In June 2022, Safari Rally star Maxine Wahome made history after winning the WRC3 Category at the WRC Safari Rally, making her the first Kenyan woman to win a WRC race.
The win earned her world recognition and accolades from world champions, including even-time Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton.
She began driving cars at the age of 15, and got her first buggy as she turned 20 which allowed her to begin participating in amateur motorsports.
The kindergarten teacher was introduced to rallying as a child by her father, who was also a rally driver.
“I’m a teacher of kindergarten, Montessori. I teach two-year-olds, three-year-olds – the craziest and quiet and most spontaneous people in the world. But yeah, I do rally… rallying is a passion. I do it because I like it, it gives me that thrill. But the Montessori is actually what I went to school to do,” she revealed in a Spice FM interview last year.
Her win in June would probably mark the epitome of her career, and the end of cheering from her fans and the world at large.
Apart from the inspiration from her father, Ms Wahome received a lot of moral and technical support from another rally driver, the late Asad Khan, whom she was dating. In an interview, Ms Wahome termed Mr Khan as a mentor who went to the greater extent of building her a rally car.
“He (Asad Khan) actually gave me his car to drive once I left the buggy, so I had his car. We shared it to do the races. And, yeah, he eventually built me the current rally car that I’m using,” she stated.
Due to her prowess, Wahome received sponsorship from top companies including Kenya Airways, Betika and Safaricom. The latter sponsored Wahome to the tune of millions of shillings in several races.
In December 2022, the life of Ms Wahome took another turn, a turn which could probably define her destiny. She was accused of assaulting her boyfriend Mr Khan, who later succumbed to injuries.
Wahome was arrested and later released on a Ksh100,000 cash bail, even as her lawyers told the court that she was cooperating with the authorities undertaking investigations.
Close to three months after Mr Khan’s death, the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) announced that Ms Wahome will be charged with murder.
The prosecution on Tuesday morning told the court that Maxine will be arraigned on Wednesday to answer to charges of murder.
The DPP has also asked the court to detain Maxine at Kilimani police station so as to undergo a mental assessment before taking the plea of murder.
If found guilty, Wahome faces a life sentence, which will see her stellar rally career come to a screeching end.