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I had my first drink with dad and didn’t stop- Ann Mathu’s battle with alcoholism

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The 10-year-old puckered her little lips and went in for the sip. It tasted bitter, and she would rather have spit it out, but since it was daddy offering the drink, it couldn’t be bad at all. And thus began Ann Mathu’s love affair with the tipple.

“It was Muratina. He told me the drink was made for humans to consume, not for animals,” she says brightly. And the little girl took the words to heart.

Ann has a beautiful face. She is definitely one of the lucky ones with faces that remain unmarked by misadventures of youth and age. At 56, she has what many would refer to as a timeless regal bearing.

That first sip in her pre-teen years birthed a teenager who would sneak out of school to quench her thirst for alcohol. And this led to poor grades. Not that the young lass was concerned much by her academics anyway. And when high school was over, she found a job that would accommodate her whims.

“I got my first job at the Moi Equator Girls in Nanyuki as a cateress in 1983. In Nanyuki due to heavy military presence in town, I had access to cheap alcohol from the barracks,” she recalls.

She had friends from the military who would sneak in alcohol for her into the school compound, something against the school policy.

“When the school management found out, I lost my job and moved back to Nairobi, and was lucky enough to secure another job at the Sarova Panafric hotel.”

While there, Ann mastered the art of hiding alcohol in the water system inside the vacant rooms at the hotel.

“The barman who was my friend, would sell alcohol to me at a good rate. I would then feign sickness as soon as I got paid and go on a drinking spree until my salary was all spent the report back to work,” she explains.

Ann would also report to work at 6.30am instead of the official reporting time which was 7.00 am.

“I would come early just to drink and hide some in the vacant rooms. I made sure I had access to an updated list of vacant rooms at the hotel.”

It was at this point that the management decided to transfer her to another hotel in a bid to control her drinking and that is how she ended up in Kericho.

“I was addicted. I would take beer just to cure the hangover. If I stayed too long without alcohol, I would shiver, get hot and cold flashes and diarrhoea,” she adds.

In 1994, she would meet her first husband, who like her, loved the bottle too much. “We were both functioning alcoholics. We rarely fought unless it was over alcohol. “

Even when she fell pregnant, she would drink every waking day of her pregnancy. She was oblivious of how bad things were until her husband died.

“I remember a period before he died, he would sometimes vomit blood. He had an enlarged liver as a result of alcoholism and the varicose veins in his oesophagus had ruptured.”

He left her with two children.

“My mother took my children while I moved in with a friend. I was broke and jobless.  I got so frustrated and had nothing more to do other than drink cheap liquor. When I couldn’t afford it, I would offer to either wash the bar glasses or clean the toilets for a glass or two of the cheap drinks.”

One of her friends, hoping to help her suggested they both go to Germany thinking a change in environment would help her shake off the alcoholism. Her friend intended to settle Ann in Germany then get her to take up a job or train to be a nurse.  But Ann didn’t follow through.

“I would be in the house drinking all day long.”

It is in Germany that she yet again met another man. A sickly 70-year-old man.

“I married him for his money. I did not love him one bit. I just saw an opportunity to get rich quickly. He was too old to go out drinking. In fact, I was embarrassed to be seen with him so I preferred buying and drinking in the house with him,” she says.

A cry for help

Few months after their wedding, her German husband died. At this point, she had no relationship with her children and her father had also died from alcoholism. These tragic events woke her up from her stupor. She realized that she needed to free herself from the grip of alcoholism.

“I wanted to be like those people who could drink in moderation. I was so desperate to stop that I walked into a church one Sunday morning with the hope of speaking to a pastor. Instead, the ushers threw me out because I was still drunk. I remember them asking me what I had taken.”

This rejection drove her into attempting suicide, an act that saw her admitted in hospital for two weeks after which she made a second attempt. Realising that her bid to quit alcohol and life altogether was futile, she decided to find another way to ease her problems; a jet fuel spiked drink. It gave one a quicker and longer high.

