June 13, 2024

The Handball Goalkeeper: Remembering James Watiti

The Handball Goalkeeper: Remembering James Watiti
James Watiti

Farewell, James Watiti. Your legacy lives on in the hearts you've touched, the lives you've shaped, and the countless goals you've saved.

In the vibrant days of my youth at Daystar University, I was introduced to the exhilarating world of handball. Rugby, my initial passion, hadn't yet found its footing in the university's semi-arid landscape. But by the time I graduated, it flourished. However, it was handball, with its dynamic rhythm and spirited teamwork, that captured my heart and introduced me to an extraordinary soul, James Watiti.

Our games, extending into the dusky embrace of early evening, were more than mere sport; they were a celebration of youth, energy, and the profound connections forged on the playing field. The thrill of the game, under the fading light of Ngumo's skies, was a testament to our uncontrolled zest for life and companionship.

In handball, the quest for victory is relentless, each player vying to outscore the opposition. Yet, we all knew that the real challenge lay in facing James Watiti, the opposing goalkeeper. His prowess was unmatched, a custodian of the goal, unwavering and formidable. James had a reflex speed that seemed almost supernatural, reflecting shots with an ease that left us in awe. His brilliance as a goalkeeper was a mirror to his approach to life: fearless, agile, and boundlessly spirited and with deep love and commitment. 

As we ascended to the national league, playing in revered arenas like Nyayo National Stadium Kasarani Stadium and Kenya Science Technical College, it was James who became our beacon of strength. His skill in guarding the goal was matched only by his ability to organize our team's movements, turning defense into a launching pad for our victories. His strategic insights and spirited calls from the goal turned every match into a chess game, where he was always two moves ahead.

“James surprised many of us who had played handball in high School. When he came to watch his first practice, he quickly chose the position of goal keeper. It indicated to us that this is a guy who was confident and had rare courage. He was a fierce competitor, combative and full of energy. Many at times he will shout at us in defense,  muache,  so that he gets his moment of glory. He was truly a quick learner compatible and played every match we ever competed in. As a rookie, that was such an impressive debut and he truly made the goal keeping position his own”  Added Walter Machio.

 


Learning of James's passing was a moment draped in profound sorrow yet gilded with the beauty of shared memories. James was more than a teammate; he was a soulmate, a brother in the journey of life. Our days at university were enriched by his presence, filled with laughter, camaraderie, and the shared dreams of youth.

James may no longer stand with us, but his spirit endures, much like a steadfast goalkeeper, still guarding and guiding us from beyond. His memory continues to inspire, uplift, and fortify us. In every challenge we face, I find strength in recalling his unwavering spirit and indomitable courage.

Farewell, James Watiti. Your legacy lives on in the hearts you've touched, the lives you've shaped, and the countless goals you've saved. You were our last line of defense in the game, and now, in memory, you remain a guardian of our spirits. Rest in peace, dear friend, until we meet again.

Patterson