We are devastated to announce that Mr Nicholas Kumah, Founder and Country Director of AfriKids Ghana, passed away on 2nd October 2020, following a sudden illness.
Nich is the reason AfriKids is what it is today. A trusted pillar of his community, with the gravitas and conviction needed to make things happen, he founded a community-based organisation on firm principles and had the vision and confidence which took it to scale and put it on the world map. Nich had ambition and tenacity but most importantly, deep empathy. He couldn’t stand by while children suffered and lives were lost; it was his personal mission to break down the huge obstacles and barriers they faced and change what childhood meant in his community.
“In 2002 Nich and Linda opened our first tiny but brightly painted office on Bolgatanga high street, close to the lorry park where so many children were living and sleeping. I remember one night, about a year in, we arrived back there after a long and dusty day. At this point AfriKids was working with about 50 children through a handful of projects. Nich leant back on his chair and clasped his hands around the back of his head, as he so often did, and said “I never dreamed we’d reach this many children”... little did he know.” Georgie, AfriKids UK Founder
Nich was determined to give the next generation the chance to change the world. And he did. Nich turned that small, community-based organisation into a world-leading, multi award-winning organisation that has improved the lives of over a million people. They are his legacy.
Nich was AfriKids and AfriKids was Nich. We are utterly heartbroken by this huge loss and it is hard to find words that do justice to such a monumental character and force for change. We can’t imagine life without him and will remember him always.
It is a very busy and difficult time at the moment, but we will be working with Nich's family to find a way to recognise his life, legacy and to honour his memory for years to come.
Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with his family, friends, colleagues and the thousands of people near and far who will miss him terribly.
Nich, you will always be in our hearts. Thank you for being such a huge part of our lives.
Words from Nich’s team, the staff of AfriKids Ghana
Bolgatanga, the land of rocks, but today, one of the main rocks has fallen.
Will our land ever be the same again without you?
The international community has lost a great mind in the fight for child protection, women empowerment, equality and development.
Staff of AfriKids are at a loss, our hearts are heavy at the loss of your personality. You are a leader, charismatic and gallant and we were proud to follow you. Our thoughts cannot be captured in a mouthful or a paper full. If we had the opportunity to do it all over again and have anyone to lead us to achieve our ambitious vision, we would always have you.
Though originally not from [northern Ghana], you belonged here. The people of this land owe you much more than you ever asked for. You poured out yourself for this land and that has not been in vain as so much has changed here. Your legacy lives on.
It’s impossible to forget someone who gave so much to remember. You can never be forgotten; you have immortalised yourself in this land through your landmark contributions to the liberation of our people from all forms of bondage. You will always be here with us.
We promise to continue the good fight here at AfriKids, we promise to continue to stand tall, we promise to pursue and see the vision through. We promise not to let others see us cry. Sometimes, the strongest people in the morning are the people who have cried all night. So, we will do our crying in the night and in the rain, but when the rest of the world see us, they will see us with our heads held high, backs straightened and with a clean face, because we have seen how you have carried pain with a straight face over the years and fighting for your people in the process. We salute you and we will continue to make you proud.
For us, there are no good byes, we know you are in a better place and till we join you, you will forever remain in our hearts.