Emotions ran high at the Memorial Service of the late Safaricom boss Robert William (Bob) Collymore at the All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi.
The service was graced by President Uhuru Kenyatta, his deputy William Ruto, several leaders and a constellation of personalities.
Bob’s interim replacement at Safaricom Michael Joseph, eulogised him as a close friend, before fulfilling a pact the buddies made.
However, during the final part of Michael Joseph’s poem in honour of Bob, the US citizen who has been the chairman of Kenya Airways since 2016, made a remark that left netizens angry — accusing him of being racist.
“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. To the only man I loved and desperately want to live forever, but somehow God had other plans, farewell my friend and God rest your soul,” he stuttered through, seemingly overwhelmed by emotions.
Kenyans interpreted the message differently with some like Blogger Robert Alai saying that what Michael Joseph meant was that “no black man can have the compassion and other positive mannerisms of Bob.”
The uproar forced the CEO to finally speak up on the matter before things got any worse.
Saying that Kenyans missed the “humour” in his statement.
Were Michael Joseph’s remarks racist? Tell us what you think in the comments section.