Ongare, 26, made it through to the Olympics after outboxing Ugandan opponent Catherine Nanziri in the women’s flyweight (51 kilogram) division at the Africa Boxing Olympic Qualification tournament in Dakar, Senegal.
Ongare won by a unanimous points decision. She also won a bronze medal at the event.
‘I fell pregnant when I was 12 years old’
Despite Ongare’s many wins, she says becoming a household name in boxing has been challenging. She told the Olympic Channel in an interview that due to peer pressure, she got pregnant when she was just 12 years old.
Her mother, also a single mother, struggled to pay bills and her school fees.
She tried out sports like football and acrobatics, until boxing eventually became her lifeline.
“Boxing is all I have … It is said that when you fall you must rise up again. That’s how I rose and met good coaches, they gave me motivation until I have come this far,” Ongare said.
Preparing for the Olympics
“It has been a struggle all through reaching here. There s no other place I can get money, take a loan without interest. So if I qualify for the Olympics, it will open doors, it will help me a lot,” she said.