bob collymore

Former Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore, whose body was cremated on Tuesday, joins a list of prominent Kenyans who have opted out of the traditional burial ceremonies.

Over the years, wealthy and prominent politicians, church leaders and sports personalities have increasingly opted out of the traditional burial ceremonies and choosing cremation, some against the will of their relatives and clans.

Here are some of them:

1. Jeremiah Kiereini

Former Head of Civil Service Jeremiah Kiereini was cremated in March 2019 at a private family function.

The family said  it was Kiereini’s desire to be cremated.

VIP guest speaks out after Bob Collymore’s cremation ceremony

2. Wangari Maathai

The Nobel laureate Wangari Maathai was cremated in 2011 in a private ceremony at the Kariokor Crematorium.

The family of the environmentalist and the government agreed to cremate the body.

The remains were interred at the Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies, in accordance with her wish.

3. Kenneth Matiba

Pro-democracy icon Kenneth Matiba was cremated in April 2018 at the Lang’ata Crematorium .

His family said it was his wish to be cremated.

4. John Macharia

The son of Royal Media Services founder SK Macharia was cremated days after Matiba’s cremation in April 2018.

The businessman died in a road accident along the Southern Bypass in Nairobi.

His body was cremated ahead of his funeral service held at their home in Ndakaini village, Murang’a County.

His cremation was a private affair with only his family and close friends in attendance.

The inside life of Bob Collymore many did not know

5. Joshua Okuthe and his wife Ruth Florence Okuthe

Former sports administrator Joshua Okuthe was cremated in July 2009 at Kariokor Cemetery.

His first wife, Ruth Florence Okuthe, was cremated four days after his death.

Their family buried an empty coffin behind his bedroom in Tamu, Muhoroni District, in a mock funeral, since he had been cremated according to his wishes.

6. Peter Habenga Okondo 

Kanu era Cabinet Minister Peter Okondo was cremated in 1996.

Busloads of villagers arrived in Nairobi, only to learn that his white wife cremated his   body .

The cremation caused divisions between his family and his Banyala clan.

7. Peter Njiru

The two-time Africa Classic professional golf champion, who died in 2015 after a long struggle with kidney problems, was cremated at the Kariokor Crematorium.

The 55-year-old player died at the Nazareth Hospital, just a day after he had been admitted at the health facility.

Jeff Koinange explains why he called Bob Collymore ‘Kihara’

8. Manasses Kuria and his wife Mary Kuria

Former Anglican Archbishop Manasses Kuria’s cremation stoked debate within the church in 2005.

His remains were cremated in what his family said was in keeping with his will.

His wife Mary Kuria had also been cremated at the Lang’ata Crematorium two days after she died at The Nairobi Hospital on July 6, 2002 at the age of 73.

The decision led to a debate in the church about cremation, with a majority of the members voicing strong objections.

9. Jane Kiano

Former Chairperson of the Maendeleo ya Wanawake organisation, the late Jane Kiano was also cremated on October 27, 2018 at the Kariokor crematorium two days after her death.

Kiano  died at 74 years at  the Nairobi Hospital after a long battle with lung cancer.

She was widow of the late former Cabinet Minister Julius Gikonyo Kiano.

 LYNDSAY NYAWIRA/The Star

MPASHO TV