Safaricom interim CEO Michael Joseph came under fire after he eulogized his fallen friend and a hero of sorts, Bob Collymore as a “white man in a black body.”
“Over the last 15 years I went from being amused by this white man in a black body pretending to be a very serious corporate person to really becoming a serious corporate leader,” he said.
Michael, during Collymore’s memorial service at the All Saints Cathedral choked with emotions as he read a poem “My Funeral” by Wendy Cope.
Well, even as emotions run high, Kenyans wondered what the telco CEO who also holds other positions in Kenya Airways meant and if he really was being racist.
According to Michael Joseph, no black man can have the compassion and other positive mannerisms of Bob.
“He was a white man in a black man’s body.”
— Robert ALAI, HSC (@RobertAlai) July 5, 2019
MJ called Bob Collymore 'a white man in a black body' and that racist holds more than 5 top positions in this country
— Kenneth (@KenMortician) July 5, 2019
Michael Joseph, while eulogising Bob Collymore, said Bob "was a white man in a black body"…what !!OUTRIGHT RACISM!!!
May bob rest in peace.#BobcollymoreRIP
Pole to wambui collymore and family,peter kenneth
— RayMond Matata 🇰🇪 (@RaymondMatata) July 4, 2019
"Bob was white man trapped in a black body", Michael Joseph. This is abhorent racism.
— Ndung'u Wainaina (@NdunguWainaina) July 5, 2019
But according to Michael who is a cancer survivor, Kenyans missed the point and the remarks were supposed to be humorous as was Collymore who he described as a man with an “enormous sense of humour.”
“You missed the point and the humour!” he wrote on Twitter.
You missed the point and the humour!
— michaelj2 (@michaelj2) July 5, 2019
Collymore was cremated on Tuesday with only close friends and family present.
He is survived by four children and wife, Wambui Kamiru.