I loved him. People misinterpreted our relationship – Michael Joseph says of Collymore

Michael Joseph has been the acting Safaricom CEO, since the death of the late CEO, Bob Collymore. The two were closer than most people think and had a very special relationship.

In a recent interview with Business Daily, Joseph narrated how their close relationship could be misinterpreted by many who knew them

“He used to send me books to read. I loved him. People misinterpreted it, they thought it was some other kind of relationship, but it wasn’t. It was always about two guys getting together and spending so much time talking about serious honest topics that guys don’t talk about especially when death was all around,” he said.

The boys club
The boys club that included; Alykhan Satchu, Patrick Quarcoo, Peter Kenneth, Jeff Koinange, Bob Collymore, Bharat Thakrar, Nic Hailey. Joshua Oigara

Joseph related that the two business titans shared so much in common that their lives became intertwined.

“I was diagnosed with cancer in 2003, I went through this life-threatening disease, and some tough emotional times. I promised to live the rest of my life to the fullest because I might have died in 2003,” he told the reporter.

‘Unforgettable’ Maina Kageni reminisces late Bob Collymore on birthday

As a result of his cancer fight, the Safaricom CEO said he stopped fearing death, a sentiment he didn’t share for the late Collymore.

“With Bob, I was worried for him because he was younger, he had so much to live for, he had young children. And, he was just a good guy. A guy who read all these books. He had thousands of books,” Joseph said.

Michael Joseph speaking
Michael Joseph speaking

Joseph finished off by praising the late Bob as one of those people who he could approach with an issue and get a solution given the understanding they shared and also his experiences.

“This position is lonely. It’s a position of solitude where you have to make decisions and there aren’t many people to get advice from. Not many people know the context of which you’re making decisions. But Bob Collymore was one of them. I had dinner with Obama [Former US President Barack Obama] once. It was interesting. He was like everybody else; big ego. It’s difficult to talk about yourself in such situations, you want to talk about him,” he recounted.

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‘Unforgettable’ Maina Kageni reminisces late Bob Collymore on birthday


The late Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore would have turned 62 today.

Collymore died in July 2019 after a long battle with cancer. His death continues to be felt countrywide.

I could tell him send me Sh 1k’ – Juliani says of Bob Collymore

Classic’s Maina Kageni has paid glowing tribute to the late Collymore noting he is ‘unforgettable’

Maina Kageni wrote that Bob as he was affectionately referred to is ‘Unforgettable and forever in our hearts. Happy Birthday Bob Collymore!’

Collymore’s wife Wambui has moved many to tears with her emotional tribute on Twitter where she counted down how many days it has been since he left her.

6 months, 13 days, 22hrs 20mins since I last saw you. Happy Birthday

‘I’ve given up. Just take care of Wambui and my kids’ – Bob Collymore told Uhuru

When he was still alive in January 2019, Collymore penned a happy birthday message to himself, revealing to Kenyans his journey with Cancer.

He wrote


That particular post (above) elicited many comments with many praying for his healing, sadly this did not come to pass.

Bob passed away on 1st July 2019.

Happy Birthday Bob from the Classic 105 family.

Also read more here

Cancer, how Kenyans opened their eyes to this deadly diseases

They were all champions in their own right. One beat the odds and rise from poverty to become a selfless MP with a heart for his constituents. He built a school because he believed education is one of the keys to releasing people from the shackles of poverty.

Another went down in history as one of the first women governors Kenya has produced after emerging victorious in a tough race against her opponent who was looking to secure a second term in office.

Yet another came from a far away land – Guyana – to fill the shoes of an extremely successful predecessor who had helped build a company to the point of becoming one of the most profitable firms in Kenya. He held his own and accomplished even greater feats than his predecessor. He blended in Kenya and identified with the country and its culture.

All the three had several things in common.

They made the country proud. But they also had something else in common – they all died from cancer – robbing the country of promising leaders.

Ken Okoth, Joyce Laboso and Bob Collymore fought a good fight, but lost the battle.

They were Kibra MP, Bomet governor and Safaricom CEO – top leaders.

Although cancer has cut short the lives of many people in Kenya, the three deaths brought more focus on the killer condition and talk was rife on whether it should be declared a national disaster.

Collymore died on July 1 at his home in Kitisuru.

He had gone to the UK in October 2017 to receive treatment for acute myeloid Leukemia and returned in July 2018 to resume duties at Safaricom.
A statement by the telco said that prior to his death, Collymore’s condition worsened.

