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Kenya's millionaire athletes

From left, Ezekiel Kemboi, Victor Wanyama and
From left, Ezekiel Kemboi, Victor Wanyama and Mary Keitany. Kenyan athletes are raking in millions and making an impact in the economy of their home areas. PHOTOS | AFP 

With $300 million (Sh30 billion) earned this year, American boxer Floyd “Money” Mayweather lived up to his nickname once again, topping the global sports rich-list as the world’s highest paid sportsman.

Mayweather’s earnings were almost four times those of Portugal’s celebrated football star Cristiano Ronaldo of Spanish giants Real Madrid who was third on the 2015 list compiled by Forbes with $79.6 million (Sh7.9 billion), ranked behind another boxer, Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines who raked in a tidy sum of $160 million, or Sh16 billion.

While no Kenyan sportsperson was anywhere close to the top 100 on the Forbes rich list, with a reported salary of £30,000 (Sh4.6 million) a week, or 18.4 million a month, English Premier League side Southampton midfielder Victor Wanyama is easily one of Kenya’s highest paid athletes today.

Elgeyo Marakwet and Nandi counties in the North Rift region have the Kenya’s highest concentration of millionaires per square kilometre, made through race earnings by Kenya’s world-beating athletes who live and train at high altitude.