The length of his life was about 61 years, but Bob Collymore’s depth of life not only enthused his wife and four children but outpoured to Safaricom #ticker:SCOM employees, friends and beyond.
He had built two networks- one that propelled Safaricom to becoming the most profitable firm in East Africa and another one that rode on his personality, connecting him with friends beyond Safaricom’s network coverage.
Collymore succumbed to cancer on Monday.
“It’s been two years, and he was aware of what was happening. He was at peace, he was ready, and he was at home with those he loved,” Safaricom Chairman Nicholas Nganga told the press.
Though Collymore was at peace with his fate, nothing could have prepared his family, friends and staff to take in the news calmly. Outside Michael Joseph Centre, next to Safaricom Centre, an ambulance waited in case a staff was overcome by emotions.
Bob had built something beyond just a profitable company. He had built people, Safaricom director of corporate affairs Stephen Chege told the press, adding that employees will mourn and celebrate him in equal measure.
In a packed press briefing attended by Mr Nganga, Safaricom board members and some employees, not even the lively artwork inside the walls of Michael Joseph Centre could lighten up the room.
A pensive mood was written all over the very faces that had on so many occasions met here to celebrate good financial results, usually preceded by Jazz music.
Michael Joseph, a board member and the first CEO of Safaricom said the telco has been “very fortunate and lucky” to have Bob at the helm.
He said it was not time to speculate what will happen in future but to celebrate the life of Bob and his achievements.
“Bob understood what the DNA of Safaricom was all about and took it to another level. We all experienced his enthusiasm, greatness and affinity with people. I think this is what has driven this company,” he said.