Collymore left behind a wife and four children. He died at the age of 61.

Barely a month later, news broke of the passing on of Kibra MP Ken Okoth.

Okoth died on July 26.

His brother, Imran, said the legislator was rushed to Nairobi Hospital at 5pm on July 25 and moved to ICU at 8am the following day after multiple organ failure.

He succumbed to stage four colorectal cancer.

Two weeks before his death, Okoth had made his first official appearance in public after being away in France for five months seeking treatment.

Both Okoth and Collymore were cremated.

However, Okoth’s family members had differed on whether he should be buried or cremated. His wife said that before his death he had said his body should be cremated. But Okoth’s mother, Angeline, and other extended family members were initially opposed to cremation.

They, however, finally accepted cremation. He died at the age of 41.

Barely two days later, as Kenyans were coming to grips with Okoth’s loss, Bomet Governor Joyce Laboso died.

Laboso died at the Nairobi Hospital after battling cancer.

She had been admitted at the facility’s ICU since she arrived from India earlier where she was receiving treatment. She was 58 years old.

Laboso had left the country on May 29 for the United Kingdom (Royal Madden NHS Hospital) where she stayed before being transferred for further treatment in India.

She had been put on full bed rest and the county office had said the number of people visiting her at Nairobi Hospital was restricted to allow her enough rest.

Laboso left behind a husband and three sons.

During burial preparations, Laboso’s widower, Edwin Abonyo, revealed his wife had battled with cancer for more than two decades. She was first diagnosed with cancer 28 years ago, but she went into remission.

The deaths of the three prominent leaders made Kenyans realise just how real the threat of cancer is. Many people thought – if top leaders with access to many resources could succumb to the killer disease, what of the common Wanjiku?

Kenyans appealed to the government to build more cancer treatment facilities which were more accessible to everyone.

Many cancer patients seek treatment abroad because the country does not have enough specialists and equipment.

In Nairobi, ward reps asked Governor Mike Sonko to set up cancer screening and testing centres across major health facilities.

The ward reps said this would play a key role in early detection.

Churchill comedian Zainabu speaks on grief after death of her baby

Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o – a cancer survivor – also urged the government to focus on research and personnel in the fight against cancer, rather than just equipment and facilities.

He said oncologists are desperately required and they should be the main focus before establishing the centres.

The three leaders who succumbed to cancer inspired Kenyans to pursue excellence.
Collymore led Safaricom for 10 years.

Laboso was among the first women from her community to obtain a PhD.

Okoth built a modern school in the heart of Kibra – Mbagathi Girls High School and rehabilitated Kibera Primary School.

Kenyans can borrow a leaf from these former leaders whose lights were dimmed.

Eating a balanced diet and keeping physically active are some of the tips given to staying healthy. Although cancer has been known to affect even the healthiest of people.

Cancer screening is also important because if it is detected early, it can be managed.

By Tracy Mutinda

Prominent Kenyans who have opted to get cremated

July was one of the worst months that Kenya has ever experienced. And that is looking at the leaders that we lost to the dreaded disease cancer.

Some of those leaders are the late Safaricom CEO, Bob Collymore, the late Kibra MP Ken Okoth and the late Bomet governor Joyce Laboso.

Joyce Laboso in a file photo
Joyce Laboso in a file photo

One of the interesting things that has transpired from this episode, however, is how some of the leaders wanted their bodies to be dealt with. Instead of the tradition of being buried, we are hearing that the late Ken Okoth had requested to be cremated.

What is cremation? It is the disposal of a dead person’s body by burning it to ashes, typically after a funeral ceremony. This is the path that some prominent Kenyan personalities chose as their final wish.

Ken Okoth
Ken Okoth

Despite the fact that it has been around for a while, cremation has mostly gained popularity among the elite in Kenya. Today, we highlight some high-profile Kenyan personalities who were cremated in compliance with their wishes. They are and from the most recent;

Bob Collymore

The former Safaricom CEO died on July 1st last month. What was shocking was that he was cremated the next day at Kariokor crematorium in a private function restricted only to Safaricom’s top officials, family members, and a few state officers.


Binyavanga Wainaina

The renowned poet and gay activist was cremated in Nairobi following his death which occurred after suffering a stroke. Binyavanga’s body was incinerated at Kariakor Crematorium in a low-key event attended by close family members and friends.

