Safari Rally legend John Biketi passes away at age 83


Safari Rally legend John Biketi passes away at age 83

Festus Chuma 10:09 - 30.06.2024

Rally enthusiast will remember Biketi as a pioneering figure in Kenyan motorsports and a dedicated officer, leaving a lasting legacy.

Celebrated former rally driver and retired Senior Superintendent of Police John Biketi has died has passed away leaving a void in the hearts of sports enthusiasts and his former colleagues alike.

Biketi, renowned for his formidable presence in the rally circuits and his extensive service in the police force, was a versatile sportsman who made significant contributions to various sporting disciplines.

His death was announced by the state broadcaster KBC.

Biketi’s illustrious career in sports began with a bang when he clinched the inter-provincial driving competition in 1964.

His passion for motorsports led him to establish the Kenya Police Drivers Rally Club in 1969, a pioneering move that propelled the local police force into the rally sports spotlight.

The year 1969 also marked a significant milestone in Biketi’s rally career when his team triumphed at the Pepsi Cola Rally in Kampala, Uganda.

This victory was historic as it marked the first time African drivers had ever won that rally, setting a high bar for future competitions and highlighting Biketi's skill and determination.

From 1969 to 1974, Biketi competed in the prestigious East African Safari Rally, one of the most challenging and celebrated events in the rally world.

Alongside his teammate Peter Wekhomba, Biketi faced fierce competitors, including famed drivers Joginder Singh and Shekhar Mehta.

These years were golden for Biketi, showcasing his prowess and resilience in the grueling multi-day event that covered treacherous terrains across East Africa.

Aside from his rally exploits, Biketi was also a dedicated athlete in other disciplines.

He competed in the mile races from 1959 to 1961, demonstrating his athletic versatility.

His love for sports was not confined to the track or the rally circuits; he was also a founding member of the Kenya Police Darts Club under the Police Sports Council.

John Biketi's contributions to sports and his service in the police force left an indelible mark on his colleagues and the sports community.

His pioneering spirit and achievements have not only paved the way for future generations of athletes but have also instilled a sense of pride and accomplishment in the Kenyan sporting fraternity.

Biketi is survived by his family, who remember him as a dedicated father, a fearless competitor, and a loyal friend.

The funeral arrangements are underway, and a memorial service will be held to honor his legacy, reflecting on a life well-lived and a race well-run.

His memory and impact will continue to inspire athletes and officers alike for years to com