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DID YOU KNOW? Safaricom’s Bob Collymore has no University degree but still turned out fine

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  • Robert ‘Bob’ Collymore has been Safaricom CEO since November 1, 2010.
  • Collymore did not go to university. He was offered a place at Warwick University but turned it down because he was not eligible for funding
  • A wealth declaration form uploaded on the Safaricom website in 2015 revealed that he earns Sh10 million per month

Robert ‘Bob’ Collymore may not have a college education but he is at the helm of Safaricom, a company that is arguably one of Africa’s finest and a trend setter in the world of communications.

1. University education isn’t everything

There tends to be a lot of reliance on paper qualification. We stuff ourselves into universities, then we come out and there is very little difference between us and all the other people who also did the same.

In this industry and many others, if you are not a learning treadmill, you will be left behind very rapidly. The advances that we are seeing in technology such as in artificial intelligence, robotics – I do not have to go to school to learn about it.

I can learn about it because the resources are there. I can buy a book on Amazon in two clicks.

So get into continuous learning instead of relying on the old things you learnt in university – things have moved on.

2. Be adaptable

I have done many different types of jobs but I never anticipated that I would become the CEO of a mobile phone company in Africa.

Just because you went to university and studied law doesn’t mean you become a lawyer.

 

You need to go into the world knowing that what you learnt in the university was how to learn. You must be adaptive.

3. There is no shortcut

Millennials believe that once you get employed, it will take you a matter of weeks before you get the corner office and get the land cruiser.

We forget that in all ages, especially in this one, everything takes time. Whether you want to become a basketball player or a CEO, you have to put the hours in.

You do not become a good photographer if you do not do 20,000 hours behind that camera. Shortcuts tend to lead people to a lot of problems, often legal problems.

My earnings are not a secret to Kenyans, but you can see that I am not hugely wealthy, compared to other people.

But do I consider myself a failure? Of course not. I do not want to find a shortcut to riches because they are not the goal. Unfortunately, a lot of people think there is a shortcut to it. You have to work hard.

Bob Collymore.

4. Be hungry

Grab opportunities. Opportunities sometimes present themselves only once and you have to grab them.

Because at later stages, what you regret is not the things you did, but the things you did not do. All my regrets are of things I did not do.

Luck also has a big role to play, so again, don’t sniff at luck. When luck presents itself, just take it. When you get a good fortune, just take it.

5. Learn the art of gratitude

We tend not to be grateful these days. Be grateful for what you have. If you wrote down the things that you are grateful for, you would be amazed.

Grateful people are much more agreeable than people who grow up thinking about how they did not get a break.

If I look at my own background, coming from a broken family, a single mother, being the only black kid in the school that I went to in the UK, not going to university – there is a whole lot of things that I can stack up and say are all the reasons I should not be doing the job I am today.

If I had let them hold me back, I would still be working in a shop like I used to.

6. Lose the sense of entitlement

READ ALSO:   ‘He was disappointed in me,’ BBC reporter Larry Madowo shares his intimate conversation with the late Bob Collymore

I never had the sense that I could not work in the shops because I had completed my A-levels. I was a delivery chap delivering furniture, I used to stack shelves – I never imagined I was too good for any job.

I did a lot of things and I said, “It’s a job. I will do it and I will take my lessons from each and every one of those jobs.”

If you look at how I engage with people working in shops when I go shopping, my interaction with them is shaped by that experience because I walked in those shoes. I worked behind that checkout. I know how dehumanising people can treat you sometimes.

I hold those people with huge admiration and respect. Don’t have a sense of entitlement. You are never too good for anything.

 

You are never too good to sweep floors and all. That is the thing about opportunities. They may not present themselves as you expect them to.

7. Move with the times

We are in the midst of the fourth industrial revolution, where we are looking at the internet for everything. The fourth industrial revolution plays to older people because it makes things easier for us.

However, it does not play to young people because it will definitely take away jobs. In Africa, we need to create about a million jobs every month, which is about 10 to 15 million jobs every year.

That is a huge number. Even here in Kenya, I estimate that we need to create about 3,000 jobs a day.

That’s a scary thought and it is because that’s how fast the population is growing.

Foxconn, the people who make the iPhone, reduced their workforce by half because of robotics.

In Africa, we have a narrow opportunity to take some of the manufacturing from China, but that opportunity is not going to be there for long. We should be grabbing those opportunities now.

What we are seeing is that the people grabbing those opportunities are from places like Vietnam, so if we do not grab them now, by the time we come around we will be out of the game.

8. Are your skills important in today’s world?

Get to the front of the curve. Read. I always tell my team, “I mustn’t know more about stuff than you. You have to be smarter than me.

If you aren’t smarter than me, then why would I need to hire you?” You need to stay ahead of the curve and there is no excuse for not doing it because everything is online these days. You need to ensure that you are skilled to do the jobs that exist today.

