‘My wife gave up her career’ Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa opens up about family and work

Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa had some pretty good piece of advice when he joined Classic’s Maina Kageni for a studio interview.

Peter Ndegwa was announced as the new Safaricom CEO, taking over the reigns from Michael Joseph this year.

In the interview, he opened up for the first time ever about his life and family.

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He spoke about raising a cute ten year old son with his wife as he climbed the corporate ladder.

‘Family is important. I have a young boy that I am raising with my wife who is ten years old and he has been travelling around, it’s good to being him back so that he knows what Kenya is all about so that he is not asked in future whether he is Kenyan. So family is important’

This CEO dad also gushed about his wife and the sacrifice that she had to make for the family.

Is there something that he also had to give up, that he really wanted?

I think the one thing that I’ve learnt is patience you have to do alot to be able to to deliver what you want to achieve. I think probably you could say that as we traveled around, my wife gave up her career although now she is has discovered another one.

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The new Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa. Image: COURTESY/The star

As a CEO, one would wonder where he finds time to squeeze in leisure, and he explains it simply

There’s always a silver lining in everything So you always have to you know work life balances the balance you chose, so there’s a sense of comfort that you could have if you are not in my role, people think we’re very comfortable when your very senior, but there’s an intensity that means that you have to give up certain aspects like sitting around the beach because you are committed to what you do. So there’s aspects of life that you have to sacrifice for you to be successful in a career but for me what I’ve always learnt is stay true to what you believe in and be patient and keep doing the right things,’

Mr Ndegwa has some pretty serious leisure interests.

Some of his hobbies are

‘I like keeping fit, and the reason for that is that for you to lead others, you have to lead yourself, you have to keep fit. Watching sports is important, of course with Covid that’s a problem Also reading, just reading broadly and travelling when it was possible. One of the things we did as we went around the world is to make sure that we travelled around alot We sued the opportunity of living elsewhere to see the the, we even have a map that we have pinned all the places we’ve been’.

What sports does he follow?

‘Football, Arsenal is my favorite team,’

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Michael Joseph reveals reason company chose Peter Ndegwa

Safaricom CEO Michael Joseph who has been with the company since its inception has given the reason the board decided to hire Peter Ndegwa as the man to take over from the late Bob Collymore.

Speaking during an interview with Citizen TV’s Yvonne Okwara, Mr. Joseph played down the selection to enforced pressures from vested parties.

Peter Ndegwa
Peter Ndegwa

‘There always was pressure that we should have a Kenyan. Why not a Kenyan. Some asked why we should have a Kenyan while others asked why not pick the best person for the job,’ he said.

‘I wouldn’t say the board gave in to demands. Personally, it’s the right thing to do. After 19 years, a Kenyan should be running Safaricom. The appointment is just a natural progression more than anything else,’ he added.

Michael Joseph broke down in tears reading poem for Bob Collymore

However, the legendary CEO admitted to pockets of pressure in the extended succession process which dates back nearly 12 months. The replacement process kicked off months before the death of Bob Collymore on July 1st.


Peter Ndegwa, a Kenyan with an illustrious multinational exposure emerged as seemingly the middle-ground choice in appeasing the interests of all concerned parties including those of Vodacom which has historically dictated leadership at the firm.
Mr. Ndegwa will have the immediate task of pushing Safaricom back in-line to respond to consumer dissatisfaction as mirrored in the most recent public uproar on opaque service delivery.

Michael Joseph speaking in a panel
Michael Joseph speaking in a panel

Michael Joseph even admitted to this saying, ‘Because we have been so successful, we have tended to not listen to our customers as we become big, fat and happy. To some extent we have moved away from our customers and lost touch,’ Mr. Joseph said.

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