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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:   How cancer oppressed Kenyans in 2019

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:   Safaricom achieves 50pc female employees target

 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

Man praises stepdad for being amazing father

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Thabani Nhlengethwa, a South African man, has shared a touching story on Facebook about the man who raised him.

Thabani Nhlengethwa praised his stepdad for making him the man he is today. Photo credit: Facebook/Thabani Nhlengethwa

Thabani Nhlengethwa owes every success he will experience in the future to his stepdad. Photo credit: Facebook/Thabani Nhlengethwa
Source: Facebook

In a post written on #ImStaying group, the young man praised his stepdad for being an outstanding man and amazing human being.

He said he owes every success that he enjoys in the future to his dad, Jita.

According to Thabani, Jita met his mom back in 1996. He was only four years old at that time.

Jita accepted Thabani and his siblings who were all sired in previous relationships.

Man praises stepdad for being amazing father, exceptional husband

Thabani hopes to give his stepdad the world one day. Photo: Thabani Nhlengethwa
Source: Facebook

The kind man schooled them, fed them and protected them as if they were his own flesh and blood.

The netizen owed everything he knew to the man who raised him and hoped that one day fortune would knock on his door and enable him to treat Jita like a king.

He added that at the moment, the fanciest thing he can do is take his stepdad out for breakfast, but soon things will change.

READ ALSO:   How cancer oppressed Kenyans in 2019
Man praises stepdad for being amazing father, exceptional husband

The man said his stepfather was the breadwinner and did not mind providing for them. Photo: Thabani Nhlengethwa
Source: Facebook

“I love and owe every success I might have in the future to this amazing gent right here. Jita met my mom in 1996, I was only four-years old by then and my mom already had 4 kids from her previous relationships.”

“Jita took all of us under his wing, took us as his kids and loved us. He took us to school and we all were able to finish matric because of him. My mom was not working and so Jita was the breadwinner,” he said.

In a related story by TUKO.co.ke, a young lady took to Facebook on Monday, June 15, and shared a beautiful story about the hero of her life.

At the age of three, Portia Thabisile’s biological father decided to leave her and her mother.

Thankfully, her mother met a wonderful man who raised Portia as his own daughter.

She shared her inspirational post via the I’m Staying Facebook group.

“I am staying because of my daddy, he took me in when I was three years, after my biological father left me and my mum, he gave me love till today,” the lady wrote.

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Africa

Uhuru names Amb. Martin Kimani new envoy to NY as he moves to cement his legacy in foreign affairs

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President Uhuru Kenyatta has either moved or nominated envoys to fill 12 positions globally. In the new line-up, Uhuru  has settled on a member of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) taskforce Amb Martin Kimani as the new Kenya’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations who will be based in New York.

The position fell vacant when Amb Lazarus Amayo moved to Washington DC as the envoy to US.

But who is Ambassador Martin Kimani? He was the Director of Kenya’s National Counter Terrorism Centre and Special Envoy CVE, and once served as the Permanent Representative and Head of Mission to the United Nations at Nairobi and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

Kimani holds an MA and PhD in War Studies from King’s College of the University of London and is a Fellow of the African Leadership Initiative and the Aspen Global Leadership Program.

He was also the 2013 Distinguished African Visiting Fellow at the South African Institute of International Affairs.

Learn more here:

 

Kenyatta has also nominated three former IEBC commissioners for deputy head of mission positions in the latest appointments.

Connie Maina, Paul Kurgat and Margaret Mwanchanya have been picked as deputy heads of mission in the latest changes made by the Head of State.

READ ALSO:   Safaricom achieves 50pc female employees target

The list of nominees features 25 people who are expected to fill up the positions of high commissioner, permanent representative, ambassadors and deputy heads of missions.

According to an Executive Order signed by Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua, and released on Thursday evening; the group will join the country’s foreign service in various capacities.

The order states partly, “His Excellency the President has on this fifteenth day of October 2020, caused nominations and appointments to the senior ranks of the public service for persons to serve the nation as Ambassadors, High Commissioners and Permanent Representatives in Kenya’s Embassies/High Commissions/Missions abroad. The persons who by dint of the Presidential action will join our nation’s esteemed foreign service…”

Former IEBC vice chair Consolata Nkatha has been picked as the deputy head of mission in Rome, Italy. Her colleagues, Paul Kurgat and Margaret Mwanchanya will occupy similar positions in Moscow (Russia) and Islamabad (Pakistan) respectively.

