Veteran radio personality Alex Mwakideu revealed one of the reasons that made him quit alcohol, recounting an incident at the airport that almost cost him his career.
Speaking to Kiss FM’s Oga Obinna, the Milele FM presenter said earlier in his career, he got an opportunity to fly to Germany through his then-boss for an all-paid internship programme.
Mwakideu arrived early in Nairobi for the night flight and decided to pass the time at a pub with some friends.
“I got to Nairobi early and my flight was at night, and I had some money so I was wondering what to do with it. So I called my friend Chiko Lawi and told him I am in Nairobi and he came with some friends to the airport,” he narrated.
They drank the day away before Mwakideu realised it was 30 minutes to departure time.
“I was high, and running with my big bag since I was going for six months, and when I got there, everything had closed and airport officials refused to let me pass,” he said.
Mwakideu said the officers told him to go home and come back the next day as he was heavily drunk.
“There was no way I would have gone back home. What would I have told my boss? And there were also people waiting for me on the other side in Germany. So I begged those people. I told them I knew I had messed up but if I don’t get on that flight, my career would have been finished,” he recounted, adding that he had to bribe to be allowed on the flight.
“The boss came, saw me and asked me if there was anything I had remained with and I only had Sh2,000. I gave him and he allowed me to go and board the plane, five minutes before it left. And that’s one of the reasons I stopped drinking.”
While marking six months of sobriety in April of 2020, Mwakideu said he stopped drinking in honour of his late mother who had passed away in 2019.
These were his words at the time;
“Nilikuwa nakata sana maji. Nilikuwa nanywa, si haba. Lakini mamangu alikuwa ananiambia sana, ‘wewe wacha tu maana itakusaidia nini hii pombe? Na si yeye tu hata baba yangu mzazi pia alikuwa ananiambia. Nakumbuka siku moja aliniambia, mazuri ni mengi duniani mabaya wayatafutiani?
“Mimi nilikuwa napenda whisky sana, na chupa moja ile nilikuwa naweza nunua ilikuwa kama elfu nane ivi kwa wines and spirits na wakati nilikuwa naacha pombe nilikuwa nanywa chupa mzima mimi. Napiga whisky chupa mzima na kwa bar ilikuwa kama Elfu Kumi na Moja kupanda.
“Lakini ananiambia babangu hii ni elfu kumi na moja, hii pakiti ya maziwa ni shilling hamsini. Sasa hii inakuongezea nini? Hii inakupa usingizi mwingi, nyumbani haurudi mapema, watoto wako huwaoni, unaweza kosana na mke wako umelala nje, unaweza pata ajali. Huku kwingine, afya bora zaidi, pesa kidogo…. Alikuwa ananitolea hii mfano kila siku nasema siku moja nitawacha.
“Sasa nilikuwa nimeweka ahadi kuwa siku moja nitaiwacha na mamangu ataona afurahi lakini sasa yeye alitangulia mbele kabla niache. Lakini natumani kule aliko anafurahia kwa sasabu niliacha, na zile zote zilikuwa nyumbani nikapeana zote kwa wale ambao bado wanatumia. Sasa hivi naelekea mwezi wa sita.”