By Daniel Edyegu in Kapchorwa
The parents of Ugandan Olympic gold medalist Stephen Kiprotich have appealed to the Government to consider constructing for the family a house so they that can lead decent life.
The 80-year-old James Kiptui and Kopkop Cheptum, 60, reside on half an acre of land that they have occupied since the family comprising part of the Ndorobo tribe, was evicted from Mt. Elgon national park in 1965.
Caught in a complex situation, the family sought land from the community that offered an area in Cheptilyal village, Tegeres sub county, in Kapchorwa district.
“We are peasant farmers. We do solely rely on earnings from subsistence farming and handouts from our children to survive,” Cheptum said at their home on Monday.
“We no longer have energy to run errands. Look at this house. It’s not befitting of parents of a national hero.
“Our passionate appeal to the Government is to build us a better house.
“Even giving us a car would be a welcome idea so we can easily move to town.
A dog relaxes just infront of the home of Olympic Games gold medalist Stephen Kiprotich in Kapchorwa district. PHOTO/Daniel Edyegu
Her son Kiprotich won the 42km marathon race in two hours 08.01 minutes on the final day of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Two-time defending world champion Abel Kirui of Kenya won silver in 2:08.27 while his compatriot Wilson Kipsang took bronze in 2:09.37.
Kiprotich won Uganda’s second Olympic gold medal after John Akii-Bua’s 400m hurdles feat at the 1972 Games in Munich.
All seven children of Kiprotich’s parents have moved out of the family home and purchased plots of land elsewhere and are now leading independent lives.
At the family home, the couple owns a heifer that provides milk. They are also engaged in small scale poultry to earn income.
“Kiprotich is our main caretaker in this family. Whenever he goes for international events and wins money, he spares some for his upkeep, for his training and uses the balance to educate some of his brothers and close relatives,” the runner’s father Kiptui explained.
Kiprotich is due back home from London this Wednesday.