Hundreds of motorbikes hooting in the dusty town of Kitengela, County of Kajiado, signal a new day in the early morning. The riders are in a hurry to get customers, equipped with helmets and heavy clothes to beat the cold. One of the riders of the African Youth Games in Gaborone, Botswana, is Mr. Evans Murutu Sokoto, who won the three Gold medals in weightlifting in May 2014.
Mr. Murutu, 25, was awarded gold medals in the categories of Snatch, Clean, and Jerk (69kg). In the last four years, however, he has become a motorcyclist and part-time garage worker.
On Wednesday, when the National Team met him in Kitengela, he was looking at what could have been his future. He reckoned.
Mr. Murutu told the Kenyan Amateur Weightlifting and Body Building Association that he was good after winning the three Kenyan gold medals (KAWBBA). Mr. Murutu said, “I can’t proceed with my formal schooling amid abject poverty within our family.
The class seven dropout had learned to be a young champion in a ‘ghetto’ gym with minimal self-made types of equipment.
Later in 2014, as part of Team Kenya, Mr. Murutu went to Botswana to take part in the continental championship, even qualifying for Youth Olympics in China. He was qualified for the league but was unable to win any medal.
“I had big dreams and plan to improve my life,” Muritu said. “My trips to the head office of the federal government became regular until I was blocked, despite the fact of splitting up a bribe. “The Government promising us Sh1 million for every gold won.
All his sport performances include trophies and medals. He currently produces daily from his bustles between Sh500 and Sh600.
“When I see my fellow young people idol myself when I train with them, I still live in squalor,” he said. “I am embarrassed when I see them idol myself,” Mr. Murutu said.
The federation is marred by corruption, Daniel Otieno, member of the Amateur Weightlifting Association in Kenya said. “After years of training, several young champions languish in poverty and represent Kenya in various competitions,” said Mr. Otieno, who has doubled as a gymnastic instructor, a motor vehicle garage owner in the town of Kitengela.
Unable to reach KAWBBA boss Pious Ochieng for comment.
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