Binyavanga Wanaina
The controversial artiste

Kenneth Matiba

The former presidential candidate and business magnate suffered cardiac arrest and died at the Karen Hospital ICU in Nairobi in April last year.


He was cremated at the Lang’ata Crematorium.

John Macharia

The son of Royal Media Services chairman SK Macharia, was cremated at Lang’ata after he died following an accident on the Southern by-pass.


Jeremiah Kiereini 

The former Head of Civil Service Jeremiah Kiereini was cremated in March 2019 at a private family function. The family said it was the late billionaire’s desire to be cremated.

Jeremiah Kiereini
Jeremiah Kiereini

Wangari Maathai

The 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner was cremated in 2011 at a private ceremony at the Kariokor crematorium.


The family of the environmentalist and the government agreed to cremate the body according to her wishes with the ashes being interred at the Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies.

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I could tell him send me Sh 1k’ – Juliani says of Bob Collymore

Juliani was recently interviewed by Betty Kyallo. The man who rarely ever makes the headlines because he is very private revealed a lot about his personal life and his career.

Juliani opens up about split from Brenda Wairimu

One of the highlights of the interview was when the musician spoke about the late Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore who was closer to Juliani that most people are aware of.

Juliani speaking to Betty Kyallo
Juliani speaking to Betty Kyallo

The rapper confirmed that Collymore was not only a friend but a mentor and motivator he looked up to. The entertainer himself who is doing a mentorship project dubbed Dandora Hip Hop City said he feels insecure in Collymore’s absence.

‘You know when you are doing things people see like you are going crazy. But one needs someone to affirm them that they are fine. This is the role Bob Collymore played on my end. You know there are those kind of people who in case you get into something they are the first ones to look up and they won’t let you. I could tell him Bob send me Sh 1k and would do so without probing a lot,’ the rapper said.


He also added how much of a positive impact Bob had on him. He explained,

‘If I was in a problem, I only made a call to him and he was quick to respond. He was the kind of person that did not ask a lot of questions, ” said the father of one.

Juliani and the late Bob met years ago at a Safaricom event, and since that time, their friendship blossomed. Many a time, the two had been photographed attending events together.

The rapper in black and white

When Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore walked down the aisle, Juliani was the only one artiste on the guest list.

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Cremation: Everything you need to know about this funeral option



Did you know cremation is significantly less expensive than a traditional funeral? With no burial plot, casket or gravestone to purchase, cremation saves grieving families thousands of shillings.

The Kariokor Crematorium is one of the best-known in Kenya.

Attendant Maharaj Samshan gave the Star a picture of the process.

The crematorium charges a flat rate of Sh10,000 for a member and Sh22,500 for a non-Hindu.

Samshan said once a booking is made, the first step is to clean the place.

If it’s going to be at the electric kiln, officers ensure there is sufficient diesel to power it. And if it’s firewood, they stock enough for the job.

“The kiln undergoes maintenance once every year and a body requires about 40 litres of diesel to burn fully.,”he said.


When a hearse arrives, there is a short session for prayers and then the body is transferred onto a trolley and then wheeled to the cremation chamber.

Like a master craftsman, Samshan places the body on an open pyre of wood for those being cremated on wood.

He says the rack must be  a few metres off the ground.

The body is placed between logs and sawdust placed beneath the rack to be used to light the fire.

The temperature is  1,000 to 2,000 degrees Celsius.

“Cremation takes one-anda-half hours and involves the burning of the body inside the coffin, in line with Health ministry regulations,” Samshan  said.

He says the family selects one member to light the fire.

Families can choose to have their relatives cremated at an open kiln as they watch or at a closed one.


The family can wait for the ashes the same day or go back for them the following day.

If not collected within a certain time frame, the ashes are dispersed in the crematorium grounds.

Maharaj  said the few bones left and the ashes can also be taken to the mortuary for collection by relatives in urns.

“The ashes weigh between a half or quarter a kilo,” he said.

Samshan and his colleague do all the work, including chopping firewood, cleaning, maintaining the lawn, pruning trees, preheating the cremators and sorting out paperwork.


Pandit Trivedi from SSDS temple says Hindus do not believe in the bodily resurrection and the reuniting of each soul with its physical body. They thus place no importance on preserving the corpse, which is the intent of burial in Christianity and Islam.

“The body is the prison of the soul that generates attachments and desires that prevent forward progress towards freedom thats why we (hindus)cremate.

In Hindu funerals, therefore, the role of cremation is to sever the ties of the soul to the body that it is leaving, freeing it to move.

