#Conjestina Achieng and the Horror show that is Kenyan Boxing

She was the first Kenyan woman boxer to hit the heights, but if the cynicism stirring in this blogger over her current plight right now is vindicated, then she won’t be the last to hit rock bottom. In 2004, a hitherto unknown Conjestina Achieng, became the first African woman to win a major world bowing title when she seized the then vacant Women’s International Boxing Federation’s Middleweight title. That began a rollercoaster ride for the young boxer of celebrity, hype and even starting a foundation to teach women self defence. Those were the highs, the lows were multiple postponed fights, arguments with promoters, apparently rigged fights and more recently undefined problems involving substance abuse and her general mental health. Over the past few days there has been a massive campaign from celebrities, Kenyans on Twitter and Politicos in general to raise funding to save Conjestina from her present plight. Within of itself this blogger applauds the intervention, but I can’t help wondering why on earth someone who’s done what she has done should be such a hole in the first place. Except she’s not the only one. For those who say attention, stories of Kenyan boxers generally struggling through abject poverty, neglect and downright exploitation just to function in their chosen profession are a dime a dozen. There was the expose on Kenya’s sole male boxer at the last olympics paying for everything out of his own pocket and his being run out of th Kenya camp as soon as he got eliminated. There was the recent DN2 piece about how a certain boxer is still waiting for cows the then president of Kenya promised him 32 years ago, for his Commonwealth games gold. And there are the periodic stories about the general lack of facilities and funding in Kenyan boxing in general. Where is #Kenyans4Pugilists bandwagon for these? Is one even desirable, given we all know deep in our consciences that once some other broken and desperate destitute hits the headlines we’ll all move over to them? Sure we can all be swept away by emotion when we have these big outpourings for cases like these, but What’s the point if 1 year from now we are doing it all over again? Over to you…

Author: Kimemia Maina

blogger, writer, dreamer...

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