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Former heroin addict tells his story after 8 months of sobriety

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I chose the wrong path – of drugs and alcohol. I messed up life for myself, my family and friends. Life is so much better without drugs and alcohol.

These are the words of Carlos Kipkoech, 26, who dropped out of Egerton University in his third year of a degree course in criminology.

Had I kept off alcohol, my life would be different. Drug abuse caused me the worst pain imaginable,” Kipkoech, who is recovering from years of heroin abuse, told the Nation.

He started taking alcohol in 2012 at the age of 18 while in Form Four and could not stop after slipping into depression following his mother’s death.

“The death of my mother was a big blow. She was the family’s sole breadwinner. She left behind a three-year-old sibling. I was very stressed while writing my Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams at Mbita High School in Homa Bay County but I managed to score a C+ and joined Egerton University in 2014,” he said.

Kipkoech abused miraa, alcohol and bhang.

“I then started doing hard drugs like heroin at age 23 and my life started to go downhill. Nothing but drugs was important to me. I was on a path to total destruction,” he said.

“My addiction to heroin took priority over everything I did. I ‘died’ many times due multiple overdoses.”

Rehabilitation

In April this year, however, Kipkoech found help at Taraji House Rehabilitation Centre, courtesy of Nakuru-based Youth Bila Noma organisation, and has been sober for about eight months now.

He stayed at Taraji in Murunyu, Bahati, Nakuru, from April to July and was able to kick the habit.

But the treatment was tough, including withdrawal symptoms such as stomach upsets, sweating, a running nose, body weakness, diarrhoea and loss of appetite.

While noting that drug addicts have serious eating disorders and mental health issues, he says he weighed 40kg when he was taken to the rehabilitation centre but is now 30 kilograms heavier.

“I decided to seize the opportunity to put my life back on track, I was tired of hurting people,” he says.

“I thank God and the people who loved me when I couldn’t love myself. I would probably be dead now. I’m alive because Youth Bila Noma gave me new hope in life. I don’t feel dead inside anymore. I’m grateful, happy, and free,” he said.

“The treatment changed everything for me. I realised the dangers of drugs. We shared aspirations, drive and motivation. The friendships made all the difference,” he says.

“I’m now rebuilding relationships with my family. I am rebuilding trust. I will continue to work towards cleaning up my life. I want to educate young people about what worked for me and how to conquer drug addiction.

“I want to go back to the university, accomplish my dream of becoming a criminologist and save many youths from drug addiction, I don’t want to see any student experience the pain I went through.”

Kipkoech has been working hard to stay sober but says he needs a job to jumpstart his life as he makes arrangements to return to school.

“I want to keep poultry to guard against a relapse but I lack funds,” he says.

Support is key

Kipkoech urges youths to shun drug abuse but regrets that community attitudes towards addicts are negative.

“They view drug addicts as rejects with no purpose in life, not knowing that addicts are talented singers, footballers, artists and painters and that what they lack is support from the society,” he says.

Youth Bila Noma Programme Coordinator Rukiya Ahmed said the organisation has transformed the lives of many youths in Nakuru town slums.

“Many youths have talents that can secure them jobs [and keep them from abusing drugs for whichever reason]” she says

Ms Anne Kamau, a senior counsellor at Egerton University, noted that depression among students results from stress due to projects, relationships, drug abuse, conflicts, lack of fees and poverty.

“We have support groups through which we conduct counselling. Some students need a shoulder to cry on when their family members get sick or die. Some need help with their studies,” she says.

by nation.africa


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Lifestyle

TRAGIC: Woman kills self after realising hubby’s plan to get second wife

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A 38-year-old woman has committed suicide in Migori after learning that her husband had a secret lover he was planning to marry.

According to police reports, the body of Pamela Atieno was found dangling from the roof of her house on Friday morning at their rural home in Kameji sub-location, Rongo sub-county.

Chief John Agoro who reported the incident to Rongo Police Station said that Atieno took her life after she learnt that her husband was planning to marry a second wife.

