Humble and honest are just some of the few words used by many to refer to deceased Safaricom chief executive Bob Collymore.
His close friends however say Mr Collymore was more than that.
Even on his deathbed, he was still a jovial person who was still generous with his smile whenever he greeted guests.
He was battling Acute Myeloid Leukemia, a rare form of cancer that is curable at its first stages.
And as if he knew his time was coming to an end, he did what anyone who was greatly loved would do, he summoned seven of his close buddy’s to his house.
The ‘boys club’ is made up of 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.
In Mr Quarcoo words, Bob or ‘Captain’ as he fondly referred to him, inspired all of them differently but if there was one thing he did for all the members of the boys club was making them more human.
“He caused a change in all his friends – he made us more human, warmer like himself and willing to open up and sometimes vulnerable. He made me and a bunch of stuck-up men unbutton our shirts and become men who thought a lot more about purpose,” wrote Mr Quarcoo on The Star Newspaper.
He added: “He also did something uncommon – he forged deep and lasting bonds. Bob and I shared the burdens of each other but quickly I realised we both collected African art and loved jazz. He was wonderfully talented. He painted beautifully and played the saxophone that he loved like a child with a lollipop.”
FULL OF LIFE
To Jeff, Collymore was just Bob or Kihara, a man who was full of life when surrounded by children and the ultimate people person. A man who had a big heart with a passion for the poor and downtrodden.
“I don’t have many people I would call my close friends. However, Bob ‘Kihara’ Collymore, I named him Kihara for his obvious baldness was one of my close friends,” says Mr Koinange.
British High Commissioner to Kenya Nic Hailey remembered him as an astute businessman whose leadership at Safaricom has transformed lives.
“Rest in peace Bob Collymore. Your contribution to Kenya has been immense. Through your leadership, Safaricom has transformed lives across this country. All your friends at the British High Commission stand with your family on this sad day,” tweeted Mr Hailey.
Collymore was cremated on Tuesday morning in a private ceremony witnessed by invited guests only.
He is survived by his wife Wambui and four children.