Kenyans woke up to the sad news of Bob Collymore’s death. The
Chief Executive Officer of Safaricom PLC succumbed to myeloid leukemia at
2.30am on Monday July 1, 2019 at his home in Nairobi.
Safaricom Chairperson Nicholas Ng’ang’a announced the
heartbreaking news through a press statement on Twitter and Facebook attracting
condolence messages from Kenyans to the family, friends, and colleagues of Collymore
with President Uhuru Kenyatta, the DP William Ruto, and Raila Odinga joining
them in mourning the man behind the success of Kenya’s biggest telecommunication
Bob was misdiagnosed with vitamin D deficiency but he was not
satisfied with the results. With extra tests in the UK, a haematologist diagnosed
him with acute myeloid leukemia, which is a type of cancer that affects the blood
forming cells of the bone marrow.
He knew that he did not have much time to live and was
prepared for his demise. Citizen TV’s Jeff Koinange who is a close friend has revealed
that Bob told him he did not have much time to live. His doctors said he would
be lucky if he made it past July. Koinange had lunch with Collymore on Saturday
June 29, 2019.
He has left behind four children and a wife Wambui Kamiru.
Who is Bob Collymore?
Robert (Bob) William Collymore was a Guyana-born British
national born on January 13, 1958. Guyana is a country found in South America
bordering Brazil, Suriname, and Venezuela.
His mum was a single mother and he was the only black child
in the school he attended in the UK. He qualified to joined university but
Before joining Safaricom, he worked at Vodacom as the Chief
Officer of Corporate Affairs and a Governance Director at Vodafone.
He was the longest serving CEO at Safaricom beginning November 2010 and his term was to end in August 2019 but his contract was extended to August
2020. He has spent time seeking treatment and asked the company to add him more
time to serve.
On May 8 2019, he was Appointed a board member of the National
Collymore went to Selhurst High School in the United Kingdom.
He was called to Warwick University but
Bob grew up with his grandparents in Guyana and moved to the
UK at 16 to live with his mother.
He wedded Clare Wambui Kamiru, an artist and founder of The
Art Space, in April 2016 in Kitisuru. He was married twice and divorced before
According to Collymore, his first marriage was a mistake as
he was in his 20s while the second was not a mistake but it did not happen the
He had a daughter and son with his second wife and was father
to Wambui’s two sons.
After missing to join university, he worked as a junior
underwriter and train announcer.
January 1978-July 1994: Held management roles at British Telcom
July 1994-july 1995: Joined Cellnet as a strategy manager and
worked as a Purchasing Director at Dixons Stores group till 1998
December 1998-July 2000: joined Vodafone Group as a Handset
Purchasing Director and in July 2000, he became the Global handset purchasing director
until April 2003.
April 2003—April 2006: Market Director Asia
September 2006-september 2010: Governance Director of Vodafone
November 2010-June 2019: Started working at Safaricom as the
In 2018, Collymore’s net worth was Sh277milion with a home in
London worth Sh54mllion and Sh18.3million shares at Safaricom.