Two middle-aged former National Youth Services officers have been selected to join the Kenya Defence Forces after trying to be recruited for several years.
Reuben Onduso, 42, and Tony Nyariki, 43, passed several tests to join the Kenya Army at Gusii Stadium yesterday as the exercise entered the second week.
The two had resigned from NYS to seek greener pastures through the different skills they had acquired.
Mr Onduso, a father of four, joined NYS in 1997 but left a year later to practise his skills in electrical installation, abilities he had gained at the NYS.
“I wanted to serve the nation as a police officer. I have never settled since I left the service. All through I have tried to get formal employment in vain,” said Onduso.
He said he had been trying his luck by turning up during recruitment exercises for Kenya Police, KDF or Kenya Prisons.
“The experience at NYS was enough for me to remain a loyal and disciplined Kenyan,” he said.
Mr Nyariki told The Standard that he was selected to join NYS in 1996 at the same venue - Gusii Stadium - and now KDF yesterday.
While at the NYS, he studied motor vehicle mechanics and has been practising as a mechanic. In 2009, he joined a private security firm, from which he will resign to join the KDF.
“I have made more than five attempts trying to join KDF. I am now ready to serve the nation.
“The youth should not rush to get riches. It is through hard work and patience that I have made it. This has been a free and fair exercise,” said Nyariki, a father of five.
The recruiting officer, Lieutenant Colonel Elphas Kinyua, said more than 400 people turned up.
“Most of the candidates failed at the first stage. This is the first station in Kisii County but unfortunately we were not able to select any female candidate.”
He said his team did not encounter any cases of candidates presenting fake documents.