Michael Joseph speaking in a panel

Michael Joseph broke down in tears reading poem for Bob Collymore

Interim Safaricom CEO Michael Joseph spoke about his dear friend and dearly departed comrade, Bob Collymore. But it wasn’t easy. He broke down in tears while doing so at Bob’s memorial service that occurred yesterday at All Saints Cathedral.

Bob Collymore memorial service
Bob Collymore memorial service

He explained to those gathered that Bob had introduced him to a poem that either of them was meant to read out, depending on who passed away before the other, saying;

About one year ago, Bob showed me this poem that he’d found in a book, and we agreed that whoever survived the other was honour-bound to read it at the other’s funeral.

Michael Joseph at the service
Michael Joseph at the service

Michael read the poem while fighting back tears. It is below;

He then went on to read out the following poem on behalf of the former Safaricom CEO, who passed away on July 1, 2019, after a long battle with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML).
I hope I can trust you, friends, not to use our relationship
As an excuse for an unsolicited ego-trip.
I have seen enough of them at funerals and they make me cross.
At this one, though deceased, I aim to be the boss.
If you are asked to talk about me for five minutes, please do not go on for eight.
There is a strict timetable at the crematorium and nobody wants to be late.
If invited to read a poem, just read the bloody poem. If requested
To sing a song, just sing it, as suggested,
And don’t say anything. Though I will not be there,
Glancing pointedly at my watch and fixing the speaker with a malevolent stare,
Remember that this was how I always reacted
When I felt that anybody’s speech, sermon or poetry reading was becoming too protracted.
Yes, I was intolerant, and not always polite
And if there aren’t many people at my funeral, it will serve me right.

Michael Joseph speaking
Michael Joseph speaking

Micheal added that he and Bob would normally ignore each other’s instructions and as such he would not read the rest of the poem.

He noted that because of Bob’s inspiration he was writing a book titled, My Life in Safaricom and he confessed that he had only written one chapter so far, which he had named Bob.


Michael finished off by tearfully saying that he would have wanted Bob to live forever but God had other plans for him.

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