Athletes family complains of negligence

Athletes family complains of negligence

Concerns have been raised on the recognition of families of Kenya’s sportsmen and women after several complained of neglect by the government.

Speaking to Citizen Digital, Josephine Temu, the wife to former Olympics Champion Naftali Temu, said that she has nothing to smile about on her late husband’s representation of the country in athletics.

“During the burial of my husband in the year 2003, many promised to offer support to ensure that my kids are educated, but all those were empty promises. I have never seen anyone come back even to see how we are fairing, I feel despised,” she noted.

“I do not see any reason to keep following anybody. I am just waiting patiently for God’s favour, I live the years that He has planned for me.”

Mrs Temu, who has been ailing for some time now, cannot even walk properly.

“I have been sick for a long time, if you look at my walking style you will cry. According to the doctor, the problem with my legs is because of running at my younger age.”

“I am currently a peasant farmer and if you see me, you will be surprised with the kind of life I am living. Honestly, if I may ask, if my husband was the first one to break this record, don’t you think I have a right to be a principal beneficiary?” queried the painful Mrs Temu.

Naftali Temu was a Kenyan long-distance runner. He became Kenya’s first gold medalist when he won the 10,000 metres race at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, the event that has been dominated by the Ethiopians since then.

Temu started training in long-distance running at the age of 14. After completing school, he served as a military officer with the Kenya Army.

At the 1964 Olympics, he finished 49th in the marathon and failed to finish his 10,000m race.

He won silver medal in 5,000m at the inaugural All-Africa Games in 1965, a race that was won by Kipchoge Keino.

At the 1966 Commonwealth Games in Kingston, Jamaica, Temu beat the world record holder Ron Clarke to win the six mile race. Two days later, he finished fourth in the three miles race.

At the Mexico Olympics, in the 10,000m final, only Mamo Wolde from Ethiopia could keep Temu’s pace.

Temu’s career started a downward trajectory after 1968. He finished nineteenth in the 10,000 m at the 1970 British Commonwealth Games and was eliminated in the 10,000m heats at the 1972 Summer Olympics.

He retired in 1973 to run a farm in North Mugirango, which was a gift from President Jomo Kenyatta.

On March 10, 2003, he died of prostate cancer at the Kenyatta National Hospital aged 58.

Temu’s last born, Mildred Nyaboke Temu, believes that their family is neglected despite their father being a hero.

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Story By Dennis Ohuru
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