Kenyan-born US athlete Samuel Chelanga’s tweet sparks off outrage

After finishing 11th in Kampala last weekend, running in a USA jersey, Chelanga tweeted: “I wouldn’t recommend racing in Africa. Super thankful for 11th place overall.”

Sam Chelanga

Kenyan American athlete Samuel Kiprono Chelanga caused a twitter storm following a tweet that was seen a s disparaging to Africa.

Athletes from both Kenya and US athletes reacted angrily to the tweet which Chelanga posted after last weekend’s IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Kampala.

The newly minted US citizen Chelanga, came to America thanks to his brother Josha Chelanga and former world marathon record-holder Paul Tergat after he landd a scholarship.

He attended the Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey.

Moments after the race in which he finished 11th Chelang’a tweeted: “I wouldn’t recommend racing in Africa. Super thankful for 11th place overall.”

The comment rubbed many fans and fellow athletes the wrong way with many interpreting the tweet to mean the conditions in Africa were harsh for the race.

A fellow Kenyan American Stanley Kebenei responded to the tweet immediately after it was posted.

“Weather conditions Gate River Florida was almost same in Uganda! But I guess Africa is a foreign place to Sam,” said Kebenei.

A runner from Burundi who is also based in US Diane Nukuru blasted Chelanga, tweeting,  “You forgot where you came from. I bet your family is proud of you. Shame on you!”. #youstilllookafricantome:

Chelanga now facing heat from hs fellow runners sought to clarify his tweet but it went nowhere.

He insisted that the tweet was not serious and he was being sarcastic.


Another runner, Bernard Lagat, awas heated as he lashed out at Chelanga’s tweet.

“@SamChelanga, while IAAF tries its best to bring sports to Africa, people like you keep dragging the continent down,” tweeted Lagat, a two-time world champion and five times Olympian.