Wambui Collymore Opens Up Losing Sense of Smell, Bob’s Ashes, President Uhuru’s Honour

June 29, 2020

Wambui Kamiru Collymore, the widow of the late Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore, says she has been losing her sense of smell since her husband died on July 1 last year.

“I lost my sense of smell. It returned a few months ago and then disappeared again. It’s back again; so it goes and comes,” she said in an interview with Sunday Nation.

“In grief, any number of things can happen. You can lose your sense of memory; your eyesight can be blurred. Grief is a chemical reaction in your body and it has a chemical effect on your senses, and so, for me, it was my sense of smell – which was an indicator of the magnitude of the trauma of death,” she added.

Ms Wambui also revealed that Bob was cremated a day after his passing in strict adherence to his will. The only thing he did not choose was what to be dressed in, something Ms Wambui took it upon herself.

“He had chosen a strictly simple exit. And he did not just say it; he committed to it in writing. Think of it as an instruction manual written to be ticked off when you die.

“Some of the details were in that document, which he signed over through a lawyer. He used to say, ‘I don’t want to hang about. It’s like I’m done; don’t keep me around’. 

“He (Collymore) scripted all of it. …except what outfit he would be cremated in, and that was my choice. And I chose to put his body in a Mudi suit, which is a white linen suit with flowers on the front of it. And he was barefoot, with no jewellery; none of those other possessions. Just him, in his purest form,” she said.

Bob’ Ashes & Uhuru’s Pledge

Ms Wambui also disclosed that Bob’s ashes were deposited in the sea at his favourite beach.

“Bob’s ashes were deposited into the sea in Diani. Diani was his favourite beach in the whole world, so we thought it best to put his ashes in the sea there; so that no matter where any of us, his family or friends, are in the world, as long as you are near or out at sea, then you are in the presence of where his remains are,” she said.

At Bob’s memorial, President Uhuru Kenyatta said Collymore had asked him to take care of Wambui after his death.

Asked if the President had honoured this request, Ms Collymore said: “I would say that Uhuru has been very supportive. And he has been supportive not as a President but as a friend of Bob’s. I am appreciative of the fact that he has been there with my family and I’m grateful for the fact that he was a good friend of Bob’s.”

She added that Bob’s famed boys’ club comprising KCB Group CEO Joshua Oigara, journalist Jeff Koinange, politician Peter Kenneth, stock market trader Aly-Khan Sachu, Scangroup CEO Bharat Thakrar, Standard Chartered Bank’s Lamin Manjang and the then British High Commissioner Nic Hailey have been supportive.

“They have been very supportive. They have checked on me constantly. I feel like I’m part of a family with the boys’ club,” she said.

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