“We experimented with my brother who was also struggling with alcohol. We thought it was fun,” she recalls.

Ann’s turning point came one day when she vomited blood after partaking of the jet fuel laced drink. She thought she was going to die.

“I realized then that I no longer wanted to die if it was not on my terms. So I sought help.”

She then joined a rehab. And for the first time ever, Ann didn’t feel judged or despised.

“I felt loved and cared for. There, I began my healing journey. At first I could not take any solid foods, as my stomach could not handle it. My food had to be blended like that of a baby. My hair was also falling off, I was so thin and feeble and my skin was peeling off from head to toe,” she adds.

But she was ready for healing and a journey to self-discovery. And slowly, she began to rediscover who the sober Ann was

“Slowly I was regaining some happiness. And I was proud of the strides I was making! Even my children started calling me mom. I cannot explain the joy this gave me,” she said.

Today, 15 years later, not a drop of alcohol has touched Ann’s lips. And now she is paying it forward with her recovery program ‘Sober Again Outreach’.

She is also an author of a book detailing her experiences; Sober Again. But she is proudest of her title as a grandma.

“I wouldn’t have had that if I was seeing life through alcohol-tinted glasses. I am living a fulfilled life now seeing my efforts paying off and people actually freeing themselves from alcoholism.”

By SDE

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Lifestyle

MP Millie Odhiambo denies shouting down DP Ruto

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Suba North MP Millie Odhiambo (pictured), has denied shouting down Deputy President William Ruto at Bomas of Kenya yesterday at the Bomas of Kenya. Odhiambo says she was only answering questions posed by the DP in his BBI address.

The outspoken legislator says she did not have a microphone to enable her respond to DP Ruto’s submissions against the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report.

“I was answering his questions because he was asking us questions about what should be done, and I was basically reminding him he is the deputy president and I should be asking him the questions he was asking and not vice versa,” the MP said in an exclusive interview with KTN News.

Odhiambo concurred with DP Ruto’s thinking when she acknowledged that there may be areas that need strengthening in the report even if it promises more gains to the Kenyan people.

 “There are some issues that will be addressed through the constitutional review and some through legislative action,” she told KTN News.

Suba North MP Millie Odhiambo during the launch of the Building Bridges to a United Kenya Taskforce Report at the Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

During the launch at the Bomas of Kenya, DP Ruto made several submissions on areas to be reviewed in the BBI report.

In his speech, he said the real elephant in the room was the post-poll winner-takes-it-all mentality which the BBI was trying to address by creating the position of a Prime Minister and two deputies.

He wondered how that would take care of other big political heavyweights who would still find themselves without political offices.

Midway his speech, the DP had to pause as sections of the crowd jeered at him while shouting “Respect the President.”

According to Odhiambo, the DP was talking of a coalition government something that the BBI report is not addressing.

“BBI is talking about inclusion [and] we are saying that in a case where you win as a president, then you need to expand the framework of regions that are represented in the executive,” she said.

The MP rubbished reports that DP Ruto allies never received invites for the Bomas of Kenya conference.

Odhiambo said most of the Tangatanga allied MPs chose not to show up despite being invited to the forum that was to be used to air issues in the report.

However, Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichungwah, a DP Ruto ally, says the process was surrounded with hypocrisy.

He echoed Ruto’s remarks that the report did not touch on issues affecting Kenyans such as unemployment of the youth, saying this ought to constitute the national dialogue.

“The only two people who captured imaginations of Kenyans were DP Ruto and former vice president Musalia Mudavadi,” he said, adding that, “those are the only people who were bold enough to articulate the real issues affecting Kenyans.”

Despite being heckled Ruto made his remarks insisting we needed to have a candid discussion before the report is embraced.

by standardmedia.co.ke

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Ex-military officer accused of killing ex-wife, children wants ATM cards released

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A former senior military officer at the Laikipia Air Base accused of murdering his ex-wife and her two children has asked the court to allow him to get back ATM cards and other personal items confiscated by police.

