Fatuma Zarika fights Zambia's Catherine Phiri in Nairobi March, 2019.

Celebrated Kenyan boxer Fatuma Zarika has said that despite finding success in the ring, she isn’t as lucky in love because men are afraid of making a move on her. The mother of two said that she feels men don’t see her as being easily approachable.

Zarika, who retained the World Boxing Council (WBC) world super-bantamweight title for the third consecutive time in 2019 further said she wouldn’t encourage her daughters to join the boxing world.

“There are benefits and a downside to boxing,” she told BBC, citing bad injuries sustained in the ring.

“My face was hurt badly and I developed vision problems. I’m scared I could get hurt and end up paralysed but I believe God protects me when I’m in the ring.”

She describes boxing as a hard-core sport requiring a lot of mettle.

For my daughters

Fatuma Zarika with her daughters.

According to the boxer who comes from a poor background, she’s keen on providing her daughters with a good life and a chance to be successful in life.

READ ALSO: I box for my two girls - Zarika

Zarika had a tough upbringing as she started doing menial jobs while still young after failing to join secondary school due to lack of fees. In a bid to support her mother and younger brother, she worked as a house help for three years.

“Each year, I worked under a different household. I opted to be a househelp instead of doing wrong things to earn a living. I’d rather wash people’s clothes than take a wrong turn in life,” she said.

Joining sports

After a while, Zarika decided to try out for soccer but soon found out it wasn’t her cup of tea and that’s when she turned to boxing.  She dedicated herself to training and discovered that’s where her heart belonged.

In 2002, Zarika won the title boxing title for her area of residence and when she got into the ring with a prisoner, she recalls getting badly beaten up. The loss further fuelled Zarika’s hunger for success.  According to Zarika, boxing helped her get her mind off the problems she was facing back at home.

In 2019, she made history by becoming the first Kenyan to win the Super Bantamweight title thrice after beating Zambia's Catherine Phiri to retain the title.

“It has not been easy winning these titles; I have dedicated myself to boxing. I would request that the titles be accompanied by payments befitting the fame emanating from winning them,” she said.

Zarika is currently in Dubai where she earns a living as a fitness trainer.