Football fraternity mourns former Starlets goalkeeper
The Kenyan Football fraternity is in mourning following the demise of former Harambee Starlets keeper and current kit manager Rosemary ‘Mara’ Kadondi on Sunday morning after a short illness.
Mara was a long serving national team keeper before joining the technical bench where she was actively involved in training the current crop of keepers too. Additionally, she was a referee and age group coach.
Her playing career can be traced back to the late ‘90’s when she was scouted to join the then Ministry of Culture and Social Services women’s team, under which the Department of Sports was housed.
“I led the youth development programme in the Department of Sports and we began football teams under the ministry and that is when I knew ‘Mara’.
Her courage and strength led me to training her as a goalkeeper as at the time many girls were not comfortable in that position.
She settled well and fast and has been part of many national team assignments since,” Silvester Ochola, the man who scouted Mara, said.
He added, “She was part of an exchange programme that saw our footballers travel to the US for two weeks in the early 2000s.
Some players landed scholarships but she was not that lucky as she had some challenges. She was also the keeper in matches against Uganda, Cameroon and Ethiopia, among other national team duties.”
In addition to her duties with the national team as a kit manager, ‘Mara’ will be remembered for her community work in Dandora which led to her crowning as the Community Hero of the year during the 2017 SOYA awards.
Current and former Starlets players, Football Kenya Federation and other football stakeholders have celebrated Mara’s selfless personality that made her easy to work with.