Singh Khalsa-Lakhvir, a former Visual editor at the Star, said Sikhs cremate for spiritual reasons.

Since Sikhs believe that soul is immortal and does not die, he said they burn the physical and mortal remains to totally detach the soul from the body as it journeys back to its Creator.

As per Sikhi, the soul’s divine purpose is to further its journey beyond the physical.

“Cremation is done to confine the physical remains and respectfully and graciously return them to the five elements of which fire is one of them,” Khalsa said.

He noted that cremation is a dignified way to return the body to the earth, and helps absolve the family the burden of the upkeep of the grave or mausoleum. The body, as a temporary vessel for the soul, is humbly surrendered to flames to ensure nothing except its ashes remain behind to return to dust.


Cremation is common among Buddhists. Because the Buddha was himself cremated, many Buddhists chose cremation.

Burial is also permissible.

The most common crematoriums in Nairobi are the Langata crematorium,Hindu crematorium and the Kariokor crematorium.

Bob Collymore tops the July Google Search Trends

Google released its report on the most searched for topics in Kenya. At the top was no surprise Google Search trends with the death of Bob Collymore was the number one trending topic in the month of July.

The Guyanese-born British businessman served as the CEO at Safaricom PLC for 9 years before succumbing to cancer on the morning of 1st July 2019. Collymore’s death came almost a year after he openly spoke out about his illness, he died of acute myeloid leukemia and left behind his wife Wambui Kamiru and four children.

juliani and collymore at wedding
juliani and collymore at wedding

The third trending item this month was the death of Kibra Member of Parliament Ken Okoth. Okoth died at The Nairobi Hospital after a long battle with colon cancer. The MP was receiving treatment in Paris and returned home two weeks before his demise. The 41 year old leaves behind his wife, Monica Okoth.

Ken Okoth and his wife
Ken Okoth and his wife

Former KTN news anchor Esther Arunga was the fourth trending item after she was sentenced to 10months jail probation in a case involving the death of her son. Arunga is said to have lied about the circumstances under which her son suffered fatal injuries at a family home where she lived with her husband, Quincy Timberlake, in Brisbane, Australia, in June 2014.

Esther Arunga with Quincy Timberlake
Esther Arunga with Quincy Timberlake in the past

The fifth trending item this month was the FaceApp application. FaceApp is a free app on both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store with an age filter that makes people in photos look much older.

Below are the top trending searches according to the Google search trends. They are;

Trending Searches

Bob Collymore

Everton vs Kariobangi Sharks

Ken Okoth

Esther Arunga


Vera Sidika New Look


Waiguru Wedding

Sodium Metabisulfite

AFCON Finals

Trending Personalities

Bob Collymore

Ukur Yatani

Ken Okoth

Esther Arunga

Cameron Boyce

Wambui Kamiru

Henry Rotich

Dennis Itumbi

Micheal Joseph

Joe Kadenge



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War On Cancer: List of prominent Kenyans who’ve died of Cancer

In a short time span, Kenya has lost two leaders – Kibra MP Ken Okoth and Bomet Governor Joyce Laboso – to cancer.

The two have joined a growing list of prominent Kenyans who have died of the disease that has no cure.

Some are also receiving treatment for various strains of the disease.

Over the seven weeks that Juja MP Francis Munyua was successfully treated for brain cancer in India early this year, he met 13 lawmakers also receiving chemotherapy for various cancers.

“So many people are suffering in silence from cancer. Nobody wants to talk about it because of the stigma,” Munyua said when he returned in March.

“In India, I met hundreds of cancer patients from Kenya alone. Among them were nine of my fellow MPs and four Senators,” he said.

Munyua was successfully treated, joining a small group of prominent Kenyans to go public about their cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Others were not lucky and went silently.

Since 2010, at least 10 prominent Kenyans have succumbed to various types of cancer, making it the main killer among leaders in that period.

1. One such prominent leader was Prof Wangari Maathai, who left quietly at night on Sunday, September 25, 2011, at the Nairobi Hospital Cancer Centre.


2. After Maathai’s death, former minister and MP for Kiambaa Njenga Karume followed. He died on Friday, February 24, 2012.

Karume’s death was caused by prostate cancer which had spread and had become impossible to manage.

3. Five years later, former Nyeri Governor Nderitu Gachagua was killed by pancreatic cancer at 64 years in February 2017.

4. Other well-known Kenyans include former TV presenter Janet Kanini who succumbed to lung cancer in March 2017 after a two-year battle.

