Legal practitioner Professor Kenneth Agyemang Attafuah has paid glowing tribute to the late iconic broadcaster Komla Dumor, saying he conquered the world in his field of journalism before his untimely death.
He described the demise of the 41-year-old former Joy FM and BBC superstar, as a big blow to the entire world. Komla died suddenly at his London home on Saturday January 18, 2014 of “cardiac arrest”.
Tributes have been pouring in from across the world, eulogising the broadcaster’s exceptional humanity and unparalled intelligence.
Professor Ken Attafuah paid his tribute Wednesday on Adom FM’s “Burning Issues” Program which is broadcast live on Asempa FM.
According to him, the outpouring of tributes from all over the world testified to the fact that Komla did his best when he joined the BBC as the presenter on BBC World News and its Focus on Africa programmes.
“The News of the sudden death of Komla Dumor hit me like a thunderbolt! This is how I knew the man, the Boss Player. I first met Komla Dumor in February 1998 when he was hosting Joy FM’s Super Morning Show in Accra.
“I had just returned from Canada after a 14-year sojourn and joined Ghana’s Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) as Director of Operations and Chief Investigator. Komla interviewed me umpteen times, and he always found a way to bring out the best in me… whether it was a topic on human rights, governance, anti-corruption, criminal justice, gender equality or what have you — issues which readily arouse my passion, and which deeply engaged his utmost attention,” Prof. Attafuah recalled.
The Criminologist revealed that Komla gave him the most challenging interviews of his professional career and sometimes he felt he was unfairly ambushed, but he understood that the “Boss Player” was only doing his job by then.
“I encouraged and supported Komla Dumor to attend Harvard University. I was at his wedding to Kwansema, who was my friend and senior at the Ghana School of Law, Accra. My wife Joyce and I sent a bouquet of flowers to Komla and Kwansema when we couldn’t attend his graduation at Harvard” Prof. Attafuah stated in his tribute to Komla.
“Below is the recommendation letter I wrote in support of Komla’s application for financial support from the Joint Japan World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program to attend Harvard University. That was in April 2002.
I think the letter speaks for itself, and I cannot pay a greater tribute to the Boss Player, the Journalist of the Year (2003) who covered the May 9th Accra Sports Stadium Disaster with amazing sensitivity, and who filed a complaint against not only the rich and famous in Ghanaian society but also the most powerful, including Mrs. Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings, and the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), on the anti-corruption front:
“Joint Japan World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program 1818 H Street, NW Washington DC 20433 USA
April 7, 2002
Dear Sir/Madam: Re: Mr. Komla Dumor
I write in support of the application of Mr. Komla Dumor, a renowned Ghanaian broadcaster, for the Joint Japan World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program (JJ/WBSP).
In my capacity as a professional criminologist and the Director of Promotion and Anti-Corruption at Ghana’s Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), I have had numerous professional contact over the past 4 years with Mr. Dumor, whose popular Super Morning Show on Joy 99.7 FM has become the leading source of news making and a platform for serious dialogue and mass education on the most challenging issues in contemporary Ghana.
An obviously bright, young man, Mr. Dumour is a sensitive and conscientious broadcaster. Through the medium of his program, which is often informed by solid investigative journalism, he has actively engaged civil society and the political leadership of the country in the discourse on such compelling issues as crime and justice, human rights and administrative justice, corruption control, lawfulness and transparency, and democracy and good governance. He has also contributed to raising the profile of various social issues and propelling them to the forefront of national concerns, in a quest to generate practical solutions. Among these are issues of poverty alleviation, ethnicity, tradition and modernity, education, science, politics, healthcare, and environmental protection.
One of Mr. Dumor’s most outstanding contributions to national development came in October 2000 when he filed a complaint with the CHRAJ alleging several instances of corruption and mismanagement of public funds by the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), the nation’s sole pension fund. He ably assisted the CHRAJ in its vigorous investigations, which spanned a period of 15 months and entailed several public hearings at which he testified on oath and was subjected to intense cross-examination. The CHRAJ found the majority of the substantive complaints justified, and commended Mr. Dumor for his exemplary and uncommon level of patriotism and commitment in the fight against corruption in Ghana.
I believe Mr. Dumor represents the new breed of leadership in the Ghanaian broadcasting and media landscape in general. His convictions – reflected in his statements and commentaries – often mirror public opinion, and sometimes contribute significantly to shaping public opinion. It is in this regard that Mr. Dumor’s scholarly appreciation of his personal power and the power of radio deserve enhancement. I am convinced that the opportunities for critical scholarly analysis and evaluation, available through the Mason’s Fellows Master’s in Public Administration at the esteemed Kennedy School of Government, will significantly enhance Mr. Dumor’s analytical skills and general capacity to better serve Ghana in an even more balanced and progressive manner.
Based on the foregoing, I gladly endorse Mr. Dumor’s application for the JJ/WBSP. I recommend him for the scholarship program without hesitation.
Kenneth Agyemang Attafuah, Ph.D. Director, Promotion & Anti-Corruption”
“That was then,” the private legal practitioner said in a mail; “We have both moved on. Life is not fair. Fair thee well, my dear friend! I will miss your deep, baritone and assuring voice!. You were my constant connection to Africa and Ghana whenever I travelled outside Ghana. I will miss you always, Boss Player!
“The tragedy is that you cannot cover your own passing, my friend. The tears are flowing. I must stop now.
“Kenneth Agyemang Attafuah.”