??
The presence of dignitaries from His Excellency John Dramani Mahama to Ministers of State, international dignitaries, various personalities that attended the service was indeed a sign of great appreciation of who Komla was and the love and respect for his work.
The world will not forget Komla anytime soon and from the tributes that poured in during his passing, its obvious his memory will live on. The legacy he has left behind will ring throughout generations. The 3 day funeral service ended on Sunday 23rd February with a Sunday service at the Holy Spirit Roman Catholic Cathedral.
I couldn’t help but wonder why we have 3 day funeral services in this country. Our culture yes thats true but when its a young person is it necessary to put the immediate family through such strain both emotionally and financially? The shorter the time spent mourning the better, I think. #justsaying.
What are your memories of Komla Dumor? Have a tribute to share? Feel free and lets share experiences.