Waiting for Mzee’s grade cows three decades later

President Jomo Kenyatta honours boxer Stephen Muchoki with the Order of the Burning Spear in Mombasa. Two days later, Mzee was no more, making Muchoki one of the last Kenyans to meet the president who passed on this week in 1978. Photo/FILE

What you need to know:

  • As Kenyans mark the 34th anniversary of the death of founder President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, one-time Olympic gold medallist, Stephen Muchoki, nurses fond memories of Mzee and a lingering sense of deprivation: On August 19, 1978, the president, in recognition of their achievements, ordered that Muchoki and multiple gold medallist Henry Rono, be rewarded with “the best grade cattle in Kenya”. Two days later, the president died after which civil servants felt less compelled to execute the order. The sportsmen never got the animals but that was a small setback compared to the rough stretches they would later go through

In the judgement of his peers, the only man in Kenya to become world boxing champion had the fastest anticipation; he saw your punch coming before you unleashed it. And for this, he exacted a steep price, in the form of a combination of jabs delivered with dizzying speed.


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