It pays to be a successful sportsman. From very pitiable backgrounds, Stephen Kiprotich and Moses Kipsiro must now be some of the most envied individuals in Kapchorwa.
Kipsiro runs several businesses and earns handsomely from European races. But he did not even need to dip into his returns to move into a new beautiful house, now a stand-out structure in the town.
The house, nearing completion, is a token from government as promised by President Museveni after Kipsiro won a memorable double (5,000m &10,000m) at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India. To go with the house, the long distance star also recently received a double-cabin car from government.
“It should be complete soon, I have been told,” Kipsiro, currently preparing for next month’s World Championships in Moscow, said yesterday. “It’s a nice one. I was there recently and checked the interior, it’s great.”
The 27-year-old Kipsiro, who has won a medal at every big championship bar the Olympics, is planning to shift from Bukwo, where he owns several properties, and settle in Kapchorwa.
“As soon as the house is complete, I will shift with my family,” Kipsiro who three months ago fathered a second child with wife Bena Chebet, revealed. “Kapchorwa is a better place for me to train. It also has better business opportunities.”
Apart from being inaccessible because of an impassible road from Kapchorwa, Bukwo hasn’t been so kind to Kipsiro.
In 2011, before he pulled out of the World Championships in Daegu, Kipsiro claimed some Bukwo residents wanted to harm him. “I can no longer run around freely,” he told Daily Monitor then. “Some people are after me. My life is in danger.”
The athlete also recalls a time, in 1993, when the Pokot, a rival neighbour tribe (Kipsiro is a member of the Kalengin tribe) raided his home and took all their cows. Unlike Kipsiro, who has had to wait for three years for the government house, Kiprotich will soon usher his parents in a new three-bedroom house, a year after he won the Olympic marathon in London.
The house was also a pledge from Museveni to Kiprotich’s parents after the runner ended Uganda’s 40-year Olympic gold wait last year.