I first met Komla Dumor in 2007 on a blazing hot day in the Ghanaian capital, Accra. He still managed to sport a classy three-piece suit. A gaggle of young Ghanaians tagged along after him. When I ran into one of them later, I asked, “Are you working with Komla?” “No,” he replied with the proudest of grins, “I am part of his entourage.”
Komla was a star from the start and, from that day, my broadcasting brother. He came to me for advice about working in the BBC. I went to him to discuss stories about Africa, and more. He bounced off our television screens with his warmth and winning smile. He kept our attention with the deep timbre of his voice, and the questions of a keen curious mind. When you met him in person, there was an enveloping bear hug to boot.
Wherever I was in the world, just seeing him on the screen never failed to bring a smile to my day, and to the days of many others. Hours before Komla died, I was writing an email to tease him about the stacks of mail waiting for him in our shared pigeonhole. There were letters from near and far from people who wanted him in their world. We were all part of his entourage – and still are.