BY ANTHONY NDWIGA AND BRIAN OKOTH.
Conrad Njeru Karukenya, better known as Tiger Power, is dead.
Tiger Power died at Consolata Mission Hospital-Kyeni on Monday aged 75, his brother, Ansemoli Kathuri, confirmed to EDAILY.
“He developed physical weakness on Monday, and when we rushed him to Kyeni Mission Hospital, he died shortly after being admitted,” said Mr Kathuri.
Power, who hails from Kevote Makengi Village in Embu North Sub-County, has – in the recent past – been battling ailments in hospital.
In 2015, doctors diagnosed the strongman with a heart-related complication.
Although he was one of the most popular and recognisable faces in Kenya, his fame did not come with material benefits.
In August 2015, he was in his hospital bed struggling to raise Ksh7, 000 for a scan. He sought financial help to meet his medical bills.
Tiger Power is known for being run over by a Land Rover unscathed and carrying eight huge men without breaking a sweat.
Tiger Power has made a name by performing extraordinary stunts like breaking six-inch nails using his teeth.
Tiger Power discovered his extraordinary strength by accident when he was transporting his father’s coffee beans to the factory many years ago.
“As I was guiding the ox-cart carrying 2.1 tonnes of coffee downhill, the brakes failed. I guided it to the roadside and as I was lying on my back fixing the left wheel, the oxen unexpectedly pulled away running over my abdomen. Despite the heavy luggage, it did not hurt,” he recalled during a past media interview.
From that moment, Tiger Power exhibited his extraordinary strengths in front of villagers, students, scientists to presidents in various parts of the world.
A decade ago, he dared any man in Africa to face him in a test of strength contest. No one came out to challenge the gigantic man, who started his shows of power while still in school in 1963.
Tiger Power held a Diploma in Physical Fitness.
In 2008, he was conferred with a Head of States Commendation award by former President Mwai Kibaki.
He is survived by spouses and several children.