5. Former Kitui West MP Francis Nyenze, 60, passed away in December 2017 after a 10-year battle with colon cancer.

6. In December the same year, Harvard professor Calestous Juma died after a two-year battle with cancer.

7. Former Baringo South MP Grace Kipchoim, 49, also passed away in April last year after succumbing to acute colon cancer.

8. And while Kenyans were mourning these leaders, former Migori Senator Ben Oluoch, 55,  died in June last year after a protracted battle with throat cancer.

9. Former Maendeleo ya Wanawake Organization chairperson Jane Kiano, 74, succumbed to lung cancer in October last year at the Nairobi Hospital.

10. Other Kenyans who succumbed to the disease are Jonathan Toroitich who succumbed to pancreatic cancer on April 20 this year at Nakuru War Memorial Hospital.

11. More recently was former Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore, 61, who died peacefully at home on July 1.

He had been treated of acute myeloma leukemia, cancer that does not form tumours.

Also read more here

Jeff Koinange keeps wish that Bob Collymore asked him on live TV

The late Bob Collymore truly left an impression on his friend Jeff Koinange, such that Jeff cannot stop talking about him. Yesterday on his JKL show, the man with boombox voice revealed a request that the late CEO had asked him to keep.

Bob Collymore with Jeff Koinange 2
Bob Collymore with Jeff Koinange

That request was that he host top female corporate leaders on his show JKLive. Jeff hosted Jane Karuku, Managing Director (MD) Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL), Rita Kavashe (MD Isuzu EA) and Serah Katusia (MD MediaCom).

The CEO's being interviewed by Jeff Koinange
The CEO’s being interviewed by Jeff Koinange

He said;

This is why Rita is here. I made a promise to my good friend, the late Safaricom CEO, Bob Collymore, that I bring some top women CEOs to the bench. Here we are. So Bob, wherever you are, we are now even.

In a previous interview, Bob had pitched the idea to his close friend Jeff telling him;

Promise me that you will do that. I have some top women leaders at Safaricom, Debrah and Rita. They have a lot to share. We have Anastacia, Angela, and many others.

Bob Collymore with Jeff Koinange
Jeff Koinange interviewing Bob Collymore on his show

The sad truth is that Bob wouldn’t be present to see his request fulfilled. The great thing about the interview was that the female CEO’s recognised what a brilliant leader Bob was, with KBL Managing Director, Jane Karuku, saying;

When we look at ourselves, we hope to leave an impact in society just like Collymore did.

The CEO's being interviewed by Jeff Koinange
The CEO’s being interviewed by Jeff Koinange

Ms. Katusia added by saying;

Bob Collymore created a brand that has a purpose. That is what he left us.

Bob Collymore had a reputation as a CEO who would hire people based on skill rather than on educational credentials alone. Bob himself went up the ranks without the benefit of papers but with grit, skill, talent and perseverance.

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Jeff Koinange: It has not yet hit me that Bob Collymore is gone

Jeff Koinange lost one of his greatest friends early this month. That comrade was the late great Safaricom CEO, Bob Collymore. 

The JKL live host has spoken a lot about Bob or as they affectionately called him, ‘Kihara’ since his untimely death earlier this month.

Bob Collymore with Jeff Koinange
Bob Collymore with Jeff Koinange

Word Is recently caught up with him for a quick interview. One of the questions that they asked was how he was dealing with the loss of one of his best friends?

He said;

It’s been more than two weeks now but it has not yet hit me that he is gone. Sometimes, I still sit down and imagine Bob walking in and asking us how we are doing. ´Hey, guys did you miss me?´

Bob Collymore with Jeff Koinange
Jeff Koinange interviewing Bob Collymore on his show

One thing he said that regrets is that he did not tell Bob how great a human being he was when he was alive. Jeff also recounted some of the wonderful pieces of advice that Bob had given their boys club when he was still alive.

Bob would tell Jeff and his close circle of friends that he wasn’t perfect, but that he learning from his faults and mistakes. Bob Collymore died of Acute Myeloid Leukaemia earlier this month and it transpired that the late CEO had a great circle of friends that was full of industry heavy hitters.

The boys club
The boys club

They called themselves the boy’s club and would meet regularly. They were; Businessman Ally Khan Satchu, Radio Africa Group CEO Patrick Quarcoo, politician Peter Kenneth, Citizen TV News Anchor Jeff Koinange, Scangroup CEO Bharat Thakrar, British High Commissioner Nic Hailey and Kenya Commercial Bank CEO Joshua Oigara.

