By Ally Jamah
They both grew from humble backgrounds to fly the skies and emerged as the biggest role models in their villages.
When they flew the two VIPs and their bodyguards on Sunday before their helicopter crashed killing them and their passengers, they were barely known.
But unknown to many, Superintendent Nancy Gituanja and Superintendent Luke Oyugi were heroes in their villages who had risen to become role models and an inspiration to many.
The two police pilots had a lot in common besides their flying career.
Captain Nancy and Captain Oyugi fought against strong odds in their rural backgrounds to rise to the skies. The big-hearted pilots were benefactors to many family members and many causes.
Both of them joined the Police Airwing in 2000. Unknown to them, their fate was sealed together until their horrific death on Sunday morning.
The ill fated helicopter they were piloting carried Internal Security Minister Prof George Saitoti, Assistant Minister Orwa Ojode and two of their body guards who also died.
Born in Murang’a County, Nancy worked as a sales woman at a clothes shop in Karatina for a year after finishing her secondary school education.
She later went to teach at a local school in Murang’a. At the time, she used her earnings to help her five brothers and three sisters after her father died.
She was later recruited into the police force and, thanks to her prayers and determination, she was posted to the Police Airwing, achieving her dream career of flying planes.