A Word from Joshua

I was born in Cheptandan, Kasewu, Kwoti Sub-county, Kapchorwa District, on September 12, 1996.

Life growing up was not the best although my father, a primary school teacher, and my mother, a housewife, did all they could to give us a good start to life. My mother Irene Chemusto and father Stephenson Munerya remain my heroes for the sacrifice, despite the little resources, to have eight of us get all the basic needs.

I started school at Mengya Boarding Primary School in Kween District, then joined Town View Secondary School in Kapchorwa for O-Level until 2010 before travelling hundreds of kilometres away to MM College Wairaka in Jinja District, completing in 2012.

In 2013, I joined Bugema University to study a Literature in English and English Language degree but did not go beyond the second year after I decided to commit to the track.

The challenges we faced as a family, those in the community, and those that I later faced as an athlete have motivated me at every point in my life and it is the reason I push myself harder every day.

I am the reigning World and Olympic champion in the 10,000m and 5,000m respectively, silver medalist in the Olympics 10,000m, World Cross Country champion, Common Wealth Gold medalist in the 5,000m and 10,000m, and world record holder for 5km, 15km, 5,000m, and 10,000m races, among others. But the story to that apex of the game is a long one. Sometimes painful, yet in the grand scheme of things, I think they prepared me for the person that I am today.

By the time I reached university, where my siblings before me hardly reached my parents barely had the money for the rest of the family members. They mortgaged land so that we would get fees yet there was little hope of servicing the mortgage.

I had started a professional career as well and I did not have money to sustain myself. I trained on poor grade shoes, poor health care and many other shortfalls.

In the community, many schoolgirls continued to drop out of school because of lack of school fees and threats related to early marriage and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

It is because of this that when I got lucky to be signed up by Global Sports Communication my first dream was to make life better for those behind me. When I got prize money my dream was to give back to the community by supporting budding but disadvantaged young athletes on the road to stardom.

The annual Christmas Run from where we pick the best to benefit from our bursaries at Mountain Boarding Primary School, which I acquired two years ago, and the athletics training centre for which the Foundation is a partner in fundraising for it, will help a lot in the development of talent.

Personally, I hope to go back to school when done with the athletics calling. I still love education as much as I love my God-given talent.

It is because of this dream that I started the Joshua Cheptegei Development Foundation to promote talent, education, and community wellbeing. Welcome to the Foundation, dear people. This is our world. I treasure your support.