by Muthoni Kimani
July 29, 2020
Remember Boxing champion Congestina Achieng?
Yes, she is still around but has kept a low profile after her financial and health issues.
Conjestina is a former Kenya champion.
For a few years now, Conjestina has battled depression and a mental breakdown that has seen her attend rehabilitation stints.
Since falling into poverty and drug abuse after her glittering career.
Media personality Carol Radull visited her recently, and her situation is very heartbreaking;
“A few days ago @floradull and I visited Conjestina Achieng at her family home in Yala. She has been top of my mind since covid struck since so many sports people are struggling (more than usual) at this time.She is however very angry at what she feels is a system that abandoned her at her time of need. She repeatedly said how she was on top of the world, represented Kenya but felt a lack of recognition.”
“In her humble hut; what struck me most was a shrine she had put up for silverware - shields and belts; her only reminder of what she used to mean to the country.”
“I know many have tried to assist her in various ways but unfortunately a lot of those moves have not worked. I am no medical expert; but I see little sense in taking someone to rehab for some time then returning them to the same challenging environment.”
Raduall went ahead and explained what Conjestina needs at this point;
“In my layman's assessment; she is not mad but she does need more rehab to overcome her dependence on abusive substances. She also needs some counselling (anger management) But she then needs to be in an environment where her mind is kept busy; where her talent is being used; where she feels useful and appreciated.
Right now she sits at home with her thoughts - doing nothing. She was yelling alot when we arrived as if to ascertain who is boss. But the more we chatted the more she calmed down and we had a good laugh.”
I could be wrong in my very layman's assessment; and I would welcome suggestions. I am in touch with her Mum in Yala and with her son here in Nairobi; (her real son - as there is a fake one swindling Kenyans and I'll share that story too in a while) both of who appreciate the love they know the country feels for her.
Carol concluded by saying;
“Unfortunately I also took masks for her and her family and Conje said they will NOT wear them as there is no need. My logic fell on deaf ears.”
“We all just hope and pray for a lasting solution that will see such an icon be in a position to make an impact towards the sport of boxing in this country. She still can.” #ForTheLoveofTheGame #RadullCares