‘I almost committed suicide’ Oliver Mathenge confesses

Battling alcohol addiction is not easy. Radio Africa Group Digital Editor Oliver Mathenge is a recovering alcoholic and has for the first time spoken about this addiction.

Oliver Mathenge

Oliver has marked 100 days ever since he stopped  drinking alcohol and he has narrated his journey in a post titled “Once Upon A Bottle”

“So what happens after the 100 days are over?” was a question people kept asking me as I counted down the no alcohol challenge. To be honest, I still do not have a straight answer to this question because I do not have a plan. The key reason being that even the challenge was not a plan but just happened to be a decision made on the night on December
29
But even without that answer, I have a story. Not a story to shame anyone or me. Not a story to seek pity. But a story that has taught me valuable lessons that I am taking into the future.

FOR TWO YEARS, I STRUGGLED WITH THE URGE TO BE HIGH AND SINCE I DO NOT DO ANY DRUGS, ALCOHOL WAS A QUICK SOLUTION. I HAD GIVEN UP ON LIFE IN A MANNER THAT PUSHED ME TO ESCAPE REALITY AND SEEK TO AVOID EVERYDAY CHALLENGES. I COULD NOT SURVIVE A DAY WITHOUT ALCOHOL UNLESS I WAS TOO HANGOVERED TO GET OUT OF BED. IN BETWEEN THE DAY IN THE OFFICE, I WOULD GO OUT TO HAVE A FEW SHOTS OF WHATEVER DRINK I THOUGHT MY SYSTEM NEEDED. SOME FRIDAYS, DRINKING WOULD START AS EARLY AS MIDDAY AND WOULD SOMETIME GO ON UNTIL SUNDAY (YES, I WOULD SPEND TWO DAYS IN BARS LIKE THAT’S ALL ABOUT LIFE). I WAS A SLAVE,” HE WROTE IN PART.

Oliver Mathenge went ahead to explain how he would sneak out of his workplace before break times just to quench his thirst. He says he missed a lot of family activities and would spend more time at the bar.

“IT BECAME A ROUTINE TO LEAVE THE OFFICE AND GO TO THE BAR FOR A NUMBER OF BEERS AND SOMETIMES A BOTTLE OF WHISKY. I EVEN GOT TO WORK LATE ON SOME DAYS AFTER INDULGING IN A BIT TOO MUCH AND MY PRODUCTIVE NOSEDIVED. I MISSED MANY ACTIVITIES FROM FAMILY OBLIGATIONS TO BUSINESS MEETINGS. ONE MAY THINK THAT THIS IS SOMETHING NORMAL IN THIS DAY AND AGE WHEN PEOPLE SPEND MORE TIME OUTSIDE THEIR HOUSE – MOSTLY HAVING FUN. IT WAS NOT NORMAL FOR ME,” HE ADDED.

The Digital boss revealed how he messed up family and social relationships and sunk into deep debt.

“I WAS BREAKING DOWN. I MESSED UP FAMILY AND SOCIAL RELATIONSHIPS. I WAS MESSING UP MY JOB (UNTIL GOD DECIDED I NEEDED GREATER RESPONSIBILITIES TO KEEP ME IN CHECK). I SUFFERED UNCOUNTABLE MELTDOWNS. I SUNK INTO DEBT (DEEP – AS IN DEEP TO HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS) AS I SOUGHT TO FINANCE A CHAMPAGNE LIFE ON BEER MONEY.

Oliver at one point in his life tried twice to take his own life and disclosed that he lost many friends as a result of his horrible habit.

“I TRIED TO TAKE MY LIFE TWICE (AGAIN, GOD HAD TO SHOW ME THERE WAS STILL A LOT TO DO ON THIS EARTH). I LOST FRIENDS BECAUSE I COULD NOT BE THERE FOR THEM UNLESS THERE WAS ALCOHOL INVOLVED. I ALSO HAD FRIENDS WHO WERE CHEERING ME ON AS I WASTED MY LIFE, WHICH WAS SEEMINGLY COMING TO A HALT. ALCOHOL TOOK A LOT FROM ME. IT TOOK CONTROL OF ME.”

Oliver Mathenge

“Sometime in mid-2017, I took the first step. I sought help not to deal with the alcohol dependency but to deal with a lot of anger, disappointment and resentment that I was harbouring towards life. It took a while to open up about what I saw was an “unfair” life. At the beginning of November, I was ready to make adjustments but it was the Drinksembar period, as we love calling it. That month, I was back at it. Running away from my responsibilities for the bottle. I was back at it. But this would not be for long as reality started hitting me again that this was what I was supposed to be putting aside. The plan from mid-2017 was to reduce the drinking and partying it was never to stop until that night on December 29th. This decision happened after two beers and a shot of Jager. I told myself that if I would go out on December 30th and 31st and not take alcohol, then I should not worry about starting the year sober. And it happened that I woke up on January 1 without having taken alcohol for two days and decided to challenge myself to another 98.

