From top athletes to the armed forces- Kenya's newest afandes
They have already made names after splendid exploits locally and internationally on the tracks, fields, roads and pitches, but they are the latest law enforcers in town, after joining the police and the military. They are the new afandes.
Kenyan athletes continue to join the police, prisons service and the military, where they balance law enforcement duties and sports.
Earlier in January, a number of the country’s sports superstars graduated to the strata of disciplined forces after months of training as police and military soldiers.
Athletes who are now in the disciplined forces are joining the ranks of elite runners already serving in the police service and the military. Those already serving as police officers are, among others, three-time World Half Marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor, world 800m record holder David Rudisha, multiple world 5,000m and 10,000m champion Vivian Cheruiyot, 3000m steeplechase king Ezekiel Kemboi and former world javelin champion Julius Yego.
The 2008 3,000m Olympic steeplechase bronze medallist Richard Metelong rose through the police ranks to become an Officer Commanding Police Station (OCS) while former 800m sensation Pamela Jelimo retreated to the National Police College in Kiganjo as an instructor. The current crop of athletes are following in their footsteps.
From athletics to football, to volleyball and taekwondo, top stars booked their places in the disciplined service. They will be representing their respective disciplined forces during major national sporting events such as national cross country championships and track and field contests as well as football and volleyball clubs as they eye slots in team Kenya in preparations for global competitions.
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“Congratulations to all the athletes who will be passing out today at National Police College - Main Campus Kiganjo and celebrating the end of their nine months at the premier institution,” the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) tweeted while congratulating rugby stars – Collins Shikoli, Jeffery Oluoch and Levi Amunga.
During the Kenya Police Service graduation, 100m African and Commonwealth champion Ferdinand Omanyala sparked online buzz after graduating as a police officer in a pass-out parade held at the National Police Training College Main Campus, Kiganjo, Nyeri County on Tuesday, January 10.
The internet was overflowing with congratulatory messages, with a section of fans urging him to excel in sport while pursuing notorious criminals with the same speed he displays on the track.
World 5000m silver medallist Beatrice Chebet was not left behind. She looked glamorous in her Kenya Police uniform after her pass-out parade in Kiganjo. She was among over 2,800 police recruits who graduated during the ceremony. Chebet is one of the country’s fast-rising stars and has represented Kenya in international assignments. Last year, the hitherto police queen stormed to a fascinating victory at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, just days after claiming silver at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon, United States.
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Still at the National Police Service, big shots appeared in the list of Administration Police officers who passed out in January, starting off in 2023 as athlete afandes.
Abel Kipsang, Olympian and World Indoor 1,500m bronze medallist, who is another rising star is now an Administration Police officer. Kipsang set a new Olympic record of 3:31.65 in the semi-finals at Tokyo Games in 2021. The record was however short-lived after it was shattered by Norwegian Jakob Ingebrigtsen who clocked a winning time of 3:28.32 in the finals where he stunned Timothy Cheruiyot who secured silver.
Iten-based Daniel Simiu, who competes in 5,000m and 10,000m and has recently displayed powerful running in 10Kms and 21Kms will from January 2023 onwards be balancing Administration Police work and athletics.
Simiu, who was born in cattle rustling-prone Samburu has made a name in athletics, with a Commonwealth Games 10,000m silver medal under his belt. He represented Kenya at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, after starting the 2021 season with a victory at the elite-only San Silvestre Vallecana 10km in Spain.
Kipsang and Simiu will also be representing AP alongside steeplechaser Caroline Chepkorir, national women’s javelin champion Martha Musai, Robert Kiprop (5,000m), Agnes Ngumbi (400m hurdles), Nancy Kanini (Hammer) and Elijah Kibet (5,000m).
The Prisons Service has also recruited top athletics talents over the years.
In 2020, African Games 10,000m champion Alice Aprot and the 2016 World Indoor 800m bronze medallist Margaret Nyairera were among tens of Kenyan sports personalities who graduated as constables in the Prisons Service.
Aprot, the reigning African Cross Country champion has been competing for the Prisons Service in the event. Nayarera, the 2014 World Junior 800m champion has been representing the service in relays.
Africa Cross Country bronze medallist Charles Mneria, who won the Machakos leg of the Athletics Kenya Cross Country Series in December and represented Kenya in 5,000m at the Rio Olympic Games, also graduated alongside Africa 5,000m bronze medallist Mangata Ndiwa, who is also the 2006 World Cross Country junior champion, that year.
Wilfred Kimitei, who won silver in 10,000m at the 2016 Africa Championships, and seasoned long-distance runner Peter Emase also graduated in a team that comprised middle-distance runners Mark Bett and Kiprugut Bor.
Among the sprinters in the Prisons Service are David Chemjor, Dan Kivisu, Boniface Gichi, Hesbon Ochieng, Cyrus Mwaka, Eric Kiptoo, Elizabeth Nekesa, and Josphine Nyakora, and hurdler Gladys Ngure.
Carolyne Sirengo was among 14 women’s volleyball players from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to pass out in a cohort of 2881 recruits who graduated this January. They will join Asbel Kiprop in serving Kenya as crime investigators.
Others were Carolyne Cheruto, Peninah Nafula, Marion Indeche, ‘Magereza’ Siangu, Jemimah Jane Mumbai, Peris Kanus, Mercy Iminza, Christabel Siyuyu, Sarah Nakhulicha, Abigael Nafula, Joan Baraza, Joy Wangaya, and Benedine Chemwetich.
Several footballers joined the General Service Unit (GSU). Under Section 24 of the NPS Act, the functions of the General Service Unit include containing cattle rustling and banditry and controlling civil disturbance and rioters.
A number of Kenya Premier League (KPL) players were among 991 General Service Unit (GSU) officers, who graduated on Thursday, January 12, 2022, at the Embakasi B Training College.
The ten players play for the Kenya Police FC which currently sits 11th in the KPL table. Among them was former Gor Mahia and Harambee Stars defender Haron Shakava.
Job Ochieng, Bolton Omwenga, David Owino, and Reuben Juma also officially became members of the National Police Service.
Daniel Musamali, Kevin Ouma, David Simiyu, Silicho Soita, and Yusuf Mainge were among other KPL players who graduated during the pass-out parade.
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