Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Little known Kenyan DCI officer who is ranked best female sharpshooter

Agnes Wangechi Muchiri, an adventurous girl who grew up in remote Tana River County, joined the Kenya Police Service in 2008. Today, she stands as a great marksman, rubbing shoulders with some of the best sharpshooters in the world.

The young mother’s achievements were beyond her wildest dreams growing up. She is now an accomplished officer attached to the DCI headquarters in Nairobi.

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With at least 20 local and international awards under her belt, her latest accomplishment was being the runner-up in the 2022 Swiss International IDPA Championship.

The woman, previously honoured as the best lady Extrasensory Perception (ESP) Sharpshooter, is a graduate of Kenya Methodist University, holding a diploma in psychological counselling.

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Agnes Wangechi credits her top marksman skills to her sheer determination, relentless passion for challenging activities, and hard work.

“Since I was a young girl, I always had to do things that were a little scary, challenging and adventurous, even a little crazy. I like riding bikes like boys, climbing trees and often ended up brawling with boys,” she said.

Growing up, she always thought she would become a business lady. Becoming a DCI officer was a fairy tale dream. Her daredevil nature, against all odds, prompted her to follow a route most women do not take.

Upon joining the police service in 2008, she soon found out that becoming an officer is not a walk in the park.

“Of course, the idea of having a steady job with good pay at the end of the month also greatly motivated me…When I reported as a recruit constable at the Kiganjo Police Training College in Nyeri County, I did not know anything about guns,” she said in a past interview.

When she took her first shot with a gun, a cold chill sent shivers throughout her body. Over time, she grew more confident and started hitting a few shots on target.

After graduating from Kiganjo, Agnes joined the Coast Province Police Shooting Team to pursue her passion. Here, she participated in shooting competitions where she often emerged as the best.

In 2018, she was transferred to Nairobi and introduced to a shooting club. Interestingly, Agnes says that during her initial years as a marksman, hitting her target was mainly dependent on luck, as she lacked proper training.

In 2021, she met Ibrahim Ndung’u at Bamburi Rifle Shooting Club who offered to train and mentor her. All the years of hard work were repaid when she clinched the first position in the ESP Sharpshooter Division in the ladies category.

“He passionately trained me…I did not look back. I continued getting training from Master Ibra as we used to call him, and I am grateful to God I have never missed the podium,” says the woman of Faith.

Agnes Wangechi admits that she found out her quest for a career in police service was not a bed of roses. Challenges include rigorous training and excruciating exercises that ensure only the strongest survive.

Even after overcoming these, women must work extra hard to be accepted in a male-dominated police subculture. Her family and friends have always been her top supporters who have cheered her on in her career.

“I got more friends and we even became closer. Funny thing is that they do not fear me because they say I do not look like a police officer – whatever that means,” Agnes chuckled.

Agnes shared that maintaining her career and balancing her parental duties isn’t easy. Some of the most important lessons she has learnt include setting a routine, prioritising her tasks, working efficiently and sparing time for herself and her children.

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In times when facing hurdles, Agnes retreats to seek solace in spiritual intervention which is her greatest anchor.

“I also purpose to stay strong no matter the situation I am facing, and over time I have learnt the importance of taking each day at a time,” she says.

She mentioned that there are stereotypes about women in the police service, such as the belief that they advance in their careers through favours from male superiors.

Other stereotypes include the notion that policewomen are poor homemakers who can’t be good wives, raise children, or sustain families.

Agnes Wangechi encourages women who aspire to join law enforcement to maintain a positive mindset and prepare for the challenges ahead. She asserted that policewomen are capable of excelling in their field and all other aspects of their lives, just like their male counterparts.

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