Mburu Wanyoike popularly known as Faruq Brown is a professional fencer and an inspiration to young kids in the slums who are trying to leave a life of crime.
Wanyoike grew up in Huruma, Nairobi County, and at a tender age, he was introduced to crime.
During an interview with Voice of America (VOA), he revealed that the gang he was associated with would use guns and other crude weapons to commit crimes in the estate and neighbouring areas.
"It reached a point where I started carrying guns for them whenever we would go for a 'job'," he narrated.
Wanyoike revealed that most of his former gang members have passed away while some are in prison serving sentences.
The fencer also recalled a life-threatening ordeal that informed his decision to abandon the dangerous life.
He has since changed his life and is now training young children in Huruma how to fence through the company he founded Tsavora in 2021.
According to Wanyoike, his aim is to change the life of at least one child in the slums by building a career in the rare sport slowly gaining popularity in the country.
"I wouldn't want them to be in the same life I was since they are in the same neighbourhood. I am tryng to change their mindsets so that they don't let their surrounding define them," he added.
He is a certified FIE Master of Fencing Coach and a Pro-Athlete at Tsavora Fencing & Kenya National Fencing Team.
Wanyoike has competed in fencing across the world including in Cairo Egpyt in 2022 for the Fencing World Championships and Milan Italy in 2023 for the Epee Championships.
The sportsman holds a diploma in coaching Master Fencing from FIE Coaching Academy Johannesburg, South Africa, and a High certificate in physical fitness from ETA College Johannesburg.
Meanwhile, fencing is a sport that has been around for a while but was rarely practiced in Kenya. A narrative that is soon changing.
It began as a military training tactic but became a sport in the 15th century in Germany and Italy.
Some of the equipment used in the sport include swords, masks, neck bibs, jackets, gloves, breeches, and plastic chest protectors. A lamé is also used.
This is an electrically conductive garment that allows scores to be registered automatically.
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