Johana Chacha was once a household name in the media industry, having worked for political desks as a Senior Political Reporter at KTN and K24, among other media stations. Chacha was however retrenched from his job in what he says was because of alcoholism. After his firing in 2016, his drinking habits accelerated. He says he started drinking more than he used to do while working for KTN.
We meet Chacha in a group of other rehabilitated youth in Nairobi’s Riruta Stadium in Kawangware.
In his own words, alcoholism took his promising journalism career down the drain.
“Alcoholism cut my childhood dream short. “He said.
Chacha remembers how he used to miss work before his firing, something he says was attributed to alcoholism. He says he could miss work for even 3 days without a trace.
“I remember when I was fired, I had missed work for 3 consecutive days, and my editors could not trace me. When I reported on the fourth day, I could not explain my whereabouts for those 3-days. When I was fired, I could get into alcoholism even more,” He narrates.
Chacha is one beneficiary of Pastor Dorcas Rigathi’s rehabilitation program. He underwent rehabilitation with 79 others at the ASK Grounds in a rehabilitation Centre Pastor Dorcas had set that up a few weeks ago.
The renowned journalist says when he heard Pastor Dorcas was running a rehabilitation program for the youth in alcoholism, drugs, and substance abuse in Nairobi’s Dagoreti area, he didn’t hesitate to join the program. The program started by screening over 500 youth in Dagoreti, where 79 joined the ASK rehabilitation program while another cohort of 50 has undergone rehabilitation in Limuru.
Chacha will be in the cohort that will be graduating tomorrow in Nyandarua under Pastor Dorcas’ rehabilitation program after successful rehabilitation.
“We have learned a lot about life from the rehabilitation program. It was my decision to join the program and I don’t regret it at all. I can see I have now regained some respect from my friends,” he said.
He is now working as a volunteer under AWAKE CHRISTIAN INITIATIVE, a group that has been doing mentorship programs for high school students.
“If how I started my work without being an alcoholic is how I maintained, I could have been very far by now. I remember people we started with in the media industry, the likes of John Allan Namu, Stephen Ndumbi, MP Mohamed Ali, some have even started their own companies, “he said.
“I have learned the hard way, but I have reformed, “he says.