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Titan of The Tech Industry Who Ran The Best Company in East Africa Without A Degree.

Compare. Contrast. Then conclude! It is up to you!


1st day of July 2019, a gem of the tech community fell. We remember the titan of the industry every year, for his exceptional performance while running one of the best tech companies in Africa. Bob Collymore remains a dab hand at matters leadership, if his accomplishments are anything to go by.


Bob Collymore.


During his tenure at Safaricom, the past master inculcated a business culture and precious lessons not only to the employees but to every enterprising Kenyan. Collymore’s style of leadership and management was eminent to the sense that every leader should carry along, like they carry their phones and refer like the way they refer to their Instagram accounts. He unashamedly maintained his philosophy of People, Purpose, and Profits. It is with no doubt that he believed dignity, purpose, and people work together for the greater good.


The icon’s ability to achieve excellence in all spheres of his career life, in such a notable degree, with no degree, is a lesson that we must seek knowledge about in today’s world, especially in Africa.


A good example is the recent hullabaloo about the Senator for Nairobi, Kenya, Johnson Sakaja, who is also running for the Governor seat in the same county. His Degree Certificate from Teams University has been subjected to public scrutiny and ridicule in equal measure, in the last one month. Whether it is political or not, true or false, I choose not to focus on that.


Johnson Sakaja, Senator of Nairobi. Photo Courtesy, The Informer.


Question is, should a diploma, a degree, or academic qualification really be used as the ultimate measure of leadership competence?


Perhaps yes. Maybe no! Why? I need not to touch on the endless debate of countless people with degrees and no jobs or many leaders who have done wonders in the world and bought highlands like Sir. Richard Branson, and Bill Gates, Steve Harvey, among others, to draw some sense out of the whole thing.


Methinks that the balance of all of them matters big time. A competent leader should have a basic education. A basic education must encompass good moral skills such as etiquette, integrity and respect.


They must ensure they treat other people with the utmost understanding. The leader is a flag bearer who can carry the vision, motivate people to subscribe to his ideas, and ensure everything is brought into fruition. So yes, a competent leader is a cocktail of so much, and we should look beyond a degree for proper scrutiny.




Evidently, Bob Collymore is remembered for his tendency to employ people with no university degrees and focused on an apprenticeship approach in career shaping.

A realistic approach toward solving real challenges will remain the most significant focus if we ever wish to have a prosperous nation, just as Bob set it by example.


Dignified man, a hardworking gem, and a man who led by example. You left a big story to all enterprising Kenyan citizens.


Keep resting in peace, Bob.


Getty Images.


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