Below is the list of individuals nominated for the positions of deputy heads of missions:

In the order, Amb John Tipis who headed the Directorate of the African Union heads to Canberra as Kenya’s High Commissioner to Australia. Immaculate Wambua has been picked as Kenya’s High Commissioner to Canada, and she will be based in Ottawa. Closing the list is Amb Catherine Mwangi who will be Kenya’s High Commissioner to South Africa. She will be based in Pretoria.

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

 

In the list of appointments are 12 people who have been picked for ambassadorial positions. They include Amb Jean Kamau (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia), Linday Kiptiness (Bangkok, Thailand), Amb Tom Amolo (Berlin, Germany), Amb Lemarron Kaanto (Brasilia, Brazil), Amb Daniel Wambura (Bujumbura, Burundi), Stella Munyi (Harare, Zimbabwe), Maj. Gen. (Rtd.) Samuel Nandwa (Juba, South Sudan), Maj. Gen. (Rtd.) Ngewa Mukala ) Khartoum, Sudan), Amb Benson Ogutu (Moscow, Russia), Joshua Gatimu (Tehran, Iran), Amb Tabu Irina (Tokyo, Japan) and Amb Jean Kimani (UNHABITAT).

Resignation from IEBC

The three former IEBC officials announced resigned from the commission on April 16, 2018, claiming that their boss Wafula Chebukati was incapable of running the IEBC affairs.

“For far too long and way too many times, the commission chair has failed to be the steady and stable hand that steers the ship in difficult times and gives direction when needed,” the trio said in a statement.

They added: “Instead under Chebukati’s leadership, the commission boardroom has become a venue for peddling misinformation, grounds for brewing mistrust and a space for scrambling and chasing individual glory and credit”.

But on August 12, 2018, Justice Wilfrida Okwany ruled that the commissioners did not legally tender their resignation and were still adjudged to be in office. The court ruled that the trio ought to have resigned in writing rather than in the press conference.

READ ALSO:   “The late Bob Collymore bought me my first green suit” Jalang’o opens up!

“As I have already found in this judgement, the issue of the alleged resignation of the four commissioners was a matter that was neither here nor there and was not proved by any tangible evidence,” said Okwany.

-Standardmedia.co.ke

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Africa

Kenyan entrepreneur among top 10 finalists of Jack Ma Foundation competition

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Kenyan entrepreneur Chebet Lesan is among the 10 finalists of Africa’s Business Heroes, a competition organized by the Jack Ma Foundation to identify and recognize the continent’s top entrepreneurs.

Chebet is the founder of Bright Green Renewable Energy, a social enterprise that turns urban waste into clean burning charcoal for households, schools, farmers, hospitals and many others.

She is now among the 10 finalists who will pitch at the competition’s grand finale in November for a chance to win a share of a US$1.5 million prize pool.

Speaking to Nairobi News, Chebet said being among the top 10 is a humbling experience for her as they were up against strong competition.

For Chebet and the team at Bright Green Renewable Energy, a win in the competition will be a win for more than 800 million people in Africa who cannot access clean energy.

“It will mean that the problem we are solving of energy poverty across Africa, that the voices of 800 million people in Africa who still don’t have access to clean cooking fuel have been heard and are going to get the support they need to be able to improve their situation,” Chebet said.

For Chebet to win, As Kenyans you can support her by sharing your first Ugali experience using the hashtag #ugaliyanguyakwanza

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

https://twitter.com/lesanerick/status/1316076593492701185

The finalists were chosen from a pool of more than 22,000 applications across all 54 African states and key sectors, including agriculture, fashion, education, financial services, healthcare and renewable energy.

The top 10, an even split of female and male entrepreneurs whose average age is 34, represent eight African countries: Kenya, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

On November 13 and 14, Africa’s Business Heroes will host its Grand Finale and winners of the 2020 ABH prize will be announced on November 14.

During the online Grand Finale pitch, the top ten heroes will present their business ventures, as well as their vision and leadership profile, to the finale judging panel that includes Jack Ma, Founder of the Jack Ma Foundation and the Alibaba Group, Ibukun Awosika – Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria and Founder/CEO of The Chair Centre Group, Strive Masiyiwa – Founder and Executive Chairman of Econet Group and Joe Tsai – Executive Vice Chairman of the Alibaba Group.

All of this will be part of ABH brand-new business entertainment televised show due to air in five episodes from November 21-December 19 across Africa.

BY NN

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