Major Peter Mugure told Justice Abigail Mshila that detectives took away his ATM cards which may not be used as evidence in the murder case, where he is accused of killing his ex-wife Joyce Syombua, Shanice Maua and Prince Michael.

“They took away a number of personal items including my ATM cards. I’m asking to have them returned to me because I do not think they are part of the evidence,” Mugure told the Justice Mshila in a virtual court session.

Although some of the personal items could be used as part of the evidence, Mshila told Mugure to make a list of the items and asked defence counsel to check the inventory and make an application for the release of items that state doesn’t need as evidence.

“Some of the personal items like clothing, or ATM cards could be taken for analysis to enable show your movements. The inventory is in the prosecution file and you could make a list of the items you need to be released,” said Mshila.

The case in which Mugure is jointly accused with Collins Pamba, a former employee at Laikipia Air Base was coming up for hearing on Tuesday but it was postponed to a later date following the transfer of Judge Jairus Ngaah who was handling the matter in Nyeri.

Mugure joined the session from King’ong’o GK Prison in Nyeri and Pamba at Kerugoya prison.

The two are accused of killing the deceased parsons on October 26 last year at the Laikipia Air Base situated in Nanyuki.

The three bodies were recovered buried in a shallow grave after Pamba led police to the site at Kilimo area in Thingithu, in the outskirts of Nanyuki town.

In the previous session when the ex-major was denied bail on February 21, Justice Ngaah cited damning evidence in Pamba’s affidavit implicating Mugure in the gruesome murder of his ex-lover and his two children.

Pamba’s statement as recorded in court file detailed how Mugure called him from Nairobi on a material day and asked for his help to the ferry and bury the bodies and in return, help the casual worker secure employment at Kenya Defense Forces.

The mentioned date was scheduled for December 9.

By Standardmedia.co.ke

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Former news anchors Hussein Mohamed, Yussuf Ibrahim proudly work alongside each other for USAID initiative

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Former Citizen TV news anchor Hussein Mohammed has been doing perfectly fine since he left his plum job.

Former news anchors Hussein Mohamed, Yussuf Ibrahim proudly work alongside each other for USAID initiative

Hussein Mohamed, Yussuf Ibrahim proudly working alongside each other for USAID initiative. Photo credits: Yussuf Ibrahim.
Source: Facebook

Posting on social media, journalist Yussuf Ibrahim revealed that he has been working closely with the media guru on the Resilience Learning Activity (RLA), a project funded by USAID Kenya.

“Proud to be working with my senior @HusseinMohamedg in this very noble initiative RLA (Resilience Learning Activity) funded by USAID Kenya The webinars involved the capacity building of ASALs County stakeholders on crisis communication more so during the ongoing #COVID19 pandemic,” wrote Ibrahim.

Ibrahim who is a communication strategist and voice-over artist is the founder of Ubra Media.

Many people were amazed by the duo and took to the various platforms to congratulate them for their good work.

A Facebook user identified as Cathra Hussein commented:

“Ma Sha Allah am so proud of you, the sky is no longer the limit.”

Abumuhsin Ibrahim commended them for their win:

Yussuf Ibrahim great job proud of you Hussein for a great job!!

Adow Mohamed added:

Sons and media stars of the north. Keep soaring.

Abdul-Hakeem Mohammed commented:

Mashallah, Big men!congratulations.

Hussein left the Royal Media-owned station in 2019.

The former news anchor revealed to fans that he will be taking a break off the screen after October 2019.

In a post seen by TUKO.co.ke on Friday, October 4, the journalist stated he will use his break from TV to concentrate on other matters.

Hussein thanked his colleagues at Citizen for sharing the best moments of his life with him.

It is also through his post that he revealed to fans and followers that he has worked for Citizen TV for ten years.

”It has been a wonderful 10 years at Citizen TV. I have enjoyed and relished every moment I shared with my colleagues at RMS. I have decided to take a break after October In Sha Allah to concentrate on other matters. Loved the fans, the critics and everything in between. See you soon,” he wrote.‬

By Tuko.co.ke

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