In honour of Komla Dumor

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On World Radio Day today, I like to honour specially the late Komla Dumor, the man who inspired me to become a journalist. I never got to tell him that, because I was still in my 2nd year as a radio student when he passed on in 2014. I remembered vividly how our lecturer Sebastian Koladiyil broke the news to us on that morning of January 18th, 2014 in our radio practical class. And for my next assignment on Features and Packages, I would do a feature on the Lives and Times of Komla Dumor. Of course we didn’t have a studio or school radio station at the time, so my piece on him was only heard by our lecturer and other classmates. I was so glad I did that. It was rather a tribute. For my classmates and lecturer, it was an assignment, but for me, it was a tribute to a man who made so much impact on me without ever knowing.

I remember exactly how he sounds as the host of the radio programme Network Africa on BBC then. And even when he presented The World Today on the BBC World Service. From listening to him on radio to watching him on TV and seeing all of his expressions and loud laughter and the flair and ease with which he presented. And his extra excitement when he was on ground reporting especially when it was something on football is one that hasn’t left my memory.

His voice made radio a must to listen to. His narrative or presenting skill fueled my imagination about whatever the subject matter was even as I listened without seeing his face. He had the language, the tone, the right emotions and one could feel his sense of humour during his programmes. His voice resounded in a way that just resonates.He was a delight. And every time I heard him, I say to myself, I will make a great journalist and storyteller like this man. He did it with so much ease. At least that was how it came across to me. It was natural.

It is for people like him and many more great voices on radio, that I believe that radio will never go extinct. And today, I am grateful that I once heard his voice and though I didn’t end up in radio save for a few months on internship I did in Radio Shahidi(Isiolo, Kenya), I am forever grateful for the impact he made. May his light keep shining!

Cc BBC News

Amaka Okoye

Amaka Okoye

A seasoned and an award-journalist who has practiced both in and outside of Nigeria. She has covered varied beats but her forte is Conflict and Crisis Reporting. She majors in reporting terrorism, banditry and abductions in the Northern part of Nigeria.

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