President Uhuru Kenyatta will bestow the Head of State Commendation award to World Boxing Council Super Bantamweight champion Fatuma “Iron Fist” Zarika at State House.
Zarika is part of the few outstanding Kenyans who will be feted by the Head of State on Jamhuri Day as Kenya celebrates 54 years since the attainment of Independence.
In a phone interview with Citizen Digital from State House, Nairobi, the excited WBC super bantam weight champion who was in company of other boxers could hardly believe her luck.
However, Zarika is simply reaping the fruits of hard work and devotion to the sport she so dearly loves – boxing.
At the same time, Zarika, Kenya’s most celebrated female boxer hailed Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja who, according to her, has made good his promise to set up a meeting with the President.
“Last week I got a phone call instructing me to avail myself at the Nairobi State house at 11am from a credible source. I was very excited for the recognition and most of all my dream of meeting the President finally came true. I have got a lot that I would want to share with him that will benefit me and my fellow boxers. Hopefully I will get a minute to tell him what needs to be done to make the sport more vibrant,” said Zarika.
The mother of two hopes that there will be more support to the sport since most boxers like her and Olympian Benson Gicharu have to dig deep into their pockets if they have to qualify or honour their bouts.
Zarika caught the eye of the President two weeks ago when she retained her super bantam weight title, after out punching Catherine Phiri of Zambia at the Carnivore Grounds in Nairobi.
The ‘Iron Fist’ lady rewarded her home fans including the senator who was among the spectators at a packed Carnivore, with a victory of unanimous points decision of 97-92, 98-91 and 99-92 from the three international judges.
Fatuma Zarika lands a knockout blow on helpless Fatuma Phiri during boxing competition organized by Bigger than Life entertainment in conjuction with Kenya professional Boxing Commission at Carnivore grounds in Nairobi on December 02, 2017. Photo/Stafford Ondego/Sportpicha
Initially she had been training for two months in Las Vegas, USA, for her return fight against Jamaican Alicia Ashley but the fight kept on being postponed until they found a worthy opponent for her.
Notably, Zarika made history as the first Kenyan woman to win the WBC Super Bantam weight after dethroning Ashley last year.