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Eddy Kimani shares his struggle with depression and recovery journey

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The conversation on mental health and well-being is one that has gained traction over the last few years and particularly in 2020 where the COVID-19 crisis has sparked stress, anxiety, fear sadness and frustration.

With so much going on around us, it is important that we share the stories of brave individuals who have openly talked about their mental health struggles and the challenges they face every day in a bid to inspire others going through the same and raise awareness on the importance of mental health.

We caught up with Eddy Kimani who describes himself as resilient, pragmatic and open minded. He is  also an accomplished media practitioner, businessman, trained actor, voice over artist and master of ceremony who shared his struggle with depression and his recovery that led him to discover his new purpose as a mental health advocate.

“It all started in 2014, I had been in media for fifteen years, with twelve of those years spent at Capital FM. I got this great opportunity to work for the county government of Nakuru. I saw it as an opportunity to go and venture into a new space.

Moving to public service from a corporate field was very challenging. I made less money but I was not focusing on that, I was there to make change. I set up several businesses that all failed, took out loans and facilities in an attempt to supplement the income I had lost. In no time I was in a deep financial hole, my family, who I had left in Nairobi, was affected and my marriage was strained.”

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Eddy got into a dark place, got into so much debt, substance abuse in the form of alcohol and eventually his marriage failed.

“I was fighting what I did not know then… depression.”

As a man you are always thinking, I can deal with this by myself and coming from a media background, image is everything. I was trying to hide what I was going through and I found comfort alcohol and relationships that had broken my marriage in the first place.

At 37 years, I lost everything I had worked very hard for. I had let myself and everyone down”.

Eddy went to Ukunda after leaving his job in Nakuru and after spending three weeks there he decided to take his own life. He felt that there was nothing more to live for.

“ One night, I decided to end it all with the mosquito net in my room but it did not work. The very next day I bumped into a stranger who recognised me and I shared my pain with him. I just needed someone to talk to. It was the first time I accepted that I was struggling with depression, I had failed in so many ways but I needed to forgive myself for me to start my journey to recovery.”

Eddy came back to Nairobi shortly after that and started to put his life together, looked for a job and started mental health advocacy after sharing his struggles on Engage Talk.

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“When Engage asked me to come and talk about my work and I realized I wouldn’t be authentic if I did not talk about what I was just coming out of. I never imagined that interview would push me to this place.

Immediately I shared my story, I felt this huge relief, a therapeutic feeling. I connected with people who also shared their struggles with me and that is the power of sharing stories which I did not know before.”

Eddy has since completed the Quality Rights training course developed and provided by WHO and is now a full time mental health advocate and campaigner. He creates authentic conversations on positiveness and mental well-being especially in the workplace.

“ We always want to hide and suppress things because we do not want people to judge us by what they see. I want people to understand the power of talking and unburdening yourself and I want to use my story to help people who are stuck and are in a dark place. I believe the workplace is one of the most important places where we should see the conversation on mental health and leaders in those organizations opening up more.”

As a result of depression, Eddy now battles Bell’s palsy, a condition that is characterized by muscle weakness that causes one half of the face to droop. His goal is to create awareness on the importance of corporates investing in the mental health of their employees.

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“Today, I am grateful for life and this moment. The greatest lessons are the ones we learn when we fail and looking back I am happy because I wouldn’t be the person I am without the struggles I have been through. We have been brought up in a society that doesn’t encourage vulnerability and I want to encourage my kids and everyone to embrace their emotions because they are a huge part of our lives.

Life is full of ups and downs and we must be more open to them. There is no health without mental health so ask for help because that is the beginning of recovery.”

By Capital FM


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Health

Janet Mbugua shares her Covid-19 scare

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Media personality Janet Mbugua has shared the tale of the time she faced a scare as thought she had contracted Covid-19 last month.

In a video she shared on Instagram, the former Citizen tv news anchor said she experienced Covid-19 symptoms which escalated quite quickly.

The video shows her being taken through the nasal swab test for Covid-19, which is known to very uncomfortable.

Luckily, the result for the mother of two came back negative.

Janet Mbugua said that her scary experience motivated her to fight the fear and stigma related to Coronavirus, and will use her platform to advocate for a vaccine.

This comes as Covid-19 cases continue to rise sharply in Kenya amid a rush by various pharmaceutical companies globally to come up with an effective vaccine.

