BOB COLLYMORE: A MAN WHOSE PROJECTS WERE FOR THE YOUTH

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The late Bob Collymore speaks during a past event.

The late Bob Collymore during his tenure as CEO of Safaricom Limited, a position held since 1st November 2010, epitomized the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility.

He will be remembered for his tireless efforts in societal transformation, enthusiasm to tap into the potential of Kenyan youth and their talent is still heavily recognized.During his 8 year reign as Safaricom CEO, he actualized the launch of numerous projects to help tap in the abilities of youths in Kenya.

In April 2014, he led Safaricom PLC in launching an exciting musical project, the Safaricom Youth Orchestra that has around 70 children aged 10 to 18 and united by music develop into the best musicians in the near future.

In September 2014, he was the driving force behind the inception of the annual Safaricom Jazz Festival. A festival created to bring an almost nonexistent music genre then, closer to the people of Kenya and it has turned out to be Kenya’s best rendition of live music with all its proceeds going to a non-profit organization, the Ghetto Classics.

In 2015, Safaricom partnered with Generation Kenya, an organization that seeks to disseminate skills that young people need, connect their graduates to employers seeking motivated and skilled talent. Through their partnership, the two organizations founded the Wezesha Generation Programme to support youth access to job opportunities during its existence, the programme has benefited over 14,000 graduates with 84% of the graduates getting employed within 90 days after completion of the programme.

May 8th 2016, the head of the Kenya telecommunications giant launched Blaze Kenya. The youth platform built to offer youths between the ages of 10-26 years an opportunity to make a plan for their life by providing mentorship, networking and skills management that has now had its impact felt all over Kenya as it now offers youth specific events, products and services.

Like the philanthropist he was, his prowess in Corporate Social Responsibility did not only make him any ordinary philanthropist but also had a positive impact to Safaricom overall image as a brand. 7th May 2018, the company launched Twaweza Live, a short campaign that sought to engage Kenyan citizens through campus invasion, device offers, free medical camps, talent search,music concerts and youth mentorship programmes.

June 29th 2017, Safaricom CEO launched a grassroots football tournament to scout for football across the 8 regions of Kenya. The Chapa Dimba Na Safaricom Tournament that targets young talented players aged 16 to 20 years aims to transform the lives of young people by giving them a platform to showcase their talent and an opportunity to earn from their sporting talent. The tournament has been ongoing for two years now and talents have been scouted to go train and play in Europe, Spain to be specific.

In a recent TV interview, the late Bob mentioned that the average age of employees at Safaricom is 29. Which is proof enough that he believed in the younger generation to engineer a solution to the challenges the country thus turning around the fortunes for the better .

Bob Collymore truly falls in with Takeoff’s quote that, “We want our legacy to stand upon the youth. We want to give knowledge to the younger generation and be a part of changing the game.”

It is for this that every youth and young talent has a reason to remember the late Bob Collymore. He had youth centred initiatives. He was that good

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