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Sonko denies abandoning leaving Conjestina after rehab

Newsbeat & Tech

Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has distanced himself from claims that he ditched his support for former Kenyan boxer Conjestina Achieng and as a result, left her wallowing in tribulations.

Sonko has instead attributed Conjestina's fate to her family's decision and insistence on having her in her rural Siaya home.

This comes after news of Conjestina's deplorable state surfaced on various social media platforms after a renowned sports personality paid her a courtesy visit, highlighting that the boxer's situation was changing for the worse with relatives calling upon the government through the Ministry of Sports to intervene for a long-lasting solution.

Sonko has since defended his willingness to help from the very start. In September 2022, the former World Boxing Council, WBC, middleweight Champion was admitted to Mombasa Women Empowerment Network Hospital in Miritini.

Last year, the former County boss had assumed the responsibility to rehabilitate the former boxing champion after her deteriorating state of health was highlighted on social media. She had been admitted to various facilities after her health and mental status deteriorated. He fulfilled his promise of conferring his Coastal security duties to Conjestina after a successful rehabilitation program following a long battle against financial and mental health issues since she left boxing in 2011.

Seeking vindication, Sonko shared a supposed conversation he had with members of her family on social media:

“I had amazing plans for Conjestina and after walking the long journey with her from 2018 until her full recovery I had already secured her a plum job as the head of security a Salama Bling Beach resort in Kanamai after changing my plans on her of being the head of security at renowned Coastal nightclub, Club Volume owing to what she had gone through before regarding her involvement in drug and substance abuse.

But a few months later, according to Sonko, who then airlifted the ex-celebrated champion from Siaya to Nairobi for specialized treatment, the family of the 45-year-old wanted her back home.

"Unfortunately her son Charltone Otieno and sister wanted her to travel back upcountry for other forms of treatment which I didn't subscribe but ultimately I had no option but to release her. I still care about her and in case they need my support I'll always be available and wish her the very best,” he disclosed.

“Conje's story was one of a fighter's spirit that refuses to be extinguished. Despite facing personal challenges and setbacks in life, she emerged back stronger and more determined than before. Throughout her rehabilitation journey, Conjestina showed incredible strength, both physically and mentally. Her unwavering commitment to better herself inspired a lot of youths who were almost giving up in life and I hope she bounces back because as a person who passionately stood by her I'll count my efforts well utilised and not in vain” added Sonko

“She loved her thing. Boxing was her passion, and she was one of the most dedicated people I have worked with. In the ring, she was brutal, fast and calculating. Her opponents feared her blow, with some bowing out before the end of matches. The wins were many, punctuated by camera clicks and curious boxers who wondered how she does it,” noted her former coach Julius Odhiambo, reminiscing about Conjestina's past glory.

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