Ken Ouko, a sociologist at the University of Nairobi, has penned a tribute to honour the late Safaricom boss Bob Collymore.
Ken wrote, “The angels chose July 1st to summon you to the assembly of nobility. As daybreak unfolded, the news of your ascension filtrated through the already depressingly grey morning. The typical human reaction to death is always slanted towards regretful ponderings, but all I could recall was you earlier this year telling me: ‘KO, I stared death in the face and he dismissively waved back in retreat. He’s not so baleful after all!’”
He continued, “Naturally, I was horrified at your teaser, but later it occurred to me that human fear is borne more out of illusory cowardice than experiential encounters. You were ready.
Way back in 2016, when you married the delightfully enthralling Wambui Kamiru, the flagrant lot of Kenyan social media warriors blazed our ever-toxic cyberspace with all sorts of innuendo.
On April 24 of that year, I penned an article entitled, ‘Why city girls hate the woman who stole Collymore’ in the dailies, not only defending your hook-up rights but also explaining away the vitriol.”
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“After reading the article, you called me in uproarious mirth, but what stuck with me was you wishing I had added the fact that her gleam always made you beam ‘like an activated police siren’ (your exact words).”
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Ken then penned a letter to Bob’s widow, Wambui Kamiru.
Dearest Mrs Wambui Kamiru Collymore, that is how we as BC’s friends christened you ‘WAKA’. Bob actually thought it had something to do with Shakira’s continental ‘Waka Waka’ chant, but I was to correct him, saying WAKA was both a descriptor of the first two letters in your names as well as a Kiswahili touch-wood inference to how you lit him up.”
Ken then narrated a time when he needed Bob’s help and he came through for him, without hesitating.
“One last thing, Dear Bob. I once invited you as a corporate mentor to address my graduating students. I recall your PA doubting if your diary would allow, but when I caught up with you on phone, you never hesitated.
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On the material day of your address, the one part that reverberated through the entire student fraternity was your salient advisory that life is not about glamour but delivery. That achievement is not about personal glee but the joy we deposit unto the hearts and minds of others.”
Ken concluded his tribute saying,
Need I say more, bro? As I reluctantly conclude this encomium, I want to thank you for standing up to my boss one time and proclaiming that, “Sir, KO needs to grab seven hours of sleep at least twice a week before he burns out on you.” Boss turned to his wife, who was present, and redirected the same. Thanks to you, it is now standard practice, and each time a chance for seven hours looms, we say, ‘Tonight is BC’s rule’.
Enjoy your eternal catnap. We will stick to our seven hours whenever we can.”