Like many other Kenyans, I never got to meet Bob Collymore personally in this lifetime, no fun selfies together, but in a very strange way I felt a flurry of emotion the week of his passing, sad on his passing. It is like I knew him. Sad, yet energized and inspired by his rich and full life. With many of those he had interacted with sharing bits of moments they had shared together, a celebration of a great life but also made me feel sad on the loss.
In many ways he reminded us of the legacy that we wish to leave behind, but in a personal note it made me all the more sadder to see one of my father's generation gone. Like sands in the hour glass so are the days of our lives.
They – “wazees with swag” leave a gap in our lives. The shoes they made themselves difficult to fill. You see, they don’t make them like they used to – they don’t make men like them any more. Handsome. Indisputable presence whether tall or short. Old school chivalry, but still
with swag. Well cut and tailored suits – daaamn! Youthful and fun “mzee”. They take us way back to old time shared values but are still the ones leading us in cutting edge innovation in their respective sectors, taking us all to the next frontier in life with their age earned wisdom
and experience that a university degree could never give. Exalted to high levels but freely mingle with everyone, make everyone they meet feel special. Their choice of women simple understated elegance, no slay queens here, women whom we adore too, natural beauties with
a beautiful mind over their shoulders, their partners by their side.
Patriarchs in their respective families. Self made, many with a touch of mother tongue in their pronunciation and diction of the Queen’s Language – English. From really humble beginnings many of them are, they allow us to dream that we can be anyone we “wanna” be and make our mark in any part of the world irrespective of where we were born. or what we were born into. They accept their imperfections, own up to “mistakes” made but refuse to be defined by them for the rest of their lives. They leave an indelible mark when their time comes to leave this world.
We need to be like that.
It must be loads of fun there on the other realm. Daddy give Bob a warm welcome, your teetotaller self may have to be a bit open minded when it comes to alcohol matters because Bob likes his whisky saving the best for his friends, ensure he has the best himself this time round! I hope the host of angels gave him a jazzy welcome. Watch over the people you left behind you two fun loving “wazees” with swag. Self made.May we never run out of data bundles and air time to continue sharing the love and wisdom that your lives and generation of men poured out with such abundance in your lifetime. The best of the 50s babies “lefted us” just like that. We love you loads!
© Kwambie Nyambane,
Robert “Bob” William Collymore (13 January 1958 – 1 July 2019)) is the immediate former CEO of Safaricom, the biggest corporate in my beloved country Kenya. He passed on in the early morning hours of Monday, 1 st July 2019 after a brave fight with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. His death touched us all not so much because of him being the leader of corporate behemoth Safaricom but because of his leadership style, larger than life personality touching one life at a time. May his soul rest in eternal peace.