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Abisai’s father remains happy selling ropes despite son Sh 221m win

It was celebrations in the sleepy Shichirayi village in Kakamega after reports filtered in that one of their sons Samuel Abisai had won a life-changing SportPesa mega jackpot worth Sh221 million in August last year.

Many had a lot of expectations in as far as investment was concerned going by a litany of pledges made by Abisai in a colourful homecoming ceremony that was held in Bukhungu Stadium.

However, close to one year after Abisai pocketed the windfall nothing is worth writing home regarding investment but at least his parents are happy he built for them a permanent house.

His father, Joseph Abisai, 70, and who sells ropes, isikuti drums, baskets, and calabashes, doesn’t seem to care that his son is swimming in riches as he still operates under dust and biting cold especially during rainy weather in an open air market. Speaking to People Sports, the elderly man states that he has operated in the town for the last 47 years starting from humble beginnings as as hawker.

The introvert man estimates his current stock to be in the region of Sh 300,000 from his hard work. A father of 13 children of whom ten are surviving revealed that through the business, he has managed to educate all his children up to the secondary level something he is proud of.

First SportPesa mega jackpot winner Samuel Abisai (left) cracks a joke with SportPesa CEO Ronald Karauri after he was declared the Sh221 winner last August. Photo/ALEX NJUE

He adds that during these harsh economic times, he even struggles to make more than Sh 500 a day which is a far cry from the Sh 5,000 he used to rake in on a good day.

“I have only been lucky to keep moving in my business due to the merry-go-rounds within the market and micro- finance entities which give us free education on entrepreneurship and soft loans,” he explained.

“When my son won the Jackpot he advised me to give up this kind of business saying he was able to take care of me and the entire family but I flatly refused. He then he then promised to find me a bigger shop in the town and help me set up a big hardware but the plans are still a pipe dream,” reiterated Abisai.

He said that his son who they communicate with on weekly basis is a grown up who should be knowing just what befits his dad but now seems to have reneged on his promise. “The last thing I would do is to don’t want to pressure on him but he shpould understand that he he has pledges which he promised to fulfil,” he said.

He appealed to the Kakamega County government that has served them with a notice to relocate from the highway to find them good shades where they can operate without interruption.

Kakamega Town Traders Association Chairman Bernard Oundo lauded the efforts by the old man in sacrificing a lot to bring up his family through this kind of business and noted that he deserves to be treated with respect.

He called on the jackpot winner to fulfil his promises he made in Bukhungu Stadium during his home-coming celebrations. “We have identified a place where the old man can set up a temporary store and structure to operate from and spare him from rain and scorching sun,” echoed Oundo.

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