Ghanaian poet, essayist and humourist Kwame Agyemang Berko writes to celebrate the life of the late Komlar Dumor.
Read it unedited it was submitted. Some words might be pardonable.
On Saturday, 19/01/14,I was with R2bees in their home discussing a certain Twum, the lastest Ghanaian millionaire gone broke whilst watching Sunderland host Southampton in the EPL when my Snr comrade Kiki Banson of EKB Records and former manager of musician Becca called me from J’burg (SA) asking if it was true that Komla Dumor had passed.
I repeated the question a little more loudly as if it were a rethoric .
Paedae, now rechristened Omar Sterling, sitting next to me in their couch was emphatic but with a pinch of trite in tone, went like “oh how? How Komla Dumor fi die? it took the longest and coldest 3 seconds I’ve ever known in my entire life before Mugeez(the other half of the international music duo R2bees) to intervene with “Rasta eno fit be true . . . Ghanafour no no ooo” .
The first person I called was Albert Mensah of lynx Entertainment.
He had not heard so it was not true.
Then I called my brother Fennec Okyere( of Madtime Entertainment and Kwaw Kesse’s manager who will himself be slain 55days later).
He was like “oh but me and you just meet his sister for kotoka airport two days ago so how her brother fi die?”
I pardoned his confusion and unusually dumb response considering what I had sought of him.
Indeed we had met Mawuena days earlier who told us at the VVIP car parking lot that she was on her way to Dubai (she upon hearing the news, dashed down)
All these calls were part of my attempts to ascertain and most importantly call Kiki back so he doesn’t drown himself in unnecessary sorrow borne out of wicked rumor.
The obvious thing to do was to switch on the radio and tune in to Joyfm but none of us in the room had the courage to dare.
My casual company that afternoon was Africa’s Refuse To Be Broke.
And Kiki’s phone call was not going to break anyone.
Not that day.
Not off Ghana’s most influential and biggest testimony that it was possible to be Ghanaian, make it, and not have your foundations of being Ghanaian broken at the world stage.
If there is any need to reason to be proud of being an African of Ghanaian origin, please log in to www.komladumorfoundation.org.
Torch bearer Komla Apefa Dumor can’t die.
Africa’s Boss Player can’t die.
Our Boss Player won’t die.
But as tributes from all over the world would later suggest, and especially now that we mark 2 years since he passed, we can only seek solace in scripture and recite the verse “in all things we give thanks and adoration to God”.
I left the R2bees home (en route Mamfe Akropong to begin work on Winter Ski Olympian Kwame Nkrumah Acheampong’s dream), turned on my car radio, heard Yaw Ampofo Ankrah’s voice on joyfm expressing his dismay and sorrow at the breaking news, then I immediately slotted in Lucky Dube’s CD.
And as if by design the song “crazy world” bellowed . . . .
“Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord my soul to keep
And if I die before I wake
I pray the Lord my soul to take.”
‘Cause he’s living in this crazy world,
I had the distinguished honor of meeting Komla Dumor just once in life.
It was his last August in life at the Movenpick Hotel in Accra together with my Snr brother and ace Actor/Comedian and Director Miki Osei Berko.
Komla had dashed into Accra after he had wrapped up Prez Bill Cliton’s tour of Africa and we discussed some one or two things with the promise to meet later on in life and talk. Mikki and I had gone there to have dinner not knowing we were going to bump into The Boss Player. When I impressed on him follow Mikki back on Twitter, that was enough reason for my brother to excuse Komla before I commit any worse of a faux pas.
Ato Kwamina Dadzie a former colleague and friend who was then domiciled in Canada tweeted the Saturday upon hearing about his buddy’s demise “ Fuck you Death, Fuck You”.
Komla Dumor himself tweeted during his last July of the face of this earth, a quote by Bruce Lee “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”
I Kwame Agyemang Berko fear death because it has practiced its only ONE chore of purpose over 10,000 times but whenever I die before I wake, whatever gods maybe should take my soul where Komla Dumor is so I can complete some one or two things for I shan’t be broken.
Komla himself once said, “There’s so much more to tell about Africa than the usual stories about war, famine and disease.”
He has always known this.
That the onus rest on us to tell a better story because we could live it.
He has always been Ghanaian about that.
He has always believed it were possible to tell our stories of positivity.
And he lived his life as proof of that.
We the living and from this Ghana, have no excuse to be broke.
We must strive and refuse to be broke.
For that is scripture.
Thank you Boss Player.
To Ms Kwansema Quansah Dumor and mother of his children Elinam Makafui, Elorm Efadzinam and Emefa Araba, we are sorry for your loss.
Still we rise……