Tiger Power’s family has urged the strongman’s fans, the county and national governments to offer financial assistance as they plan his funeral.
Tiger Power, whose real name is Conrad Njeru Karukenya, died on Tuesday morning at the Consolata Mission Hospital in Kyeni, where he was admitted for a heart problem.
The strongman’s son, Boniface Njeru, said Tiger died shortly after his admission to the medical facility.
“He was ailing for several days prior to his death. He was hospitalised on December 31, 2018, and died on Tuesday, January 1. Dad had no other source of income besides the stunts he pulled at public events,” Mr Njeru told EDAILY.
Tiger Power’s brother, Boniface Njagi, who rushed him to hospital told EDAILY: “When he was being admitted in hospital, his health condition wasn’t extremely bad.”
The strongman’s sister-in-law and wife of Boniface Njagi, Margaret Njagi, revealed that Tiger Power had suffered a cardiac arrest in the past.
“He told us that he had a heart condition, which, sometime in the past, led to him suffering a cardiac arrest. There was a time, recently, when we took him to Kyeni Hospital over that problem. The December 31, 2018 admission to the medical facility was the second time we rushed him there. We are waiting for all his children to come home so that we can arrange his funeral,” said Mrs Njagi.
“Tiger spent a large part of his life engaging in physical fitness exercises. He was a known personality internationally. He has helped many people,” said Tiger Power’s brother Boniface Njagi.
“We request Tiger’s fans, the Embu County Government and the Kenyan Government to help us arrange his funeral,” said Mr Njagi.
Power hails from Kevote Makengi Village in Embu North Sub-County. He died aged 72.
In 2015, doctors diagnosed Tiger Power 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.