Today this brave world gets a little darker, as we lose one more child of our hockey republic.
This morning, the 28th of October 2017, the news of the passing of Martha Sasha Masinde after a prolonged illness rocked the hockey nation. For a moment, we all forgot about our teams in Ismailia as our hearts shook in grief. We all know the inevitability of death, but would rather not know it, or face it, or hear it as it knocks on the doors of our neighbors. Regardless, hear it we must… and still we weep for what we lose.
Friends give us joy, family gives us life and purpose. Martha Sasha was both to all of us in the hockey fraternity. It is impossible to recall her face without thinking of the ever-present smile. Those eyes, her mouth… it is a combination that was created to light up the world. Even in the middle of the toughest match, even when she did not intend it, you could not help but think she was smiling. Like she had a secret none of us knew.
Hockey is a game of sweat, blood, and guts. As a woman in this sport, she emboldened all three. As a girl faced with ailment, she elucidated them even more prominently. Although most of us can only attest to her role as a Spartan warrior, her hockey story dates back seven years to the plains of Kamusinga. Her presence among the USIU- Spartans was more prominent than her small form would suggest. Four years in the team witnessed her transformation from just another player to the most epic forces to don the Spartans Jersey. The team was certain to have her another season based on indications from her school terms’ progress. Everyone was certain she would be fine, her assurance to friends and family was that she would be back. Even in the midst of her struggle, it was her light that kept the faith strong among all that cared. Being a fighter was her, it was what she was created to do.
Martha’s story is one we all hope will be told when our time comes. She was spirit, she was fight, she was progress and growth, she was courage and strength, and above all…she represented an entire generation. Martha conceptualized the ideal of the progressive woman, one capable of both heart and hustle.
Sasha, we want to say we will not mourn. We want to promise we will celebrate your life and not wallow in profound grief. But we cannot. We are yet to understand why we lost such a good soul. A light has gone out among us, a light that represented all most of us strive to be. Our tears will stream out even if we try to hold them back in a show of strength. Our hearts are heavy, our pain is real. But still, we thank God that you lived among us, even as we mourn the future that you would have been, and showed us what the present can be.
Fare thee well comrade. We will remain at the water’s edge, waving still even as your ship sails out of sight.
“The righteous perish, and no one takes it to heart; the devout are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death.”