TRIBUTE

Bob was a gentle giant, says Juliani

The day they met, Juliani talked to him in Kiswahili, and they hit it off from there

In Summary

• Among those known to be his close friends were his favourite local artist, gospel rapper Juliani.

Bob Collymore and wife Wambui with Juliani during their wedding in Naivasha
Bob Collymore and wife Wambui with Juliani during their wedding in Naivasha
Image: Michael Khateli

When Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore walked down the aisle, only one artiste was on the guest list. That artiste was gospel rapper Juliani.

Collymore died on Monday after a long battle with cancer. He was then cremated at Kariokor yesterday.

His life has been celebrated by the who is who in the country, and his favourite artiste has now spoken out.

"He was a hundred per cent human and a gentle giant," Juliani told Word Is yesterday.

The two met years ago at a Safaricom event, and since then, their friendship blossomed. Many a time, the two have been photographed attending events together.

"The day we met, I talked to him in Kiswahili and I still believe that is what attracted him to me," Juliani said.

He went on to say that Bob was way humbler than what people would expect and cared about people. "He was also concerned about the next move for Kenya as a country with his project Ghetto classics, and he knew each member," he said.

 

The last time the two talked was on Friday, when they joked about a clip of white people taught how to dance because he always said he did not know how to dance.

"A thing we always laughed about. We made fun out of it," Juliani said.

He said they were ready about his death because they were updated.

Bob also loved his family and he was a great family man. He wedded his long-time girlfriend Wambui Kamiru in a colourful ceremony in 2016, in a low key-wedding in Naivasha that was attended by close friends and family.

According to Uhuru Kenyatta’s photographer, Michael Khateli, who was also the official photographer at Bob's wedding, it was a happy feeling all over and generally, people were happy for him. All the guests congratulated him and his bride.

"At first, I felt very intimidated, but he made you feel like his equal, he would ask about my photography, about the camera I use, how business is, why I started doing photography, as he also did photography as a hobby," he said.

Juliani was among those who attended his cremation ceremony in Kariokor.