Veteran boxer Conjestina Achieng’s mother has dispelled rumours that she is using her daughter’s health condition as an excuse to milk money from sympathizing Kenyans.
Gertrude Auma Adalo, 60, says individuals have bombarded her family time and again seeking to find out where the money Kenyans contribute towards stabilizing Conje’s health has gone to.
Mrs Adalo exclusively told Citizen Digital that she is yet to receive any M-Pesa contribution made towards restoring her daughter’s health, and that those who put up the initiative are yet to disclose how much money is in those accounts.
“There are some people who claim that I am keeping Conjestina at home for business – so that when will-wishers visit me, they give me ‘something small’ for her. According to them, it’s me who pockets the amount,” said Mrs.Adalo.
“I want to categorically and honestly state as a mother I am not happy to see my daughter suffering, and wouldn’t want that situation to remain as such so that I benefit from it,” she added.
These accusations prompted Mrs Adalo to reject any monetary help which was coming her way.
“I was very bitter at those who made such heartless allegations. I even chased away well-wishers at the time; just to prove to critics that I am not after their money,” said a distraught Adalo.
“The other day people questioned what I did with Ksh7 million Mama Ida Odinga ‘donated’ for Conjetina’s treatment. They even asked about my family’s ‘eating rate’, adding that we constantly beg for medication money, yet we are ‘millionaires’,” recounted Mrs Adalo.
“I was shocked, surprised and a thin line of sweat made its way down my visage – leaving me questioning: where did all that happen?” she posed, adding: “Even the other day we spoke to Mama Ida, and she wondered where people got that falsified information from.”
“I’d request those who peddle rumours to completely stop; it hurts me,” said the widow.
Conjestina’s health troubles killed my husband
Gertrude says Conjestina’s health stressed her husband too much, resulting in his untimely death on December 6, 2014.
“My husband Clement Adalo died as a result of depression from Conje’s situation. He tried everything within his capability to restore the health of his daughter to no avail,” revealed Mama Conje.
Mrs Adalo says her husband was perturbed by the rate at which greedy people took advantage of his daughter’s deteriorated health to swindle her funds and investments.
“During his ailing days, he used to talk day in, day out about his daughter. He was saddened by how people looted her wealth and money,” said Conje’s mum.
“At one point he confronted some people in Nairobi who grabbed a piece of land she had bought. He personally traveled to Nairobi and brought down a structure which had been built on Conjestina’s land,” revealed the 60-year-old.
“When he was weighed down by sickness, he wondered what he’ll do to protect Conjestina from manipulation. It is this depression which I think led him to his grave,” said the widow.
Conjestina is being mistreated
Mrs Adalo also revealed how people in Conjestina’s native home in Umiru village, Yala division in Siaya County no longer appreciate the one time continental female boxing champion.
“People celebrated Conjestina during her hey days! Where she was – be it in the market or at the funeral services – the people around would praise me for giving birth to a ‘president’,” reminisced Adalo.
However, things have changed: “Today, that is not the script; they treat her the same way one would treat a frog that wants to get into the house – by taking a stick and throwing it out.”
However, her plea to well-wishers remains the same – to help bring Conjestina back to health.
“My daughter’s condition is not good. I feel a lot of pain and I am very sad. I forgot about happiness the day she began ailing. I have been in deep thoughts wondering what I would do for her,” said Mama Conje.
“I am in God’s hands now; He has given me life. However, my life is more difficult. I’d appreciate any help which will come her way,” she added.
Conjestina’s health improving
Conjestina Achieng is currently admitted at the Foundation of Hope Treatment Centre in Kisumu where Dr Javan Ochieng – a health expert at the facility has volunteered to offer her rehabilitation services.
“Conjestina was admitted about a week ago for two situations: clinical depression and high level of marijuana dependency. She smokes a lot of weed as her primary drug of choice, and her secondary drug of choice is alcohol,” stated the medic.
“She’s going through medical detoxification to purge out the effects of marijuana and also manage her depressive episodes – that will run for a month. After that, she’ll need psychotherapy – sessions where she’d be counseled by clinicians on the biological effects of the drugs she is dependent on,” said Dr Ochieng.
“The treatment period ideally will take three months. However, there may be need to extend her care; which will run for another month or two. Social reintegration should thereafter pick up,” added the doctor.
Citizen Digital confirmed with Conjestina’s brother, William Ochieng, that a foundation towards helping the former boxing ace is work in progress.
However, for any contribution towards helping Conje send it to Foundation of Hope Treatment Centre, Equity Bank Account 02090262601952; Lipa na M-Pesa: 867742; the family has approved the account details.