All Africa Kenya

Kenya: Affirming the Daring Women Driving Change in the Wrc

It goes without saying that many of those travelling to Naivasha this weekend will be there for a little more than the Safari Rally. The memes say it all.

But beyond the comic debate and jokes involving couples, beyond the excitement of witnessing the first rally event on Kenyan soil in 18 years, the three women who dared to enter this year’s competition deserve all our applause.

The Yengs, I’m told, is how the all-female team sponsored by Betika chose to call themselves. We shall have an opportunity to discuss that choice of name later, but big salute to Maxine Wahome, the only female driver in this weekend’s event and her co-driver Chantel Young.

Kudos also to navigator Linet Ayuko who will be calling the pace notes for Hussein Malik. Linet will be controlling a man here, but let’s not focus on that.

The trio failed a last minute scruteneering test on Thursday and will therefore not be eligible for WRC race points but as they line up on the grid to compete under KNRC, the women will be embarking on their individual journeys of a lifetime, and could inspire the next generation of local female rally drivers.

It was always a good thing for Kenya to get back to the World Rally Championship calendar, but more than that, it is superbly encouraging to witness the creation of a new platform in this male dominated discipline where the daring, talented women among us can showcase their talent.

The KNRC together with Ministry of Sports lauded the bravery of the female drivers who signed up for the competition, but more needs to be done to encourage other women who have found their equilibrium behind the wheel to excel.