Nairobi News


Pole sana! Songbird Avril in mourning

By Winnie Mabel October 19th, 2022 2 min read

Kenyan songstress Judith Nyambura Mwangi, popularly known as Avril, is in mourning.

On October 19, 2022, she took to social media to announce the death of her beloved grandfather, the legendary boxer Philip Waruinge.

“Rest in peace Guka (grandfather). The family of Philip Waruinge is sad to announce that Kenyan legendary boxer and Olympian Philip Waruinge passed away in his sleep. Details about his funeral will be shared. RIP,” Avril wrote on Instagram.

According to the Olympics website, the late Philip Waruinge participated in the Olympics three times. Born in 1945, his first Olympics game was in 1964 in Tokyo, Japan where he was part of the featherweight boxing (≤57 kilograms).

In 1968, he participated in the Mexico City Olympics where he came in third and won a bronze medal in the featherweight boxing (≤57 kilograms) competition.

Again, her participated in the 1972 Munich, Germany Olympics where he came in second to win a silver medal in featherweight boxing (≤57 kilograms) as well.

In a 2020 interview with the Nation, the late Waruinge lamented that he did not have any physical medal from his boxing pursuits to show off to his children and grandchildren.

The Nation also reported that the late Waruinge wrote history by becoming the first African boxer to win the coveted Val Barker trophy after losing to eventual gold medalist, Mexico’s Antonio Roldan, in a controversial semifinal bout of the 1968 Olympics Games held in Mexico.

The late Waruinge’s name shone for over 50 years in the Boxing world, having participated in several global events including Commonwealth Games and at the All Africa Boxing Championships. In all these years, he won seven gold medals, one silver, two bronze and four best boxer trophies in global competitions.

“He ventured into professional boxing in Japan in 1973 and registered 14 wins, lost three bouts and drew one. The excellent fighter threw in the towel in 1986,” the Nation additionally reported.

He leaves behind a wife and four children- Lucy, Nancy, Andrew and Tom. He was also grandfather and great grandfather to many.

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