Eulogizing Robert Collymore

Yesterday, 1st July 2019, Kenyans woke up to the most tragic and shocking news of the demise of Safaricom’s Chief Executive Officer Mr. Robert (Bob) Collymore at his home in Kitisuru. Bob Collymore as he was referred to succumbed to cancer of the blood known as Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). Apparently the South American born CEO has been battling the disease for the past two years when it was discovered back in 2017. He has been undergoing treatment in the UK and recently here in Kenya at the Agha Khan hospital. 

Following his demise Safaricom quickly updated its logo in its social media platforms in honor of their late Chief Executive Officer. By around 0900hrs, the leading provider of converged communications in Kenya changed its logo to black, white, blue and grey from its usual green, white and red colors. The chairman in his special board meeting speech talked of how they could devise ways on how to honor the fallen mighty business CEO and his legacy which I think will be communicated at a later date. Senior leaders, reporters and business persons took the media to eulogize the CEO. Media Owner and entrepreneur Mr. Chris Kirubi posted on his twitter page “It is with deep sadness that I have learnt this morning news of the death of Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore. As a country we have lost a distinguished leader who greatly contributed to national development. My condolences to family, friends and all Kenyans. Rest in peace my friend.” 

TV host and Emmy & Peabody – Award Winning Journalist Jeff Koinange in his interview said that he first met Bob when he was hosting his normal TV show “THE BENCH”. He said that, that day he was hosting the former CEO Michael Joseph, who happened to walk in with this Black American guy who had this crispy suit whom Jeff thought was his bodyguard. Jeff was like “can you give the security guy a cup of coffee? This is when Michael Joseph introduced Bob to me after we were done with the interview as Bob Collymore who works at our Vodacom office in South Africa. Weeks later Bob was announced the CEO of Safaricom taking over from Michael Joseph and since then we have been friends. So always treat people how you would want them to treat you because you never know. I addressed him as a bodyguard but with the respect he deserved oblivious of what he would turn out to be later on”, Jeff said.

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Well I don’t know how you are going to remember the late Mr. Robert William (Bob) Collymore. As for me  it will have to be that time he masqueraded himself as a tout in a Nairobi Matatu Bus Station and also in the “furifuri dance” song. The late Bob Collymore was cremated today in Kariokor, Nairobi at a special private ceremony where family, close friends and relatives attended as was announced by Safaricom board of members’ chairman. He leaves behind his Kenyan wife (Wambui Kamiru) who is in an art-lover and founder of The Art Space in Nairobi. They met during a fundraiser for survivors of the Loreto Convent Msongari school bus crash that occurred in 2011. They were both divorcees . Bob also leaves behind four children. Rest in Peace Mr. Bob Collymore

Adrian Opiyo

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