Growing up, Winnie Wanjiru’s dream was to join the Military and this ambition was triggered by a showground visit with her dad where they would watch disciplined forces perform.
However, during her undergraduate studies at the University of Nairobi, Wanjiru recalls how her dream was seemingly shattered after several attempts to join the military was turned down.
In an interview with Tuko, Wanjiru recalls how she was asked to pay a 200k bribe in order to secure a position in the army.
“I remember at one point I got someone who was really connected to the government and was demanding for KSh 200k. Mark you, at that point in time I only had like KSh 1,000 with me for pocket money lol,” she narrated
Even though this seemed like the furthest this dream could go closer to reality, winning a Green-card lottery in 2015 gave her yet another chance.
Despite the fact that she did not make it into the Kenyan military, Wanjiru had the courage to send her application to the US airforce which was a success.
Her breakthrough has seen her serve in the military for over 4 years now and although it comes along with several challenges, she has managed to rise through the ranks and is currently working as Staff Sergeant at the pilot training base.
Apart from being a successful woman in the military, Wanjiru is also a wife to Denise Adipo and a mother of one.
According to her, her husband has made it easier for her to find a balance between the military career, motherhood, and marriage life.
“Doing life with him has been the most enjoyable journey. I don’t struggle at all with juggling between work and family responsibilities because he helps a lot,” she stated
Her advice to others who plan on relocating is to do so in line with the immigration requirements and regulations as per the law.
She further addressed the perception that one can only succeed abroad stating that Kenya has many opportunities and one can achieve a lot.