Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Conjestina’s father throws in towel

Pioneering female boxer Conjestina “Hands of Stone” Achieng. Photo/FILE

Pioneering female boxer Conjestina “Hands of Stone” Achieng. Photo/FILE 

By AYUMBA AYODI sayodi@ke.nationmedia.com

It is a father’s passionate cry for help from the sprawling Lucky Summer Estate in Eastlands, Nairobi.

Pioneering female boxer Conjestina Achieng is not herself any more. Her distraught father, Mzee Clement Adala, says his daughter, nicknamed “Hands of Stone” has been exhibiting strange behaviour.

She has removed her 13-year-old son from school, burnt her boxing gear and is refusing to see any of her family members.

Mzee Adala said the 33-year-old boxer, who lives in a rented house in the estate, is now calling herself “Angel” and has taken to locking herself up with the young boy in the house.

Achieng’s son had been transferred from the Gulf Academy in Siaya to the Lucky Summer Academy in Nairobi, but Adala said his mother now sees no need to continue with a schooling she now terms “devilish”.

Adala said Achieng set all her boxing gear ablaze and disposed of all the equipment at a gymnasium she opened two years ago next to her house.

“She doesn’t want to see me and, in fact, chased away her youngster sister, Everylne Adero, before burning her clothes too,” said Adala.

Adala said his daughter was late last month forcefully taken to the Kenya National Hospital (KNH) after her behaviour worsened, but all the normal medical tests conducted on her, including a head scan, revealed nothing.

A doctor who helped take Achieng to hospital in his says the family was advised to book her at the psychiatrist clinic at the KNH, but they chose to take her home.

“I thought they would later book her in the clinic or seek help elsewhere. I don’t know why they opted to take her home. It’s the family members who were to take that initiative,” said the doctor, who sought anonymity.

But Adala, who has been looking after the boxer for almost two weeks, said that they thought things would improve.

‘Everyone is against me’

When the Daily Nation visited Achieng at her residence, it was clear that all was not well with the star who pioneered women’s boxing.

“Everyone is against me and all I want is to live in is this world with my son alone,” she said, refusing to be photographed.

“My father and my sister have all ganged up against me and I don’t want to see them.”

Asked where she would still like to pursue her boxing career and whether her son would go back to school, Achieng said:

“I have realised going to church, attending school and boxing are all devilish. I rather pray at home and teach my son from the house.”

“I have realised boxing is devilish, since why should someone have her head boxed when it’s the temple of God?

“I have quit boxing and I have advised all my boxing friends to quit the game. That is why I have burnt all my boxing clothes and closed the gymnasium,” said Achieng.