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Model starts drive for Conjestina Achieng's treatment

By Rushdie Oudia | October 12th 2015 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

Miss Eastlands Nairobi Eveleen Mingoye (left) with former boxer Conjestina Achieng at the latter’s home in Yala, Siaya County. The model has started a campaign to raise funds for Conjestina to undergo treatment in India for schizo-affective disorder. (PHOTO: COLLINS ODUOR/ STANDARD)

Siaya, Kenya: Former female World Boxing Champion Conjestina Achieng's family is disappointed in the Government following the state of the once renowned pugilist.

Conje, as she is commonly referred to, left Nairobi after apparently failing to take care of herself and was diagnosed with schizo-affective disorder or paranoid schizophrenia.

She was admitted at the Mathari Mental Hospital on September 8, 2012, after she relapsed in a psychotic episode that left her parents distraught.

Conjestina has had on-and-off bouts of illness for the past five years. She was discharged from hospital on October 26, 2014, and kept away from the public to recuperate at her Kisumu house.

She was treated at Avenue Hospital in Kisumu for the better part of last year. Conje is remembered as a former World Boxing Super Middleweight champion and a two-time World Boxing Council middleweight title winner. She has also won the World Boxing Federation, Global Boxing Union and World Boxing International Federation titles.

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Eveleen Mingoye, who was crowned 'Miss Eastlands' last year, has made another stab at helping the renowned boxer by mobilising well-wishers to raise funds to enable Conje undergo treatment in India. She is doing this together with the Kogello empowerment group.

Raising funds

"I have already communicated with a doctor in India and we are good to go. But we have to raise funds to accomplish this," said the 22-year-old model.

She said she would release a pay-bill number for the initiative to help Conje. Ms Mingoye had travelled from Nairobi to Yala and was shocked at the state of the 37-year-old former boxer.

Conje, the mother of Charlton Otieno, a Form Three student at Maliera Boys Secondary School, reiterated that whatever happened to her was not mental illness but as a result of neglect by the sports industry and the State.

"I have done a lot for this country because I know very well without sports many of us cannot survive, but the Government has neglected sports personalities," said Conje.

The former boxer has not fully recovered and has been reverting to the condition for failure to take medication.

"One of the reasons she has been in this state is that we cannot afford her medication," said Caroline Adala, Conje's elder sister.

Conje's mother, Gertrude Adala, is frustrated at the recurrence of the ailment, but has not given up hope.

"I buried my husband last December. In March I buried my eldest son and I have a lot of burdens, but I am a mother. I cannot be so bad as to use my daughter's plight to make money," said Mrs Adala.

Her brother, William Ochieng, is calling on well-wishers to help his sister recover fully.

Before she slipped back to the illness, Conje was an ambassador for Sports Legends of Kenya and trained 16 youths under her initiative dubbed the Conjestina Achieng Foundation.

Conjestina Achieng paranoid schizophrenia Mathari Mental Hospital Boxing
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