BBC World News launches search to find exceptional talent in African journalism in honour of  Komla Dumor

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 26 January 2022:

The BBC has begun the search for a future star of African journalism with the launch of the seventh BBC World News Komla Dumor Award.

The search for the next worthy winner of the Komla Dumor Award was launched online via Zoom today, 26 January 2022, featuring an exclusive interview with Komla Dumor’s family.

The interview was conducted by the former winner, Victoria Rubadiri, who spoke with Komla’s widow, Kwansema Dumor, and two of their children in their home – the first time an award recipient has had an opportunity to learn more about Komla from his family in this way.

Kwansema told Victoria that she was ‘proud’ of her husband’s impact at the BBC, and that her family are “thankful to the BBC for remembering him” through the Award.

The BBC is encouraging journalists across Africa to apply for the prestigious prize, which seeks to promote and celebrate outstanding journalistic talent living and working on the continent.

The winner will spend three months working with the BBC News teams in London across television, radio and online, and will be given the opportunity to sharpen their journalism skills through training, workshops, and mentorship with leading BBC journalists.

As part of the placement, the successful candidate will have the opportunity to travel to a country in Africa to report on a story that they have researched, with the report broadcast to the BBC’s global audiences.

Applications close on February 16, 23:59 GMT.

Launched in 2015, the prize was set-up to honour the memory of the distinguished Ghanaian broadcaster Komla Dumor, who presented on BBC Africa and BBC World News.

Known for championing robust, dynamic journalism and for his commitment to reporting African stories comprehensively and authentically, Komla made a significant impact on Africa and the rest of the world.

The BBC is committed to continuing Komla’s legacy through the Award by empowering journalists from Africa to tell original and nuanced African stories to reach international audiences.

Previous BBC World News Komla Dumor Award winners are: 

  • Nancy Kacungira (2015)
  • Didi Akinyelure (2016)
  • Amina Yuguda (2017)
  • Waihiga Mwaura (2018)
  • Solomon Serwanjja (2019)
  • Victoria Rubadiri (2020)

During her placement Victoria travelled to Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo to report on an app developed to improve transport safety in Kinshasa, the country’s capital city.

Victoria was presented with the award by BBC Director General, Tim Davie.

Victoria says: “Beyond the huge honour of elevating the memory of the late Komla Dumor, and the weight of the BBC recognising my work as a journalist, I have seen the growth in myself just in the last three months I spent in London. The training and exposure took my skills to the next level. This opportunity gave me a continental perspective of the news market and opened my mind to new ways of telling the African story.”

Liliane Landor, Senior Controller of BBC News International Services and Director of BBC World Service, says: “I’m delighted that the BBC World News Komla Dumor Award has returned for its seventh year. The previous winners have truly exemplified Komla’s dedication to telling Africa stories with depth, erudition, and insight. We are excited to find and welcome this year’s winner and see the legacy of Komla’s journalism continue.”

For more information about the award, including how to apply, entry criteria, and terms and conditions visit: https://careerssearch.bbc.co.uk/jobs/job/BBC-World-News-Komla-Dumor-Award/58367

About Komla Dumor

Komla Dumor was a highly acclaimed journalist who presented Focus on Africa on BBC World News, as well as being one of the lead presenters for World News’ European morning segment. To the great shock and sadness of the BBC and its audience around the world, Komla died suddenly in January 2014.

Komla Dumor was the presenter of Focus on Africa, the BBC’s first-ever dedicated daily TV news programme in English for African audiences, broadcast on BBC World News.

Komla was also one of the lead presenters for BBC World News’ European morning segment. Komla joined the BBC in 2007 after a decade of broadcast journalism in his native Ghana where he won the Ghana Journalist of the Year award.

Between 2007 and 2009 he hosted Network Africa for BBC World Service, before joining The World Today programme. In 2009 Komla became the first host of the African business news programme on BBC World News, Africa Business Report.

Komla travelled across Africa, meeting Africa’s top entrepreneurs and reporting on the latest business trends around the continent. He interviewed a number of high-profile guests including Bill Gates and Kofi Annan.

He anchored live coverage of major events including the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the funeral of Kim Jong Il, the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, the Norway shootings and the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. In 2013 Komla featured in New African magazine’s list of the 100 most influential Africans.

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