By NN


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Health

Comedian Flaqo opens up on rare condition he has been battling

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Popular Kenyan comedian, Flaqo born Erastus Ayieko Otieno has for the first time spoken about a rare condition that he has been struggling with for some time.

Turns out that despite the funny man the Kenyan audience and beyond has grown to know as Flaqo Raz, he has his fair share of battles behind the cameras.

Flaqo opens up

The Internet sensation shared a photo showing red, itchy welts like a form of skin reaction on certain parts of his body.

Depending on the reactions, the welts appear and fade repeatedly and vary in size.

The YouTuber shared his condition with fans in the hope that maybe one or two can relate to what he has been going through and maybe work out a solution on the same.

“Anyone with this condition, how do you go about it?” he posed.

Comedian Flaqo rare skin condition

“Sometimes I have to postpone my shoots because they are unbearable. Zangu zilipotea for 6 months straight. Now they are back…” he replied to a fan who shared a similar experience.

Funny enough, soon as he had put up the post, he got so much feedback, with so many individuals able to relate to his skin condition, to his amazement.

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“So far: try staying in the sun for a bit, bathe with warm water after taking antihistamines. To understand your condition better, make a point of seeing a dermatologist,” Flaqo shared with fans battling a similar condition, after gathering responses from his fan base.

Wrapping up urging fellow victims to take plenty of water, work out more often and avoid proteins since hives get triggered by things like particular foods, medication and stress.

By Ghafla.com


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Health

MP’s battle with Covid-19 at home

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On November 2, Nakuru Town West MP Samuel Arama drove to Naivasha to attend the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) meeting.

Earlier, Mr Arama had taken a Covid-19 test at a health facility in Nakuru after he experienced chills at night.

However, on arrival at the hotel where he was to spend the night, he started experiencing chills again and developed fever, pain in the joints and nausea.

Soon he started experiencing shortness of breath.

He informed his colleagues that he was feeling unwell, and they quickly planned to take him to Nairobi for treatment.

Not able to walk

“When I booked into my room, my body temperature was high and I had chills. It was at that time that I received a phone call from health officials that I had tested positive for Covid-19. I had gone for the test before travelling to Naivasha,” he recalled.

But when he informed the department of health about his plan to travel to Nairobi for treatment, he was counselled and advised by the County Chief Officer of Public Health Samuel King’ori to self-isolate in his house where he would be monitored by medics.

Inside an isolation room in his house, he was put on supplemental oxygen and fed through tubes, with doctors examining him in the morning, afternoon and at night.

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“For the past several weeks, I have kept off the public because I was not able to walk, talk or eat after being diagnosed with Covid-19,” said Arama.

After 15 days, he began to feed normally and later tested negative for coronavirus.

“God has been merciful to me. Gasping for air and feeding through tubes was the most trying moment in my life. Actually, this was my first time to feed through tubes and get oxygen support,” he said.

The MP plans to work with community health volunteers, the police and youth to sensitise locals on Covid-19 preventive measures.

He wants to buy at least 20,000 masks to distribute to the needy through local administrators and nyumba kumi members.

Prior to being diagnosed with Covid-19, Arama used to hold a meeting with constituents.

Initially, he used to criticise police whenever they arrested people for contravening Covid-19 protocols.

“At times I would rush to the police station whenever I heard that someone had been arrested, but now I support the police to fully enforce the set containment measures. It is through discipline that we will save the society,” he said.

He said during meetings with constituents he never thought he would contract the virus.

“I take this opportunity to thank God for giving me this second chance to serve Him and the people of Nakuru Town West,” he said.

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His message to the public is to wear masks, wash hands with soap and water and avoid crowds.

“We need everyone to put on masks, wash hands with soap and water and avoid gatherings. This is the only way to contain the spread of this virus,” said the MP.

Dedication and courage

Arama applauded health workers in Nakuru, for their dedication and courage in the fight against Covid-19.

“I can confirm to you that Nakuru County has the best health facilities, equipment and qualified medical personnel. I spent two weeks on oxygen support machine, intensive treatment and consistent checkups,” he said.

Health records indicate that the attack rate in Nakuru is 169.2 out of 100,000 population, with a case fatality of 2.2 per cent.

Although the MP was reluctant to reveal the cost of his treatment, a source at the local department of health told The Standard he incurred a bill of Sh51,684 per day because he required supplemental oxygen and his condition was critical.

By Standardmedia.co.ke


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