The boys club
The boys club that included; Alykhan Satchu, Patrick Quarcoo, Peter Kenneth, Jeff Koinange, Bob Collymore, Bharat Thakrar, Nic Hailey. Joshua Oigara

Who wouldn’t envy this close circle of friends?

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Details about the 130 year old gift Bob Collymore owed President Uhuru


Before he died, the late Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore had a gift for his pal President Uhuru.

The gift is now the subject of debate on social media after Uhuru hinted that Collymore could have given it to his boys club.

While the gentlemen in the boys club chuckled about it, President Uhuru notified them that they will have to return it, ASAP.

Uhuru said, “I was supposed to have gone back to collect my gift reserved for a special friend from Bob and so Peter Kenneth, Oigara and crew, you will pay. That did not belong to you.”

Uhur addreses mourners at All Saints 4th July, 2019

What is this gift you ask?

Well it turns out it is a Johnnie Walker Directors Edition brand that Uhuru is said to love (The oldest blended scotch whisky ). It’s not available to the public.


According to the Whiskys auctioneer:

Johnnie Walker The Directors Complete Collection 6 x 70cl

Never available at retail, this collection was only given to very important Diageo types. Very few bottles made it to the secondary market and collectors have fought to get hold of this essential part of Walker history.

Incredibly rare, this is the complete 6 bottle collection consisting of annual releases between 2008 and 2013, each with their own unique, presentation, design and character, yet all unmistakably Johnnie Walker.

also read more here

Moesha, the girl who Inspired Bob Collymore to support her girls initiative

Moesha Kibibi is one woman who inspired both Bob Collymore and Churchill. Who could she be? She is the woman behind the Divas Power Initiative.

Founded by Moesha Kibibi, a professional dancer, Divas Power seeks to reach and empower kids from slums across the country.

Moesha’s story is one of struggle, trouble, hope, hope, and eventual redemption. She was at one time a facing a bleak future. Why? She had been chased away from home because of her passion for dancing.

Moesha with Betty Kyallo
Moesha with Betty Kyallo after the fame she got after her Churchill Show performance

The consequences for her decision were that she was locked out of home at 13 and had to fend for herself in the streets of Majengo, Nairobi. In order for her to succeed she had to sell groundnuts. At night, she would gang up with other street children to sleep at the space her dance group used for practicing.

Moesha remembering Bob

She ganged up to sleep with other kids in the night to avoid dangers the night could present. During that time she was nearly raped 4 times!

But she was able to get out of the mess. Eventually, her resilience paid off and now she is inspiring many young girls to pursue their dance passion as well.

Eventually, Bob Collymore using his Safaricom initiative, Ndoto Zetu, came to her aid.


Through the initiative, Safaricom promised to sponsor 18 girls from her organisation for five years as a commemoration of the company’s 18-year stint in Kenya.

In that way, Moesha was able to hand the needy girls the lifeline they needed. The girls’ eyes are now open to possibilities – that there are answers out there waiting for them to find, that there are empty desks and incomplete teams and people waiting for them to join.

Fast forward to 2019, Moesha made it and is now helping over 2500 girls wade through the murky waters of poverty.

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‘I’ve given up. Just take care of Wambui and my kids’ – Bob Collymore told Uhuru

Bob Collymore has been the by-word on many people’s lips and that is understandable. One person who spoke about him at his memorial service was President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Uhuru Kenyatta
Uhuru Kenyatta

Uhuru and Collymore were closer than most Kenyans were aware of. The two met barely a week before the late CEO’s demise and had a 4-hour conversation.

In that tête-à-tête, the two spoke about the future of Kenya as well as the telecommunications company. Bob also relayed news of his impending death.

Bob-Collymore smiling

Though the 61-year-old corporate titan put up a brave face knowing the clock was ticking, he requested Uhuru to take care of his widow Wambui Kamiru and children.

Bob-collymore-with his wife back in 2017
Bob-collymore-with his wife back in 2017

The head of state also remembered a promise that Bob had given him during the heart-to-heart. Uhuru recalled Bob’s words;

I’m going to break a promise I made to you over a year ago. I don’t think I have more than a couple of weeks to go. I’ve given up, I’ve tried everything and I have accepted my time has come. My chapter is closed. You cannot do anything for me, I have sorted my life and issues, just take care of Wambui and my kids.

