It’s not often that the passing of a journalist elicits mourning among people across two continents, but the reaction to Komla Dumor’s death speaks to the impact he had not just in the news industry, but on the people he covered as well.
Komla Dumor passed away last month due to a heart attack. At the time of his death he had been the Africa business reporter for BBC Television in London, where he had worked since moving from Ghana in 2006. It was in Ghana that Komla won the 2003 Journalist of the Year Award.
It wasn’t exactly reasonable to expect one man to cover an entire continent, but Komla did about as good of a job as humanly possible when discussing Africa. As a son of the continent, he brought a perspective and reach that many in the news industry simply would not have been able to replicate. Below is a speech he gave at the Ted x Euston conference in 2012 on the importance of telling the encompassing African story when reporting. Komla was 41-years-old at the time of his death.
When I think back to some of the more inspiring and intriguing movies that I’ve seen these last 10-15 years, they’ve all left me wondering to some degree. It could be about the characters, plot development, scene structure, or any other particular overarching themes. “To Sir, With Love 2” left me thinking about not only the importance of teaching, but the type of person depicted to lead a classroom.
“To Sir, With Love 2” was a former Movie of the Month of mine back in July 2003. It stars one of the legendary names in Hollywood cinema, one Sidney Poitier. Poitier was also the star of the original “To Sir, With Love,” which took place in an inner-city London school in the mid-1960s. While the first “To Sir, With Love” was released in 1967, the sequel would not come out until 1996. I can’t recall another series of movies where the sequel came out nearly 30 years following the original.
Unlike Joe Clark in “Lean on Me,” or the motorcycle riding take-no-prisoners Rick Latimer in the 1987 movie “The Principle,” Poitier’s character is far more reserved and tactful. It seems surprising at first that a man who just retired from 30 years of teaching in England, would welcome the duty of educating the toughest students in a nondescript Chicago public school. However, Poitier’s character, Mark Thackeray, does just that.
Thackeray challenges his students to not only think about what makes them who they are, but also consider that they ultimately determine other people’s perceptions about themselves. Now that’s not to say there aren’t some real problems his students are facing, but Thackeray refuses to allow them to use outside influences as an excuse. The entire movie is actually on Youtube and I’ve included some of the more poignant clips below.