Close friends of former Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore, on Wednesday evening had a candid interview where they shared their best moments with the late.
Collymore lived a very private life and kept a small circle of wealthy CEOs and professional as his closest confidants.
They called themselves the boy’s club and included former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth, Scan group CEO Bharat Thakrar, KCB’s Joshua Oigara, Rich Management’s Aly Khan Satchu, Radio Africa’s Patrick Quarcoo, former Stanchart Kenya CEO Lamin Manjang, and journalist Jeff Koinange
On Wednesday, Koinange hosted Kenneth, Thakrar, Oigara, and Manjang on his talk show JKL where they shared their moments with collymore.
Collymore had shared his intimate struggles with the boys' club – going as far as announcing to them his imminent death.
“We have always met every Tuesday at any one of our houses. Last Tuesday, we thought it would be the usual dinner with a few rounds of drinks. But last week, Bob broke the sad news,” Kenneth recalled.
The Safaricom CEO told them that various medical options that could save his life had failed and he had only a few weeks to go.
“He told us not to mourn and he opened his favorite drink, Johnnie Walker Director's Blend – 130-year-old and we took pictures of it,” Thakrar said adding that they took the drink even those who were not whisky drinkers like Quarcoo and Koinange.
The Johnie Walker Director’s Blend is one of the rarest and most expensive whiskys in the world – having a limited collection of only 504 bottles that fetch a minimum of Sh195,000 each.
Kenneth recalled that despite his poor health, Collymore enjoyed the drink, recalling that the former Safaricom boss had accepted that his time had come to an end.
“I talked to Quarcoo on that night and we tried to look for further options in Germany but what remained was experimental medicine. Bob did not want that, he was insistent that he wanted to die not just in Kenya but in his house with his family,” Kenneth said.
So courageous was the late CEO that when the boys met him again on Saturday, he told Thakrar to organize his cremation.
“We had planned to meet him this week not knowing that he only had two days,” Kenneth added.
Manjang and Oigara celebrated Collymore’s humility and warmth which they said was a key character that drew people to him.
The friends also revealed that President Uhuru Kenyatta was also among the last people to see the Safaricom boss, having visited him last week on Monday.
In his private life, Collymore loved music and flying planes. Kenneth narrated a random moment when Bob personally flew him for a weekend in Manda Island, Lamu county.
“He would do that often and he would captain the plane himself, we had good moments,” he recalled nostalgically.