Bob Collymore joins growing list of high-profile Kenyans who have defied societal expectations and choose cremation over burial

A coffin being cremated
  • Mr. Collymore passed away on July 1, 2019 at his Nairobi home after a long battle with cancer.
  • The entourage carrying Collymore’s body left Lee Funeral home with police escort,
  • Collymore joins a growing list of high-profile Kenyans who have recent past chosen cremation over burial upon their deaths.

On July 2, former Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore was interred at the Nairobi’s Kariokor Crematorium as per his last wishes.

Mr. Collymore passed away on July 1, 2019 at his Nairobi home after a long battle with cancer. The entourage carrying Collymore’s body left Lee Funeral home with police escort, snaking its way through the city roads.

On arrival at Kariokor, security personnel only allowed select family and close friends access as others were turned away.

Collymore joins a growing list of high-profile Kenyans who have recent past chosen cremation over burial upon their deaths.

While Kenyans and Africans at large are yet to embrace cremation as a means of paying their last respects to the dead, some are starting to accept it.

Here are just a few of brave Kenyans who defied societal expectations and choose to be cremated instead of being burial six feet underground.

Wangari Maathai

The Late Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai was cremated in 2011 in a largely private ceremony at the Kariokor Crematorium.

The family of the environmentalist and the government agreed to cremate the body before the remains were interred at the Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies, in accordance with her wish.

She remains the first prominent Kenyan of African origin to have chosen the process.

Jeremiah Kiereini

The former Head of Civil Service Jeremiah Kiereini, who died on May 13, 2019 at the ripe old age of 90 was cremated

Kenneth Matiba

In April 2018, former politician and the multiparty founder Kenneth Matiba was cremated at the Lang'ata Crematorium.

John Macharia

The son of Royal Media Services founder SK Macharia was cremated days after Matiba's cremation.

His body was cremated ahead of his funeral service held at SK Macharia's home in Ndakaini village, Murang'a County.

Jane Kiano

Former Chairperson of the Maendeleo ya Wanawake organisation, the late Jane Kiano was also cremated on October 27, 2018 at the Kariokor crematorium two days after her death.

Manasses Kuria

The former Anglican archbishop in 2005, had his remains were created in what his family said was in keeping with his will.

Some three years earlier, the primate had cremated the remains of his wife Mary Kuria.

Joshua Okuthe

The former sports administrator was cremated on July 9, 2009.

His first wife, Ruth Florence Okuthe, cremated the 62-year-old at Kariokor Cemetery, four days after his death.

Okuthe’s sister Deborah Odhiambo and a woman claiming to be his second wife Ms Zawadi Hadija Issa tried unsuccessfully to stop his cremation.

His family later buried an empty coffin behind his bedroom in Tamu, Muhoroni District, in a mock funeral.

Peter Habenga Okondo

The former Kanu minister Peter Okondo was also been cremated in an exercise that caused divisions between the minister’s family and his Banyala clan members.

Peter Njiru

The two-time Africa Classic professional golf champion, who died in 2015 after a long struggle with kidney problems, was cremated at the Kariokor Crematorium.

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