The BBC World Service radio this morning couldn’t shut up about the death, apparently from a heart attack at the age of 41, of one of the BBC’s African journalists. To me, journalists should seldom, if ever, be the one of the lead stories. But what annoyed me was not every program I heard talked about his death but that one of the BBC reporters when interviewing one of Nelson Mandela’s daughters about the death said Komla Dumor had gone to the family home after the former president’s death to “offer his condolences”. I suspect, strongly suspect, that Dumor had gone to the woman’s home to interview her about Mandela’s death. There’s nothing wrong with that, it was his job. Why was the BBC dressing up seeking an interview as a compassionate act? The interviewer suggested the woman had been hit by two deaths in quick succession. I’m not clear if Mandela’s daughter was prompted to declare the journalist’s death as a “tragedy for the continent”. I suspect there are many greater tragedies unfolding in Africa. Barely a day goes by without reports of another African country being ripped apart by rampaging murder gangs and bloody coups. The BBC invests a lot of money and effort in its programming aimed at Africa – possibly because it is one of the few places where many people still get their news from shortwave radio. I was talking to a friend about the latest verging-on-genocidal strife in Africa and he wondered out loud if there is just something “wrong with Africans”. I don’t think so. I strongly suspect that multi-nationals, and in authoritarian countries even national regimes, interested in exploiting Africa’s massive mineral resources have a hand in overthrowing governments that won’t play ball. And the murder gangs are part of the game. If the BBC really wants to serve its African listeners then it should concentrate putting the strife into context for the populations of the countries where these multi-nationals are based. These barbaric murder gangs do not operate in a vacuum.