Bob Collymore.

If you ask how many people getting out of the university today are familiar with things like artificial intelligence and data analytical skills, they are very few. Many of them write letters to me asking me to give them a job since they have a Bachelor’s Degree in communication. I do not need that.

However, if you have data analytical skills, I will hire you today. Young people, therefore, need to move away from the trend of wanting to have a BCom degree or becoming a lawyer. With the 4th industrial revolution, it is not just blue collar jobs that will disappear. Many white collar jobs will also disappear.

You are not going to need lawyers to do everything they do today. A lot of it is very laborious and you can get a machine to do it. The same goes for investment analysts. You will get a machine that can trade much faster than human beings can trade. A machine can trade 24 hours a day and can trade by the second.

9. Study what the market needs

Young people need to become familiar with the challenges that the world is facing and the opportunities that are there.

The biggest mistake we make is that we have what I call the ‘Kiosk Mentality’. So if I am a hawker and I am selling oranges and the neighbouring hawker is selling bananas and she sells more bananas today, guess what I am going to do tomorrow?

READ ALSO:   Michael Joseph reveals secret ‘funeral pact’ he had with Collymore – VIDEO

 

I will sell bananas! You see that mentality even in the construction of shopping malls. I have been here for about seven years and suddenly there is a shopping mall everywhere, but now there are empty shopping malls everywhere.

Go and create your own space. Don’t just copy what someone else does. Study what the market needs.

10. Fix the problem

I spend a lot of time with young investors. Sometimes I will be in London or New York and someone stops me and tells me about their start up in Kenya. What is disappointing is that these people often come from San Fransisco and Silicon Valley.

They came to Kenya, looked at the problem and thought of a way to solve it. The biggest example is probably M-Kopa. It was started by a Canadian, Jesse Moore, and Nick Hughes, a Briton.

They looked at simple problems, sat in my office one day years ago and said that the problem was that people do not have access to grid electricity and they thought they could fix that problem. So they did, by making M-Kopa solar.

Young people need to be doing that. Don’t go and make another M-Kopa solar, because it has already been made. It’s like Jack Ma says – China is not going to have another Jack Ma because they already have one.

Bob Collymore.

They don’t need anymore. Go redefine the market and fix those problems. It’s not about being smart – it’s about being relevant. Go fix the problem. Problems are everywhere. Look at them and think, “How do I tackle that problem?” not “How do I copy what he did?”

11. You aren’t perfect

If you are 100 per cent perfect, then you are not trying hard enough. You are not doing enough things.

My predecessor, Michael Joseph, once said to me, “Look, just make decisions. If 60 percent of your decisions are right, then you will probably be doing better than me.” And he was right.

We make a lot of wrong decisions, but it means we are trying. A little under 1 out of 2 of your decisions will be wrong and that is OK because it means you are trying new things.

12. Read and read some more

This speaks to continuously learning. I probably get through two or three books in a month, to try and keep myself ahead of the curve. If I am not travelling a lot, then I read more.

I tend to read two or three books at the same time so that if I get bored with one, I can pick up the other.

However, if I could recommend books it would be Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari and Reclaiming Conversation by Sherry Turkle.

 Biography

Robert William Collymore aka Bob Collymore was born in 1958 in Guyana. He lived with his grandmother while his mother lived in the UK.

At age 12 he realized he had an interest in the arts where and started making art pieces using plasticine sent to him by his mother from the UK. He sold them and made good money. That’s where his business acumen was mooted.

At age 16, he landed his first job in a departmental store in the UK where he worked from as early as 6 AM until the store was closed when he would sweep it clean.

 Education

Bob  started schooling in Guyana while still living with his grandmother until age 16 when he moved to the UK to join his mother in 1974.

He joined Selhurst High School for Boys in London where he completed his formal education. Here, he is said to have experienced some form of racial discrimination since he was the only black child in his class.

READ ALSO:   Bob Collymore’s contract extended by another year despite calls he be replaced by a Kenyan

 Career

He is the Chief Executive officer of Mobile operator Safaricom Limited Kenya since October 2010. He also serves as a Governance director for Africa at Vodafone.

Prior to that, he served as a Chief Officer of Corporate affairs at Vodacom Group Limited. He also served as a purchasing director for UK Business of Vodafone.

He also served as Purchasing Director for Dixons Stores Group, The Largest Electrical retailer in the UK between 1994-1998.

He served as the Global Handset Purchasing Director of Vodafone since 2000 and responsible for its handset business across 26 countries and in 2003 he moved to Japan in the commercial role of Consumer Marketing Director for Asia.

He became a non-Executive Director of Safaricom Limited on September 5, 2006, until he finally became the Safaricom CEO in 2010, replacing the outgoing CEO Mr. Michael Joseph who had held that position since Safaricom’s nativity in 1998.

