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HomeWealthEunice Nekesa Lusweti: Kenya's First Javelin Medalist Living in Poverty

Eunice Nekesa Lusweti: Kenya’s First Javelin Medalist Living in Poverty

By Prudence Minayo 

Despite being born in a poverty riddled home, Eunice Nekesa’s dream was to change her life through sports. Amidst many challenges, she went on to become the first ever Kenyan to win a javelin medal.

Despite this, her name has all but been forgotten and the former star, now in her eighties, sells water to survive.

Her only hope is that the government will recognize that she once put the country on the map. She told NTV that she has never been named among top achievers in the country.

The President should just remember us, even though we are old. We should not just be forgotten like rats and left to perish,” she said.

Background and love for sports

She was born on 1936 in Misikhu village in Bungoma county. She joined Kuywa Primary School in 1962 but dropped out in standard three due to lack of school fees.

Despite dropping out, she loved extra curricular activities and played various sports including netball and javelin using improvised javelins and sticks.

Sporting opportunity and winning

Looking for better sporting activities, she moved to Mombasa in 1978. At the time, the government was looking for people to represent Kenya at the All African Games. She accessed the Mombasa Municipal Stadium and went on to do very well.

However, some people were not happy about her win. Some officials had favorites whom they were tooting for and they didn’t want a ‘bush girl’ ruining their chances. In a feature on NTV, she revealed that the first selection was cancelled since an alien had shown up and taken the thunder of the favorites.

During the second selection, she showed up and performed even better than the first time. One late Mr. Kimaru intervened in order for her name to appear in the list of those proceeding to Kisumu. Not only did she do well but she became the best and represented Kenya in the All African Games in Algeria.

During the event, Nekesa had an impressive performance, beating Agnes Tchuinte, a US based athlete of Cameroonian decent. With this win, she became the first ever Kenyan to bring home a javelin medal. Together with other sportspeople who represented the country, they were invited to statehouse to celebrate.

Here, it is reported they shook hands with the late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta who made the athletes hefty promises. Unfortunately, he died  before these promises ilwere fulfilled.