This is Guka - Is it Me or Do I Have a Point

#1
Yeah, by now we all know that Bob Collymore died of cancer. Of course he was CEO of Safaricom, Kenya's largest and most profitable company.

Sad.

That said, I am starting to get this feeling that the Kenyan media and elite are over-doing it. Dude was just human, and even more brutally, he wasn't a saint. There is a reason why many, many Kenyans call Safaricom Safaricon or even Suffericom. There is a reason why Bob himself was often derisively called Bob Con-me-more.

Now it's all very well to highlight the good work of a dead dude in eight-page pull-outs, but if you want to be taken seriously as journalists and as a society, you must also point out the controversies and challenges that the dude faced too.

It is during Bob's tenure, for example, that the Safaricom calling rate has approached a 10-year high of Sh5 a minute (when in his home country such services are increasingly free on certain days); that unused data bundles which are purchased with hard cash 'expire' (that is still a mystery to many, expire how?) and that Safaricom has been accused by none other than the CAK of illigal dominant practices. There are even rumours of tax evasion through such practices as paying annual fees of upwards of $20 million (UNTAXED!!!) to Vodafone UK for the Mpesa software, and exaggerated bonuses for expatriate staff.

Yes, Bob was a titan, but he was no ferking saint. Truth be said, he has used every trick in the book to make his employers - Vodafone UK - billions of dollars from exorbitant services sold to Kenyan peasants. That he was black played well with the crowd, in line with the adage, send a thief to catch a thief - no way a White dude would have had it so easy (which is why Michael Joseph, the white dude before him, never missed an opportunity to tell us he was South AFRICAN. And later, that he had acquired Kenyan citizenship. Black Bob went a step further, and married a Kenyan girl!).

Fact is, as hard as it is to agree, Safaricom is just one of the many exploitative and extractive international corporations forced on us by the WB and IMF at the turn of the century. IT IS NOT A KENYAN COMPANY. Just because Black Bob knew how to play the field - throwing a few coins to one struggling artiste or the other, hosting a music festival here and there, or sponsoring a school or special children's club - doesn't absolve him of any of his corporate sins of commission, omission or collusion. Make no mistake, he was not one of us any more than Oprah Winfrey is.

He did a bit of good, yes, but for me he was nowhere near our own business titans like Equity's Mwangi or steel guru, Chandaria, in advancing the national interest. If I was uncharitable, I would even have called him a classic modern-day house nigga of the Kenya Colony, or at the very least the PC facade for the rapacious, exploitative and extractive interests of the remnants of Empire.

His local deification probably has everything to do with him being a foreigner because in our tribalised, jaundiced and reduced eyes, only a foreigner can be sinless. God forbid if he was one of those thieving, back-stabbing, shifty-eyed Kikuyus, for example, or those haughty full-of-themselves dirty Jaruos.

But he was Bob Collymore, the non-tribal business titan who made billions from peasants and faced death unafraid, the god that walked among us mortals.

Well, may be I am just a little green with envy.
 
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mabenda4

Village Elder
#6
Ngabu..... you are missing the boat by a two valleys. Thing is, Safaricom is by far the largest spender of Advert coin per capita. Most of the Githeri media must as of necessity fall over chairs and butts out doing each other to secure favour with the incoming CEO and to "return hand" for favours in the past. It has nothing to do With the Smilling Bob. Most of those singing his dirges wouldn't care if the guy was a Saint or not. It's Safaricom that butters their bread..... they owe the captain of that ship total allegiance. That said..... Bob did well.... and it's sad that he succumbed to the hedious disease. ... Go well Sire.... till we meet again.
 

sitaki

Village Elder
#7
Sometimes mourning/whatever shenanigans that happen after a successful member of society dies can be for show, to keep one in good books with the heirs or those who come after.
In the west we have professional mourners, and sadly some of them are just opportunists, they come wailing to the deceased home pass through the house collecting whatever they can lay their hands on, the same case hapa, some will want to 'mourn' the loudest expecting favors, or to benefit from the same.
 
#9
Ngabu..... you are missing the boat by a two valleys. Thing is, Safaricom is by far the largest spender of Advert coin per capita. Most of the Githeri media must as of necessity fall over chairs and butts out doing each other to secure favour with the incoming CEO and to "return hand" for favours in the past. It has nothing to do With the Smilling Bob. Most of those singing his dirges wouldn't care if the guy was a Saint or not. It's Safaricom that butters their bread..... they owe the captain of that ship total allegiance. That said..... Bob did well.... and it's sad that he succumbed to the hedious disease. ... Go well Sire.... till we meet again.
Fully agree.........................
 

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