“The deceased reportedly differed with her husband after she learned that he had another lover and was planning to marry her as a second wife,” said Agoro.

Atieno is reported to have left a suicide note to her husband before taking her life.

“I have decided to die because of your secret plan to (marry) another wife,” the suicide note read in part.

Never differed

Michael Ondito, the woman’s husband, however, denied arguing with Atieno, adding that he had gone to the farm only to come and find his wife had killed herself.

“I was called when I was at the farm in the morning but upon reaching home I found the body of my wife hanging on a rope on our doorstep, I was surprised because we had not quarrelled or fought,” said Onditi.

Chief Agoro, however, condemned the action saying people should find other ways of solving family differences.

“Domestic problems should not lead to people killing themselves. We are supposed to look for guidance and counselling experts,” the administrator said.

Rongo police boss Peter Okiring while confirming the incident said police received the information and went there to collect the body which was transferred to Rosewood Hospital’s morgue.

“We have launched our investigation into the matter but we are yet to confirm the reason why the deceased committed suicide,” said Okiring.

BY Standardmedia.co.ke


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Entertainment

Terence’s wife Milly Chebby savagely attacks troll who called her a hippo

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Terence Creative’s wife Milly Chebby is tired of body-shamers. She’s not giving them a room to pin her down with their negativity.

Well, the mother of one has savagely clapped back at a fan who compared her to a hippopotamus. The fan, identified as Winfred, body-shamed Milly, offering to help her reduce her tummy.

‘Kuja nikuuzie dawa ya kumaliza tumbo 🤔’

Chebby savagely responded and she wrote

‘Uzia mamako.’

Chebby vs troll

Winfred went ahead to troll the YouTuber, comparing her to a hippo.

‘hippopotamus binguni utapata mwili mpya,’ Winfred posted.

The plus-size media personality responded and she wrote,

@wi.nfred3517 Kuja na real account tukuone Beyonce huyu hippo ako tu sawa hivi 🖕.

Milly Chebby

by Mpasho.co.ke


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Entertainment

Wendy Kimani shares the struggles of relocating abroad and music comeback

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Wendy Kimani came into the limelight after being in the first runners up of Tusker Project fame by charming fans with her amazing voice.

She has done hit songs such as Haiwi Haiwi and Unajua which she was featured by Israel born artist Gilad. Not much has been out here about the artist but she is back with a boom.

The singer speaking in a virtual interview at Let’s Talk show in Ebru TV shares struggles of relocating to the Netherlands with her mzungu husband having to leave behind friends and family back in Kenya

The mother of one reveals that although she has always had massive support from her husband, living in the Netherlands has not been an easy thing for her.

For starters, she could not find a salon to do her hair in the country and was left with no other choice but to depend on YouTube vlogs to care for her African hair and that is how her journey into content creation started.

Wendy also shared that the biggest culture shock she experienced is lacking the presence of friends and family.

For her, she had to start over with majority white friends and dearly missed her mother. She also felt alone after she gave birth to her son as the Kenyan culture of friends and family looking after a woman who has just given birth was lost.

For her, she yearned for the tradition in which a mother and friends would bring her plenty of food and offer a helping hand around the house once given birth.

Wendy Kimani also shared that her comeback is now final as she does not plan to step out of music again unless because of unavoidable circumstances.

The songbird revealed that the reason she had to step back was as a result of the family as she was married and then had a baby and relocating to a foreign country she had her step back for some time to organize herself.

Wendy also says she is open to sharing more than hair content on her YouTube channel and will also talk about life in the Netherlands on her vlogs.

She is currently comfortable in the country as she has made a lot of Kenyan friends there who make her feel at home.

She also promises to release more music and a virtual live performance for her new song ‘Pagawisha’ as she cannot jet out of the county because of the strict COVID restriction in the country with approximately 10,000 new infections daily.

She, however, reveals that she will be releasing another single after Pagawisha.


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