Bob-Collymore-with his wife Wambui 1
Bob-Collymore-with his wife, Wambui

William Ruto also spoke about the late visionary leader in glowing terms. He said

When you met Bob, he behaved and interacted with you as if he was going to live forever, it was quite a paradox and goes to demonstrate his life well lived.

The deceased was confirmed dead at his Nairobi home on Monday morning after losing his battle to Acute Myeloid Leukemia. His remains were cremated at Kariokor crematorium a day later.

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Sonko promises to sponsor some Kenyans to visit cancer fighter, MP Ken Okoth

Cancer robbed us this week of a great warrior. That person was the late Safaricom CEO, Bob Collymore. Bob succumbed to Acute Myeloid Leukaemia on Monday after battling the disease for two years.

Bob-Collymore smiling in his heyday

While it may seem that cancer claims every person that it attacks, there are some people who have fought the disease and won. And there are those Kenyans who are still fighting right now.

One of those is Kibra MP Ken Okoth battling Colorectal Cancer with every fiber in his body. He has been in France the last couple of months for treatment. He recently decided to pay a visit to Kenya’s ambassador to France, Judy Wakhungu.

While visiting Wakhungu, they discussed various issues ranging from education projects and sports diplomacy among other issues affecting his constituents. She wrote on her Twitter page;

Courtesy call from from Ken Okoth (Kibra). He updated us on many issues including his impressive education projects and his plans for increasing them to reach as many students as possible. He is also keen to use Sports Diplomacy to expand students’ horizons.

Kenneth Okoth has been battling cororectal cancer
Kenneth Okoth has been battling colorectal cancer

Many Kenyans were thrilled to see the MP in good spirits including Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko who weighed in urging the MP to soldier on. Sonko also promised to sponsor a team of religious leaders, and his constituents to pay him a visit in France, writing;

Cancer is really hitting us hard. The most important thing in illness is never to lose heart…on behalf of the great people of Nairobi our prayers are with you Ken Okoth. I shall be willing to sponsor and lead a delegation of pastors, Imams and a few Kibra constituents to visit him in France and pray for our beloved MP. Get Well Soon Bro. Just continue believing in God.

Mike Mbuvi Sonko
Mike Mbuvi Sonko

Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally, and was responsible for an estimated 9.6 million deaths in 2018. Globally, about 1 in 6 deaths is due to cancer. … The total annual economic cost of cancer in 2010 was estimated at approximately US$ 1.16 trillion (Ksh 116 trillion shillings).

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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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Images from Bob Collymore’s memorial service

Bob Collymore’s memorial service was held today at All Saints Cathedral.

The event that is currently on-going was attended by his wife, his friends and many VIP’s including President Uhuru Kenyatta. Some of the images from the event are below;

Uhuru Kenyatta at the memorial service 1

Bob Collymore memorial service
Bob Collymore’s memorial service
Bob Collymore memorial service
Bob Collymore memorial service
Bob Collymore memorial service
Bob Collymore’s memorial service
Bob Collymore memorial service
Bob Collymore memorial service
Wambui Collymore at the memorial service
Wambui Collymore at the memorial service
Wambui Collymore at the memorial service
Wambui Collymore at the memorial service
Bob Collymore memorial service
Bob Collymore memorial service
Bob Collymore memorial service
Bob Collymore memorial service
Bob Collymore memorial service
Bob Collymore memorial service
Bob Collymore memorial service
Bob Collymore memorial service
Bob Collymore memorial service
Bob Collymore memorial service
Bob Collymore memorial service
Bob Collymore memorial service
Bob Collymore memorial service
Bob Collymore memorial service
Bob Collymore memorial service
Bob Collymore memorial service
Bob Collymore memorial service
Bob Collymore memorial service
Bob Collymore memorial service
Bob Collymore memorial service
Bob Collymore memorial service
Bob Collymore memorial service
Bob Collymore memorial service
Bob Collymore memorial service
Bob Collymore memorial service
Bob Collymore memorial service
Security at Bob Collymore's memorial service
Security at Bob Collymore’s memorial service
Bob Collymore memorial service
Bob Collymore memorial service
Security at Bob Collymore's memorial service
Security at Bob Collymore’s memorial service

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RIP: Bob Collymore’s boys club is the most envious group shout KOT 


Literally every Kenya is talking about the group of men who were friends with the late Bob Collymore.

The group, who refer to themselves as the boys club, have over the last three days since his death on Monday July 1st, spoken extensively about the bond they hold.

