Saturday, January 18, 2014

Death of an iconic African journalist: Komla Dumor, 3 October 1972 - 18 January 2014

Komla Dumor: One of Ghana's brightest stars
Source: bbc.co.uk
I moved to Ghana for a year in 2002. That year was one of the best of my life as I discovered things about the country that I was from but knew very little about. One of my favorite sources for Ghanaian current affairs ranging from politics to social issues was JoyFM's Super morning show. At the helm of the show was the indomitable and formidable Komla Dumor. He stood out for his intelligence, professionalism, knowing how to ask the right questions and of course his eloquence. It was apparent to all at the time that Komla Dumor was a rising star who was going places. He did indeed go places. In 2006 he joined the BBC's Network Africa show and even I was astonished to find him that he made a very rapid transition to the BBC World Service breakfast show The World Today. In 2011, my brother sent me an email or text with a picture of Komla Dumor saying something like "Guess who is presenting world news on TV??!." From there he went on to host the television version of BBC's Focus on Africa. I was therefore overcome with overwhelming sadness when I heard the news that he had passed away from cardiac arrest at his home in London. A light had gone out for the whole of Africa.

Komla Dumor trends on Twitter
Komla Dumor was one of Ghana's brightest stars. Whenever you heard him on the BBC, you were proud to be Ghanaian. Proud to be African. He was a rising star who was still accelerating to even greater heights. Komla was a great representative of what it means to be Ghanaian. He was indeed a contemporary African icon and cherished role-model. My heart goes out to his entire family. May Komla Dumor Rest in Peace. Komla, we will miss your smile, your calming voice, your charm and your intellect. You may be gone but will never be forgotten.  
The most read story on BBC News website at the moment

Friday, January 03, 2014

2014

Who would thought the hardest blog post would be one observing the start of a brand new year. To me blogging has always come naturally. That is why I under perform when asked to blog on a particular topic. For me blogging has always been an important outlet for self-expression. Well, since 2005 and actively since 2008. Although in recent times the stream of consciousness that has characterized my blogging has been ebbed. However, I digress. It is a new year and as I enjoy some Aloe Blacc and Rudimental in a somewhat sorry attempt to keep up with what is hip and happening, I am reflecting on the fact that 2014 means a new year, new hope, new possibilities and of course getting older! 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

"When you look back on your life, you'll regret the things you didn't do more than the ones you did." -H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

I heart Berlin

Berlin. For me it was like a journey through the books of my secondary school history curriculum. It was all there: The Weimar Republic, the Reichstag fire, the rise of fascism, World War II, the Holocaust, the complete destruction and decimation of Berlin, the division of Berlin by the allies, the Cold War, the now seemingly-odd somewhat senseless Berlin Wall, the separation of families, the GDR/DDR, the collapse of the Berlin Wall, the fall of the USSR, the re-unification of Germany in 1990 and the reinstatement of Berlin as the capital of Germany. The sometimes sad and intense history of Berlin is still very evident everywhere. Alongside this history are all the signs of a modern, vibrant, cosmopolitan, rich and gritty international city. I truly heart Berlin.  

View from the top of the German parliament Reichstag/Bundestag building

Memorial outside the Bundestag to those who attempted to cross the Berlin Wall at that point and were killed

Memorial to the approximately 6 million Jews killed in Europe under National Socialism

 
The glorious Brandenburg gate: Symbol of Berlin and symbol of a re-united Germany

Thoughts on the wall in an underground station

Berlin Hauptbahnhof: the central railway station and one of the biggest in Europe
Rosa Luxemburg-Platz: Station named after the marxist theorist and socialist revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg. She was executed in 1919 
Absolutely delicious Italian food at a small cafe near Nollendorf Platz station that was open on Christmas day

The massive KaDeWe Shopping Center: vibrant and modern

Checkpoint Charlie: Name for best-known crossing point between the wall dividing East and West Berlin. The sign still stands to this day
Piece of the wall and iconic photo of the soldier and the little boy at the Checkpoint Charlie Museum

Probably the strangest thing I learned: a divided Berlin meant that trains from west Berlin could not stop in the East. Soldiers waited on the subway platform with guns to ensure they did not stop

Standing on either side of  where the wall stood. The remnants of the wall are all over Berlin

The photo of US President Kennedy in his historical visit to a divided Berlin during the Cold War. The mayor of Berlin Willy Brandt who worked tirelessly towards peace and a united Berlin / Germany is the 2nd person to his right

Possibly the picture that sums it up the most. Pieces of the wall where it stood in Potsdamer Platz in the centre of Berlin. In the background, a towering iPhone ad. At the end of the Cold War, the winner it appears was capitalism