 Hobbies

Bob Likes flying helicopters. He also likes reading a lot. His love for art and music also led him to meet his wife Wambui Kamiru who was an artist at Kuona Trust.

Bob Collymore marries Wambui Kamiru

Bob Collymore met his sweetheart Wambui Kamiru in Nairobi during a fundraiser for survivors of the Loreto Convent Msongari school bus crash that occurred in July 2011. Wambui was at the event in her capacity as an alumnus and Bob was there representing Safaricom Foundation in the fundraising. The two met and they were cupid struck.

After dating for three years, on Saturday 2nd April 2016 Safaricom CEO Mr. Collymore finally said YES I DO  in a colorful ceremony  held at Kitisuru.

The two had dated for three years and their flashy wedding ceremony saw top corporate CEOs in attendance.

 Family

The details known about Bob Collymore family is that of his mother and grandmother. Nonetheless, he now has a wife and two daughters that his wife got from her first marriage with a man called Joseph Kinyua.

Wambui Kamiru had been married to Joseph Kinyua in 2007 and blessed with two twin daughters.

Wambui Kamiru Divorce with Joseph Kinyua

Wambui abandoned her husband and then filed for divorce accusing her husband of domestic violence through her veteran family lawyer Judy Thongori.

In a quick rejoinder, her husband also filed another divorce suit accusing her of infidelity. Bob Collymore was named as a respondent in the divorce case but he claimed through his lawyer that he met Wambui when she was already divorced.

The divorce case proceedings were never made public by the mainstream media but it seems the case was amicably settled because now Wambui Wamae Kamiru and Bob Collymore are happily married.

Bob Collymore Wealth

Bob Collymore has revealed that Safaricom pays him a total amount of ksh 10million ($100,000) per month. He has properties worth ksh277 million ($2.7 million).

Bob states that he accumulates Ksh. 109.5 million in one year including interests and dividends.

According to a declaration of wealth he posted, he has a net worth of Sh277.3 million in cash, properties, and shares.

Collymore owns a kSh54 million residential house in London, cash balances in local banks worth USD203,000 (about Ksh20,300,000) and has Sh18.4 million worth of shares in Safaricom and Vodafone PLC shares worth USD871,000 (about Ksh88,000,000) and his financial balances have a sum of Ksh95.4 million in real money

Bob Collymore Citizenship

Bob Collymore is both British and Kenyan, the latter being by virtue of being married to a Kenyan woman,

Bob Collymore Photos

Bob Collymore - Biography, Marriage, Wambui Kamiru, Divorce, Joseph Kinyua, Photos, Family, children, Safaricom, Working Career, Citizenship, Wealth

Bob Collymore - Biography, Marriage, Wambui Kamiru, Divorce, Joseph Kinyua, Photos, Family, children, Safaricom, Working Career, Citizenship, Wealth

Bob Collymore - Biography, Marriage, Wambui Kamiru, Divorce, Joseph Kinyua, Photos, Family, children, Safaricom, Working Career, Citizenship, Wealth

Bob Collymore - Biography, Marriage, Wambui Kamiru, Divorce, Joseph Kinyua, Photos, Family, children, Safaricom, Working Career, Citizenship, Wealth

Bob Collymore - Biography, Marriage, Wambui Kamiru, Divorce, Joseph Kinyua, Photos, Family, children, Safaricom, Working Career, Citizenship, Wealth

Bob Collymore - Biography, Marriage, Wambui Kamiru, Divorce, Joseph Kinyua, Photos, Family, children, Safaricom, Working Career, Citizenship, Wealth

Bob Collymore - Biography, Marriage, Wambui Kamiru, Divorce, Joseph Kinyua, Photos, Family, children, Safaricom, Working Career, Citizenship, Wealth

Bob Collymore - Biography, Marriage, Wambui Kamiru, Divorce, Joseph Kinyua, Photos, Family, children, Safaricom, Working Career, Citizenship, Wealth

Bob Collymore - Biography, Marriage, Wambui Kamiru, Divorce, Joseph Kinyua, Photos, Family, children, Safaricom, Working Career, Citizenship, Wealth

Bob Collymore - Biography, Marriage, Wambui Kamiru, Divorce, Joseph Kinyua, Photos, Family, children, Safaricom, Working Career, Citizenship, Wealth

 

 

Bob Collymore Health

While being interviewed by Jeff Koinange a few months ago, Collymore revealed that he had been battling with cancer. He had to seek treatment in the UK where he stayed for at least 9 moths before returning to Kenya.

VIDEO: Bob Collymore opens up about his health

 

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Africa

Robert Mugabe’s most famous quotes

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Robert Mugabe, who died Friday aged 95, and who was Zimbabwe’s president for 37 years, had a long history of making colourful or controversial remarks during his nearly four decades.

