Wednesday, May 23, 2012


So another good person has lost their life here, Kevin "Masud Sadiki" Donovan. One eye-witness account infers that he committed suicide (she doesn't mention a rope in his hand), but hopefully the investigation is ongoing. He died of hanging and no matter how you slice it, it's jarring and sad. He was a very talented Kittitian reggae singer who sang uplifting or consciousness songs. He covered everything from domestic violence in Stitch in Time, to songs about bettering ourselves like in Courage to Change (below). Tourists may know him from his co-hosting gig on The St. Kitts Visitor's Channel. He was also slated to perform in the St. Kitts Music Festival. Unfortunately, he may have fell into an abyss he couldn't see his way out of. 

I've read a lot of comments about his death (as a possible suicide), and there are unsurprisingly many confused and hurt people out there who used his uplifting message to carry-on themselves only to learn that he might not have believed in his own wisdom. He left behind a family he was very involved with - determined to be a better dad than his father was to him (e.g., regularly taking his daughters to school and dance classes). While I can understand that some (all?) people might be disappointed in his actions, if Masud did do this to himself, I think they should withhold judgement. Marriage counselors get divorced. Psychiatrists have break downs. Humans are human. Even a man as inspirational as Masud could get depressed and if he felt shamed and embarrassed about a seemingly insurmountable problem, he might not have felt he could share that with anyone, even if they asked. Even people of faith fall, believing that if they ask Him, He'll say no and not knowing what they'll do if He does. Masud may have felt that people think him a hypocrite for needing help. Sure, killing himself could also be construed as hypocritical, but at least he wouldn't have to see everyone's disappointed faces. Masud believed he was doing the right thing, and although it seems cowardly and a cop-out, he didn't see it that way. He didn't think it was better for himself, he thought it was better for those around him and he thought he was being selfless. I've been there and I understand where he was coming from, even though I was given a second chance to learn otherwise and he was not.

One million people commit suicide each year around the world. While some of them can be talked out of it, many can't. Lots of people tried to help Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, and Whitney Houston and their deaths were tragic and preventable. They were a form of suicide and there was nothing anyone could do to turn these lost souls away from their paths of destruction.  I think the worst thing we could do is to call this man selfish, because while he was here, he was anything but. Honor his memory, don't blame yourself (and then aim it at him), and accept his death while learning from it. He was a good person and we were lucky to have him here for the time we did. Don't sully his memory by judging him now. His positive messages remain words to live by. His sad final action, teaches also. No matter what is going on in our lives, we should reach out for help and accept it - or offer it.

I agree with Ervin Welsh (Positively Inclined): "This was Masud, while many of us moan and fret about the littlest things like who friend requests us on Facebook and don't speak to us in person. While we go about our days making better lives for ourselves and our family only, he changed many lives and showed how we should live. While responding I am beginning to think that being this way, this positive, is more taxing on an individual in a world where it is far easier to be negative and pessimistic. People like Masud need more encouragement than the rest of us."

If Masud was murdered, the criminal better have left the island....