Kenyan boxing icon Conjestina Achieng needs more rehab and a change of scenery, this is according to celebrated sports journalist Carol Radull. Taking to her Instagram account on visiting the ailing former Women’s International Boxing Federation (WIBF) Middleweight titleholder at her family home in Yala, Siaya County, Radull stated that Achieng’s rehabilitation plan needs a relook with a framework that supports her talents and relocation given precedence.
“A few days ago Flora Radull and I visited Conjestina Achieng at her family home in Yala. She has been top of my mind since covid struck since so many sportspeople are struggling (more than usual) at this time,” stated Radull. According to the personality, Achieng has lost a lot of weight but is still strong and needs help in overcoming her dependence on what she termed as abusive substances. “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,” went on Radull.
Radull pointed out that the legendary boxer who won eight times by specifically by KO during her illustrious career hangs on to her prized belts and silverware, is troubled and helplessly wasting away in an unforgiving environment. “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,” she added.
In the message, Radull noted that the pugilist who ruled the 2000s with thundering fists is not deranged: “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 a lot 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.”
Empathizing with Achieng and her family, Radull warned the public against falling victim to an individual she claimed is masquerading as her son. “ 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,” shared Radull.
Speaking to the Nairobian in 2019, Achieng’s mother Gertrude Auma expressed hope that her daughter will one day recover and lamented at how her condition had ‘made her life miserable’. “I have been called names. I have lost friends. People have wished that my daughter was dead. I have seen it all, but I believe God and expect a miracle. Some people took advantage of the situation and started making money from her condition. We know of people who visited us, took pictures with her and used them to make money,” said Auma.