JKL Wednesday July 3rd

They were unveiled to Kenyans on Citizen TV’ JKL, where each man revealed their closeness to Bob and each other.

The boys club consists of KCB’s Joshua Oigara, Radio Africa’s Patrick Quarcoo, Citizens Jeff Koinange, Politician Peter Kenneth, Businessman Braharat Thakrar, Envoy Nic Hailey, Lamin Jamang.

Jeff wrote: Thank you BOYS for coming through for the Great BOB “Kihara” COLLYMORE!!!…You are TRUE friends indeed!!…Let’s do this again TOMORROW!!…For BOB!!!..

The boys

Joshua Oigara spoke about hims saying: Bob was the most genuine and down to earth person I have ever met. He was genuinely interested in what we were doing

Lamin Majang: It’s very extra ordinary when a CEO is out of the country for several months and is still able to influence and lead a company thousands of miles away

“Success is not numbers, it’s not the growth of the company, it’s the legacy that you leave behind… Bob touched a lot of people in many ways” – Bharat Thakrar

Peter Kenneth: Bob had an infectious attractive manner of making friends and I’m glad I was one of those he called close friends

KOT are envious and questioning what type of friends they keep in their circle.
One of Kenya’s GDP boysclub in one photo, while boysclub zetu ni kusimama kwa liqour stores looking for the cheapest liquor with the highest alcohol percentage!! Tragic😔#JKLive

As much as people refuse not to believe,the company you keep and associate with determines and impacts a lot and that might be called to attention by my father.
@bobcollimore’s inner circle was so legit #JKLive

Great to see male friendship that is uplifting, challenging each other positively, embracing of vulnerability & diverse (age, race). We need to see more of this as the counter narrative to the “boy child” phenomenon. Now mentor more Bruh clubs in your circles of influence.

while the #BoysClub contribute to the GDP, wengine hapo na mbogi wanachanga Mzinga

Rethink your friendships. How solid are they? How well can you count on them? And how deeply do they love you as you do them? The Boys Club is an envy! It’s admirable.

Also, true, iron sharpens iron, and you cannot expect to soar like an eagle when you walk w/ ducks.
Lovely of #TheBoysClub sharin deep memorable friendship wth yr buddy Bob Collymore indeed he had yr bacs n you had his.

I’m thinkin if time availd u’d do a man’s choral singin Friends Are Friends Forever in thanksgivin service.
Gr8 honors #JKLive
I am so encouraged by the Friendship you guys had with Bob, friends who share everything, the sad and the happy moments, you are always together, may Bob RIP and may you continue with the boy’s club, please add Bob’s wife too
The boysclub notthe normal boys i wish i could have sch kind of friends

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RIP: Similarities between Bob Collymore and Mastermind CEO Wilfred Murungi



The business community has this year mourned the death of two CEO’s, namely Safaricom’s Bob Collymore and Mastermind Tobacco’s Wilfred Murungi.

Many have eulogized the tow saying the country has lost valuable assets. We take a look at similarities between the two gentlemen.

10 things Bob Collymore taught wife Wambui when he was alive

1. The memorial service of Mastermind Tobacco founder Wilfred Murungi took place on June 13 at All Saints Cathedral, just like Bob Collymore’s. Both memorial services were open to everyone.

mastermind ceo wilfred murungi
Mastermind Chairman Murungi

2. They were CEO’s of top companies in Kenya

Wilfred was at the helm of the company for more than three decades.The late Murungi founded Mastermind after learning the ropes of the cigarette industry during a stint at BAT Kenya, which he left in 1985 having held the position of technical director.

Bob held the position of CEO of Safaricom Limited since November 1, 2010.

Bob Collymore’s wife Wambui breaks her silence after his death

In various interviews, Collymore revealed that he started earning money at the age of 12 while living with his grandmother in Guyana.

He would make art pieces from plastic moulds and also little brooches from coconut shells which he would sell.

3. Their funerals were strictly for family and very simple at that

None of them had those elaborate ceremonies associated with the who’s who in Kenya where tens of speakers bore people with speeches (or politics).

Only 8 people attended the funeral of Murungi, while Bob’s immediate family asked Kenyans to respect their privacy.

The body of Bob Collymore

Photos of the late Bob Collymores family at the cremation ceremony

4. They have both been eulogized as industrious and vibrant entrepreneurs who made a significant contribution to the growth of the Kenyan economy.

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