AND HERE WE ARE. 100 DAYS WITHOUT ALCOHOL. SO WHAT? ONE MAY ASK. WELL, I AM STILL RECOVERING. I AM STILL FIXING MY FAMILY AND SOCIAL RELATIONSHIPS (AND BREAKING THOSE THAT ARE NEGATIVELY AFFECTING MY LIFE). I AM STILL WORKING TO ENSURE I DON’T FAIL IN MY JOB. I AM STILL RECOVERING FROM DEBT. BUT I AM DOING MORE GIGS THAN I DID IN THE PREVIOUS TWO YEARS. I AM PUSHING MILESTONES AT WORK. I AM EARNING MY RESPECT BACK. I AM HANDLING MY RESPONSIBILITIES BETTER. IN THE LAST THREE MONTHS, I HAVE DONE MUCH MORE THAN I DID IN TWO YEARS. I AM AT A BETTER PLACE WITH MORE CLARITY. I AM NOT YET THERE BUT I AM SURE THAT I WILL COMPLETELY RECOVER FROM MY ALCOHOL ADDICTION AND DEPRESSION.
I WILL BE A BETTER MAN. FOR NOW, CHEERS TO NOT BEING A SLAVE. AND IN ALL THINGS, WE GIVE THANKS,” HE CONCLUDED.

What an inspiring story!

Oliver Mathenge has also quit smoking and now uses a nicotine patch in a bid to finally kick the habit.

Also read more here

Radio Africa signs exclusive deal to air EPL matches LIVE and FREE!

Tune your radio to Classic105 because this is it! Radio Africa Group has signed an exclusive three-year agreement to bring live English Premier League audio commentary to fans in Kenya for the next three seasons.

Together with the world’s biggest sports radio station, UK-based talkSPORT, Radio Africa will air matches starting with the remainder of the 2016/17 season. These will be available in English on Classic105.

Patrick Quarcoo, Radio Africa CEO, said on Wednesday, “We are excited to be appointed as talkSPORT’s exclusive broadcast licensee for the English Premier League in Kenya. Now our listeners can access the game whether at home, the office and in their cars on Kenya’s top radio stations.”

“We also plan to deliver the commentaries direct to all mobile phones in Kenya so if you are not near a radio you can still stream the matches of your favorite team in English and Swahili,” he added.

Jimmy Buckland, international director talkSPORT, said: “We’re really excited to bring the passion and excitement of the English Premier League to Kenyan fans through this partnership with Radio Africa Group.”

“Radio has a unique ability to convey all the live drama of a 90-minute football match, and listeners in Kenya can now experience this via talkSPORT’s unique commentary and expert insight”.

talkSPORT

Premier League fans in Kenya will be able to listen to official, live commentary of the EPL in English and Swahili, bringing to life one of the world’s most momentous sporting events for listeners in the country more than ever before.

As global audio partner of the Premier League, talkSPORT controls an exclusive package of international audio rights that allows the station to broadcast official live commentary of all 380 matches in any language to listeners around the world, outside of the UK and Republic of Ireland. The station has the rights until 2019.

Bamba sport which also dedicated to promoting local sport recently signed a deal with Football Kenya Federation to bring live NSL matches every weekend, and also airs two episodes of weekly analysis and preview of the lower tier league.

Bamba Sports Set To Air Arsenal, Barca Matches After ABS Partnership

European broadcast giant, ABS Broadcast, has partnered with Kenya’s Radio Africa to air sports content from international rights company, MP & Silva.

The new partnership will see Bamba Sports air top European sports, including European football clubs content. It will also capture the vast variety of European sports.

The free to air TV channel which also airs the National Super League (NSL) live every weekend following partnership with FKF, will also air one delayed match every week from the European top sides Spanish giants Barcelona, English side Arsenal and Italian side AC Milan.

Radio Africa who are the owners of the Bamba TV platform, Kiss FM, Classic 105, Kiss television, will also air club TV where the three side’s documentaries and interviews will feature every week.

According to the Managing Director of ABS Broadcast, Sass Jahani, the venture is good for African sports, adding that the company was excited to grow the newest channel in their portfolio and accelerate the growth of Kenyan sports.”

Group Head of Innovations and Special Projects at Radio Africa, Kamal Vekaria, said they see the partnership as a significant investment. Head of Bamba TV Danny Mucira says despite eyeing local sports to uplift the country’ standards, the new deal will cater for the interests of European football lovers as well.

Radio Africa Stretches its Wings To Turkana

Radio Africa Group Limited, which owns Classic 105, Kiss fm, Radio jambo and East Fm finally quenched the thirst for residents of Northern Kenya after launching Radio Jambo Turkana on Monday.

Speaking at the official launch, Radio Africa Group General Manager, Martin Khafafa hailed the initiative and the efforts that bore “the voice of Turkana.” “We started our official local broadcast today(Monday) we held the first breakfast show this morning and this is a first for Turkana.” He said. “It is the first private radio station and it is going to be a community station. Jamo Turkana will be the voice of Turkana”

Jambo turkana

Photos courtesy: Caroline Mutoko

Radio Africa Group CEO Patrick Quarcoo,radio Jambo Nairobi mid-morning show host -Bramwel Mwololo,Genereal manager Patrick Khafafa, Turkana's breakfast show presenter Emmanuel Ekwom  and radio jambo Nairobi's deputy programmes controller Steve Agembo

Courtesy; Steve Agembo.

Jambo Turkana will broadcast across eight regions in Turkana County which includes; Lokichogio-92.1 fm, Kakuma-90.1 fm, Lokichar-94.9,Lokitaung-94.5,Kapedo-92.4,Kalokol-96.7,Lokori-90.5 and also Todonyang-96.1.