He was ousted in a military coup in November 2017.

Here are some of them:

  • On staying in office

2014: “Some are saying ‘Mr Mugabe is old, so he should step down’… No! When my time comes, I will tell you.”

 

 

2008: “Only God who appointed me will remove me — not the MDC (opposition), not the British.”

  • On Independence

Mugabe’s speech when Zimbabwe won independence was more conciliatory.

1980: “It could never be a correct justification that because the whites oppressed us yesterday when they had power, the blacks must oppress them today.”

  • On seizing farms from whites

2000: “You are now our enemies because you really have behaved as enemies of Zimbabwe. We are full of anger. Our entire community is angry and that is why we now have the war veterans seizing land.”

2002: “Our party must continue to strike fear in the heart of the white man, our real enemy.”

  • On Britain, former colonial ruler

2001: “The British were brought up as a violent people, liars, scoundrels and crooks… I am told that (former British PM Tony) Blair was a troublesome little boy at school.”

  • On homosexuality and gay marriages
READ ALSO:   FULL VIDEO: In case you missed Bob Collymore's memorial service, here it is in its entirety

2010: “Worse than pigs and dogs… Those who do it, we will say, they are wayward. It is just madness, insanity.”

2013: “(President Barack) Obama came to Africa saying Africa must allow gay marriages… God destroyed the Earth because of these sins. Weddings are for a man and a woman.”

  • On Nelson Mandela

2013: “Mandela has gone a bit too far in doing good to the non-black communities, really in some cases at the expense of (blacks)… That’s being too saintly, too good.”

  • On Hitler

2003: “I am still the Hitler of the time. This Hitler has only one objective, justice for his own people, sovereignty for his people, recognition of the independence of his people.

“If that is Hitler, then let me be a Hitler tenfold.”

  • On Trump

2017: “May I say to the United States President, Mr Trump, please blow your trumpet. Blow your trumpet in a musical way towards the values of unity, peace, cooperation, togetherness, dialogue, which we have always stood for.”

  • On the economy

2007: “Our economy is a hundred times better, than the average African economy. Outside South Africa, what country is [as good as] Zimbabwe? … What is lacking now are goods on the shelves – that is all.”

  • On his marital affair
READ ALSO:   SAD: How Safaricom's Bob Collymore died [VIDEO]

Before his first wife died in 1992, Mugabe started a relationship with Grace, whom he married in 1996.

1998: “I wanted children and this is how I thought I could get them. I knew what I was doing and my wife knew.”

  • On colonialism

1962: “Africa must revert to what it was before the imperialists divided it. These are artificial divisions which we, in our pan-African concept, will seek to remove.”

2015: “African resources belong to Africa. Others may come to assist as our friends and allies, but no longer as colonisers or oppressors, no longer as racists.”

  • On death

False reports of Mugabe dying were a feature of his old age.

2012: “I have died many times. That’s where I have beaten Christ. Christ died once and resurrected once. I have died and resurrected and I don’t know how many times I will die and resurrect.”

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Africa

Selfie-obsessed man gets his fifteen minutes of fame on live TV

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A man has become an internet sensation for pulling the most hilarious stunt during a live TV broadcast.

The incident happened while a journalist attached to South African news channel eNCA was reporting live on the situation in the streets of Johannesburg, following the current wave of xenophobic attacks in the country.

In the video, the reporter, surrounded by members of the public, is seen reporting with full concentration on her task.

However, one of the people standing close to her then decides not to let the moment of fame pass him by.

He goes ahead to try and document the moment on camera and uses his phone to take a selfie.

And that is not all. He goes as far as trying to get the best angle for the selfie by moving his extended hand in different directions right infront of the journalist.

Interestingly, the reporter goes on with her job unperturbed by man’s meddling.

The video, which has been widely shared on social media, has received varied reactions from the online community.

“Anytime is selfie time,” tweeted @AdvBarryRoux.

“I like hw the journalists is minding her business,” said @ceekay.

“He is even looking for the perfect angle,” wrote @bandzandroses.

READ ALSO:   Safaricom best employer in Africa

“Father God abantwana bakho, they’re on another level,” commented @kateR30.

“Once in a life time opportunity. You should grab it with both hands,” said @Mvelase.

“This journalist are going through a lot this time on,” responded @Boikanyo.

“And he’s so nonchalant about it. Come on chief,” said @terencemapfumo.

By nairobinews

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Africa

Kenyans among victims of S.Africa attacks

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Kenyans are among victims of arson, looting and physical attacks in the ongoing xenophobic attacks in South Africa.

Kenyan High Commissioner to South Africa Jean Kamau on Wednesday confirmed that several Kenyans had been attacked in Gauteng Province.

By nation.co.ke

READ ALSO:   President Uhuru leads politicians, celebrities in mourning Bob Collymore
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