Shock as former Harambee Starlets ace dies

Harambee Starlets goalkeeper Rosemary Aluoch in action during their training session at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on February 11, 2014.


Photo credit: Chris Omollo | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Kadondi, 44, passed away on Sunday at St Francis Hospital in Kasarani, Nairobi where she was being treated following a short illness
  • Football Kenya Federation president Nick Mwendwa took to Twitter to condole with her family
  • The long-serving goalkeeper played for Starlets from 1995 to 2012 and featured in Africa Women Cup of Nations (Awcon) qualifiers against Djibouti and Cameroon in 2006 and 2007 respectively.



Former Harambee Starlets goalkeeper Rosemary "Mara" Aluoch is dead.

Aluoch, 44, passed away on Sunday at St Francis Hospital in Kasarani, Nairobi where she was being treated following a short illness.

"It's a tough time for us all since she was a pillar of strength and inspiration in our family and society. She has left an example which can all follow," said her sister Esther Kadondi.

Until her demise, Aluoch doubled up as Harambee Starlets goalkeeper trainer and kit manager. Football Kenya Federation president Nick Mwendwa took to Twitter to condole with her family.

"A sad day for football today, we have lost former starlets goalkeeper and current Kit manager Rosemary Kadondi 'Mara' who passed on earlier today. I wish her family, friends and the Starlets solace during this time of mourning. May her soul rest in eternal peace," said Mwendwa.

According to retired women's football coach and long time friend Habil Nanjero, Aluoch was full of life both on and off the pitch.

"I met her when she was still playing for the national Under-19 team and I know she was extremely hard working, passionate and took advice really well. One thing that stood out about her is that she took defeat really seriously and always wanted to outdo herself, which is important in guiding players," said Nanjero.

The long-serving goalkeeper played for Starlets from 1995 to 2012 and featured in Africa Women Cup of Nations (Awcon) qualifiers against Djibouti and Cameroon in 2006 and 2007 respectively.

She was also part of the squad that represented Kenya in the Africa Women Championship in 2014 where Kenya lost 1-0 to Rwanda's She Wasps.

Apart from her exploits with the national women's team, Aluoch also played for local clubs Makongeni Youth Club, Makolanders and Minicuca team and impressed during stints in Wales, London and Dallas Texas in 1994 and 2004 respectively.

From left: Harambee Starlets kit manager Rosemary Aluoch, goalkeepers Pauline Atieno (No 18), Annette Kundu (No 30), Maureen Shimuli (No 1) and goalkeeper trainer Abdul Iddi Salim during a past training session at Gikambura Stadium on July 2, 2018.


Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

In 2016, she accompanied Starlets squad in the COTIF tournament as a goalkeeper trainer.

Originally from Majengo in Eastleigh, Aluoch was extremely passionate about grooming less fortunate and talented young players which pushed her to start the "Dadrege" youth football academy in Dandora. The academy's goal was to provide a platform for street children to put their energy to better use and avoid the social vices like drugs and crime.

It's this initiative that earned her the Community Hero Award during the 2017 Sports Personality of the Year (SOYA) gala.

The deceased, who lost her husband in 2004, is survived by her only child Olivia.

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