the-nairobian Female boxers in Kenya may be Down yes, but not out - The Standard
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Female boxers in Kenya may be Down yes, but not out

BY JOHN LAWRENCE

Tucked away on Cross Road near the busy Nyamakima Bus Stage is the Rwarai building that preserves the hopes of Kenya’s boxing. The building hosts the little known Rwarai Gym and Fitness Centre.

From the outside, one can consider it as any other facility but it holds a different kind of ‘energy’.

If you walk into the gym on a weekday at 10.30am, you will be met by sounds of boxers training tirelessly, some hitting the speed bag.

The boxers include two of the most celebrated female athletes in Kenya – Fatuma Zarika and Conjestina Achieng’.

For the last few years, Zarika and Conjestina have been out of the ring following years of neglect of professional boxing in Kenya.

The two are victims of failed promises in the boxing industry, unreliable promoters and wrangles in the national federation.

But not to be fazed by the immense challenges, they are training hard, hoping to reclaim the lost glory of Kenya’s boxing.

Zarika told The Nairobian her quest to stardom has been thwarted by endless wrangles in the boxing industry over money.

 “I have undergone endless frustrations from people who I once trusted, but the script changes when you win a match,” Zarika says.

The mother of two says it has been difficult to make ends meet while at the same time build her career as a professional boxer.

 Conjestina, who has endured years of mental illness, hopes there will be a better future for the game and female boxers in Kenya.

“As a professional boxer, whenever I take to the ring all I seek is to represent my country but it is sad that fellow countrymen not only turn their backs on me but they went ahead to make a kill from my sweat,” she says.

“I would like to meet the president just to share with him the plight of boxers in this country. I have done was for the sake of the country.”


 

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