As top athletes gather in London for the 2012 Olympics to compete for medals, Kenyans will miss one man, the late Samuel Wanjiru, the only man to win the Olympic marathon gold for the country.
The celebrated athlete died on May 15, 2011 under mysterious circumstances in his Nyahururu home in mysterious circumstances. But Kenyans and the world are still not clear about what caused the death of Wanjiru who dies at 27.
Some light could be shed following the translation of the book-‘Running on Empty’ an English version written by Dutch journalist, Frits Conijn.
In his book, Conjin tries to explain the circumstances that lead to the death of an athlete who won the country her first Olympics gold in marathon besides setting a World record. The book published by Moran East Africa Publishers gives a captivating account of the life of Wanjiru’s childhood which the writer says was characterized by loneliness, poverty and lack of identity.
Conijn writes in the book that the death of Wanjiru could be linked to the rejection he faced during his childhood while growing up with his grandmother in Ol Kalau.
The most intriguing chapter in the 218 paged book which was edited by Naima Kassim is the chapter 11, (Under carpet) which talks of the doctor's report and testimonies from Wanjiru’s mother, Hannah Wanjiru who alleges her son was ‘killed’ and some powerful hands are allegedly hiding the truth behind his death.
“When the police were reacting to Wanjiru’s assault on his wife, they disabled the AK 47 Wanjiru had used and also seized the safe in which the weapon was stored. In addition to the machine gun, the police also took Ksh33 million ($390,000) which was in the safe.
This money disappeared.” Hannah is quoted in the book.
“These cannot be explained by a landing on his back. I fear that Wanjiru was first beaten up before being forced to fall from the balcony, I do not know exactly what happened in the bedroom but I think my son was very scared.
If Only I had been in the house I would have been able to protect him, I hope he did not suffer too much,” added Hannah in reference to the wounds that were found in the left cheek and under the right eye socket of Wanjiru’s body.
But Dutch pathologist Frank Van De Goot, of the Center for Forensic Pathology after examining the Autopsy reports said in the book; “These are only small incision which could have been caused by anything.
They cannot be used as proof of anything. It could be quite possible that he bumped into a chair while drunk.
That could be enough to explain these wounds.” Goot however holds some thoughts that the wound in the right eye could have arisen as a result of some fight. “If the wound had been above his eye it would have been easy to associate it with the fall.
When landing on the back of his head, his skullcap was probably displaced and thereby the top of his eye socket. That is a fairly normal pattern in such events. However the wound is on the underside, it could have arisen in a fight,” noted De Goot.
Ugandan novelist Okello Oculi who was the guest of honor during the launch believes it is time sportsmen and women are taught how to manage wealth and fame that come with their success in sports.
Moran CEO, David Muita called on other sports personalities to record their own history by writing their own memoirs.
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