Former boxing champion Conjestina Achieng has been spotted for the first time since entering rehab last year.
The 41-year-old former boxer, dressed in fitness outfit, was photographed outside of Aden Rehabilitation Center on Sunday and the sighting is already a noticeable improvement from the way she appeared in photos taken late last year.
Photos posted on Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko’s official Facebook wall shows the former boxer at the rehab Center working out and in high spirit.
In regards to her rehab stay, Sonko who staged an intervention prior to taking her to treatment, revealed that Conjestina was doing fine after checking in for treatment.
Conjestina entered rehab for the third time in late November 2018 after being rescued from her ancestral home. She was diagnosed with a psychiatric condition which has seen her on and off hospital for a while.
Governor Sonko came to her rescue and that of a fellow ex-boxer and two-time All Africa Games light flyweight gold medallist Suleiman Bilali.
“I am happy to see veteran boxers Conjestina Achieng and Suleiman Bilali are responding well to treatment since their admission at Aden Rehabilitation Center in late last year,” Sonko wrote on his Facebook account.
“Conjestina’s family has visited her at the rehabilitation center together with the Nairobi City County Sports Board and WBC Super Bantamweight Champion Fatuma Zarika.
“I’ll continue to support them until they fully recover even as my administration puts in place plans to support local athletes to prosper in their areas of sports,” added sonko who believes there is hope for “Conje” and that this round of treatment will work.
Many boxers live deplorable lives after leaving the ring, with most of them finding it difficult to afford a single meal a day, rent and even medication. Conjestina Achien’g is the most recent example of what amounts to neglect.
Images before the boxer checked into the rehab showed an emaciated Conjestina contradicting pictures that once defined her fluid, cheerful and confident.
When she was famous, the family believes she invested in Nairobi, but they cannot trace the items she bought. Sometimes, Conjestina sporadically mentioned items she bought and random people who she claims took them.
In her hour of need, all she did for the country seems to have been forgotten. Achieng was the first African woman to hold an international title after defeating Ugandan Fiona Tugume for the vacant WIBF Middleweight crown.
They don’t know if it is her flights of fancy fuelled by delusion of grandeur, or if indeed people took advantage of her illness and robbed her.
Conjestina had her first loss at Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani where Yvonne Reis from USA felled her. She was agitated. She clenched her teeth as she watched disappointed Kenyans walk out of the stadium.
Her next losses came in rapid succession. After the infamous “come early coz I’ll finish early” phrase to assure her fans of a win, she lost again to Uganda’s Florence Nalukwago. Her star was dimming; and people started losing interest in what she was doing. She became a butt of jokes with every loss she registered.
And just as sudden as she had appeared in the Kenyan celebrity space, she disappeared into nothingness.
Conjestina Achieng was born on October 20, 1977 in Umiru village, Yala.
She is the fifth born in a family of ten.
Her prowess in the ring earned her the nick-name “Hands of Stone”.
She became the first African woman to hold an international title when she beat Ugandan Fiona Tugume to take the vacant WIBF Middleweight title.