All Africa Games Boxing Bronze Medalist Struggling in Katanga Slums

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The 33-year-old champion lives in Katanga slums in Kawempe Division in Kampala together with her mother and children.
Hellen Baleke. Photo by Fahad Muganga

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Hellen Baleke, Uganda’s Bronze medalist at the 2019 All Africa Games in Rabat Morocco is struggling to make ends meet.

The 33-year-old All Africa games champion lives in Katanga slums in Kawempe Division in Kampala together with her mother and children.

She told URN in an interview on Wednesday that she is living a difficult life, saying her house floods whenever it rains.

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According to Baleke, she used her allowances from different fights to buy tailoring machines, which she uses to train young girls and earn a living to support her family amidst challenges.

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Baleke says that despite the enormous challenges, she decided to train young in tailoring and self-defence skills for survival.  

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 Unfortunately, Baleke’s landlord impounded some of her tailoring machines because of rent arrears.

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Sarah Basemera, one of the single mothers who have benefited from the Baleke’s efforts, says that the pugilist has tried improving their welfare amidst her own challenges. 

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Moses Muhangi, the president Uganda Boxing Federation recently visited Baleke and donated Shillings 1 million to renovate her house. Muhangi has since called on other people and well-wishers to support the boxer.    

Baleke’s mother, Sarah Bagoole thanked Muhangi and the late Zebra Ssenyange for influencing Baleke to love boxing.

She wants the government to reward her daughter for raising the country’s flag so as to inspire other boxers to love the sport.

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Currently, only gold and silver medalists are entitled to a monthly allowance of Shillings 5 million and Shillings 3 million respectively from the government in line with the presidential directive in 2014.    

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