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Conjestina Achieng: No, I’m not dead, I’m alive and well

Retired Kenyan female boxer Conjestina Achieng is doing well and will soon be discharged from the Mombasa women rehabilitation facility.

According to former Nairobi governor, Mike Sonko, who also happens to be the person sponsoring her treatment, Conjestina is due to be discharged next week.

Sonko has also dispelled online rumours implying that the former boxer is dead. In a video shared by Sonko, Conjestina appeared to be in good spirit as she conversed with the former legislator.

“Kazi iendelee. Conjee is still alive and doing well at the Mombasa women rehab. She will be discharged next week,” Sonko said.

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At the same time, the retired boxer has urged Kenyans to continue praying for her as she recuperates at the Mombasa facility.

“I am responding well with my treatment. To those spreading rumours about my death, I want to tell them I am alive and well,” she said.

Mombasa Women Empowerment Network facility chairperson Ms Amina Abdalla said Conjestina is responding well to treatment.

“As per our medics, Ms Achieng has completed her first stage of treatment and she’s stable enough. She’s now in the second stage of treatment which allows her to engage in extra curriculum activities such as training in boxing which she loves. However, we want her take it gradually,” Ms Abdalla said.

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Nicknamed ‘Hands of Stone’, Conjestina made her boxing debut in 2002 and went on to become the first African female boxer to hold an international title when she beat Ugandan Fiona Tugume to claim the vacant WIBF middleweight title.

Her health started deteriorating in 2011 with her father sending an appeal to Kenyans for help. She was subsequently admitted at Mathari Hospital and later discharged after she recovered.

Conjestina has had several relapses before despite receiving treatment for depression. In 2016, the former world boxing super middleweight champion was readmitted at Kisumu District Hospital after her health deteriorated.

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Later in December the same year, she was among patients who escaped from Mathari Hospital in Nairobi and was captured by police and returned to the facility.

In 2019 the boxer’s mother confirmed that her daughter’s health had been deteriorating in recent times. She did not, however, elaborate on the update of her treatment.

Then in 2020, the National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) took the award-winning boxer for rehabilitation.

In July this year, Conjestina’s general health raised concerns with Kenyans appealing to the authorities and well-wishers to come to her aid.