Sunday, 7 May 2017
Song and dance SportPesa jackpot winner Abisai returns home to Kakamega
The rousing reception capped an incredible week for the 28-year-old who scooped the largest payout so far in the history of African gaming when he won over KSh221m in the weekly SportPesa Mega Jackpot (MJP) after correctly predicting 17 out of 17 football games.
Abisai was first taken to their humble, mud-walled home he shared with his parents and 11 siblings in Lurambi, a ten-minute ride from Kakamega town. A private reception was conducted before being driven into Bukhungu Stadium for the official celebration
Upon seeing his son, Margaret Anene burst into tears as his aging father Abisai Mavinda gave him a warm embrace before the jackpot winner took some moments with his family inside the humble abode he called home.
“I’m crying with joy because Abisai is named after my father. I’m so happy for this win and I pray he will have the wisdom and humility to spend his fortune in the right way,” she said.
“The last time I visited here last December, I was walking with my father towards town when he pointed a construction site that was being put up by a young man and told me I should do the same.
“It’s an emotional moment for me after all the poverty we went through and my aim is to empower my family economically. It’s better to teach a man how to fish than to feed them fish,” Abisai stated.
It was a sobering moment for the jackpot winner who was raised in a house without a cemented floor or power and was returning as a wealthy man.
After visiting his family, the moment had come for Abisai who had his best friend Bernard Ouma by his side, to shake up Kakamega town.
The jackpot winner caused a stir when he drove into Bukhungu in a convoy that started from Amalemba led by Isikuti dancers and Boda Boda (motorcycle taxis) riders with ecstatic crowds cheering him along the streets- some shouting or beckoning to him for a share of his fortune.
He was driven in a SportPesa branded car alongside his parents, Ouma and company Global Chief Marketing Officer, Joyce Kibe.
Caught up in the euphoria, Abisai could not resist extending his hand to some of those he recognised in a town where he was forced into the streets as a young boy before obtaining sponsorship from a charity.
“Abisai requested that he wanted to celebrate with his family and the people of Kakamega where he was raised and we organized a homecoming for him. We will be with him to ensure he gets the best financial advice.
“We were also keen to stress the importance of gaming responsibly with the people of Kakamega who have now produced two big winners on our SportPesa platform,” Joyce emphasised.
As they approached the stadium, crowds started waving, cheering and beckoning him to share his fortune with some claiming they were either his classmates, friend or relatives.
In Bukhungu, the Master of Ceremony and renowned comedian Thomas Oyolo popularly known as Mshamba energised the crowd that broke out in song as a carnival mood gripped the stadium.
“SportPesa is real but you should play responsibly,” he told the crowd as he recounted the moments before he learned that he had made history.