Bob Collymore: The man at the heart of Kenya’s Sports

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It is no doubt that the late Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore has left behind a huge legacy across the length and breadth of Kenya’s society.

His demise has echoed through the sporting fraternity like a huge thunder and shocked all and sundry. His hand was being felt in every corner of Kenya’s sports; from Football to Athletics and Rugby which are Kenya’s epitome of field actions.

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About four years ago, a group of football enthusiasts and the Football Kenya Federation set a date with Bob and shared their dream of a tournament that will aggregate the identification of talents from grassroots’ level. Despite Safaricom having refrained from football sponsorship due to transparency challenges before, Bob decided to take the risk.

‘Chapa Dimba na Safaricom’ was born in 2015 and has since brought together boys and girls aged between 16 and 20 years from across Nairobi, Eastern, Western, Nyanza, Rift, Coast, Central and North Eastern. The winner takes home KShs 1 Millions. Victor Wanyama is the tournament’s brand ambassador and the winners also get a chance to spend time with him in London.

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Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore (center) with FKF President Nick Mwendwa (left) and Harambee Stars Captain and Totenham Hotspurs midfielder Victor Wanyama during the unveiling of ‘Chapa Dimba na Safaricom’. Photo: CapitalFM


The 20th Edition of the Safaricom Lewa Marathon and Half Marathon that happens annually at the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy happened on Saturday, June 29th. This special event allows participants from all over the globe to compete in an internationally acclaimed event whilst running through one of Africa’s most breathtaking wildlife conservancies.

It is regarded as one of the toughest marathons in the world but runners of all abilities take part and has grown to be regarded by Runner’s World as one of the world’s top ten “must do” marathons. The proceeds go towards conservation, community development and education programs that are providing hope for the future of Africa’s wildlife – especially elephants and rhinos.

Rugby and its troubles 

Safaricom first took over as the title sponsors of the then Safari Sevens tournament in 2010, just when Bo Collymore was taking over as CEO from Michael Joseph. The telco giant then signed a Kshs 140 million-a-year deal with the Kenya Rugby Union in 2013 to sponsor the local Sevens circuit which included Dala Sevens, Christie Sevens, Kabeberi, Driftwood and Prinsloo Sevens, all under the Safaricom Rugby Sevens Series banner.

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In 2014, the sponsorship agreement was renewed for a further three years. However, things did not go down well as the deal was terminated in 2015 after Safaricom made good its threat to cut off federations that had been at the centre of corruption claims.

“Over the years we have closely monitored events at the union and highlighted our growing concerns with the lack of transparency and accountability of certain members of the board whose actions have brought the game into disrepute: a situation which jeopardizes the Safaricom brand and which makes our continued sponsorship impossible,” reads Safaricom’s CEO Bob Collymore’s letter to the chairman of the KRU.

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