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Open Your Fist

Last year I sat next to my dad’s cousin, Ross, at a funeral in shags. Genius of a man and a recovering alcoholic. He’s been clean almost eight years now. We were seated on the stoop of a house, our backs leaning against the wall, listening to the droning eulogies. Out of respect for his age, I’d never quite asked him what life was like as an alcoholic but it seemed like a perfect opportunity to do so then given that we were at a funeral and misery, surely, still loves company.

So  I plucked up the courage to ask him what it was like at his lowest point as an alcoholic. He turned and studied me briefly and for a moment I thought he was going to ask me to go and sit with my peers over there. He asked, “will you write about this?” I said I might. His face – ravaged by years of drinking – was like an old canvas of liquid history; puffed lips, red eyes, sloppy look, scars from falls in ditches, from running into stationary obstacles and, probably, into a few fists.

When he answered me it was a simple answer but with so many layers: “ At my lowest my teeth started falling off on their own.” As I tried to process this, he added on second thought, “Or maybe not, I think the lowest was moving in with this old woman who brewed chang’aa so as to be able to get free drinks.”

At some point everybody had written him off; now he never travels without a Bible in his bag.

People rise from the very basement of sewers.

In my head, when I think of alcoholics or recovering alcoholics, I think of Ross. And so meeting Maxine “Debz” Peku is a bit surreal. She’s bright-faced, healthy-looking, big smile and voluptuous. Have you ever seen the point where water from a stream gurgles through pebbles causing these little bubbles and making soothing gurgling sounds? That’s how you would describe Debz’s personality.

“I spent my 20’s drinking heavily, running around with married men and basically being reckless. Wild would have been an understated description of me, back then.” Debz – a mother of three now – tells me while cutting into her steak. We are having lunch. “I was young and youth comes with a feeling of forever. I got pregnant at some point but that didn’t stop me from drinking. I drunk through that pregnancy, and this is not just ati drinking a tot or two, I’m talking heavy drinking. I drunk rum until a month before I went into labour!”

“Is your baby okay?

“Thank God! She is!” She says.

“I gave birth and a few months later I was in the bar. I continued drinking .” She continues. “ I think because my first child came out okay, I figured, ah, this whole don’t-drink-during-pregnancy song is a myth so I drank for eight months into my second pregnancy. It was mad. One day I remember coming out of my car after a night out – I must have been six months pregnant and I had no balance because my stomach was big and I had had too much to drink –  I simply fell down on my stomach! I was certain I had killed my baby because for two days the baby didn’t kick but then she started kicking again and I resumed my drinking.”

“What was your husband saying about your drinking?” I ask.

“Nothing. He was drinking too, more than I was actually. He still does.” She says.

They met, not in a bar, but in a hangar at Wilson airport when she used to work at AirKenya Express. She tells me how he – an air-conditioning engineer – was working on a unit under a helicopter when he saw a pair of good looking legs passing by. “He says he saw my legs and loved them first before he saw me.” She laughs. “We dated in the bar and got ‘married’ in the bar when I was 32. I took breaks to give birth to two babies and went back to the bar. But my first child isn’t from him.”

“No?”

“No. She’s from the guy I was dating before him, a married man who had convinced me to give him a baby because his wife couldn’t give birth. I was in my 20’s.”

“Of course.” I say.

“But then my best friend – as in my BFF, you know that chic who knows everything about you – one day went and told him that the baby wasn’t his and he was so furious we broke up.”

“Was the baby his?”

“Yes, Biko! It was his baby!” She says.

“You know you can tell me the truth.” I joke.

She laughs and says, “It was his baby.”

“Are you still friends with your BFF?”

“Are you crazy?”

I laugh.

“Anyway, it was a time in my life that I was just drinking so much and making all the wrong decisions in my life. There never seemed to be anything I wasn’t down for. We would wake up and go to Mombasa to drink, or Maasai Mara, or Nanyuki, there wasn’t a bar we couldn’t drink in, be it Dambusters or Tamasha. It  was torrid.” She says.

Torrid. I love that word!” I say and she laughs. “People don’t use words like that anymore,” I then adopt a bad British accent, “‘It was torrid, me luv!”

Debz is 41 years old now. She drunk through all of her 20s and pretty much through all of her 30s. When she turned 30 her drinking escalated and she would change jobs because she was constantly unhappy. “I’d drink until the small hours of the morning, sleep for two or three hours, shower and go suffer bad hangies at work. My main drink was rum and my hangover drink was a beer. My husband went to rehab three times but it didn’t help him. I didn’t go because I didn’t see my drinking as a problem, I was just having fun with my friends. My mother was worried, she used to think I’m a prostitute because of my drinking and smoking.”

While setting up this interview, I had asked her to meet me in Kileleshwa and she had declined (phobia/memories). Now I ask her why and she tells me the reason. They had once drunk at a friend’s house in Kile until 3am when she got into her car to go home in Karen where she lives. Because she was zonked out she made some wrong turns and instead of heading to Karen, she soon found herself passing the “great wall” headed towards Limuru at 3:30am in the cold dark night, long pine trees rising from the side of the road like the hands of satan.  

“You know when you get to the great wall there is no turning back, right?” She tells me. “So  imagine I had to drive until Limuru to turn back.”

“I’m surprised you never died or killed anyone.” I say.

She tells me that drinking heavily was the norm even when alcoblow was introduced. There was a time when she was working at Radio Africa, her last job, when they had been drinking at Reminisce Bar. Somebody suggested they move to Thorn Tree to join other people but she was already too drunk to drive so she left her car and hopped into a colleague’s car for a ride. At Thorn Tree, they continued drinking and at 2am when they were to leave she realised that her colleague was more drunk than she was and couldn’t drive so she got behind the wheel.

She managed to drive the car but at Nairobi West they saw the alcoblow roadblock and her friend said, “Shit, don’t stop, run over that roadblock!” and she said, ‘Are you mad?’

They were flagged down by sirkal who stuck the breathalyzer in her mouth and that shit went nuts. Not believing results (because it was very high) they tried a second and third one. The NTSA guys were astonished that she could even drive in that state.

“Meanwhile my drunk pal is literally screaming at the NTSA guys,” she recounts laughing. “ He’s telling them, ‘Do you know who I am, eh? Do you know who I am?”

“Oh boy, you are friends with people who say that?” I ask laughing.

“Oh yeah, anyway, so he’s screaming at them, ‘Do you know who I am? I can call Kimaiyo right now! You guys won’t have your jobs by sunrise!” We laugh.

They are the same guys who say, “When I’m done with you you will not be able to work a single day in this town! You will be jobless, and poor! POOR I tell you! Your children will come with bowls to beg at my doorstep like street urchins! Your wives will till my land and wash my dog. I will turn all of you all into slaves.

Such guys deserve a permanent slot on Churchill Live.

Anyway, because the unimpressed NTSA guys had seen the worst, her drunk-ass was bundled and taken to the coolers at Muthaiga Remand. (I love that word Remand. For the longest time I thought it was a Luo word when I’d  hear my mom say, “Ne onindo remand.” You can imagine my shock when I grew up and realised it was an English word.) On her way to remand she called her husband who showed up drunk as well. When he got  there he ran into some drunk man (her drunk colleague who is buddies with Kimaiyo) holding her car keys that had this colourful beaded key holder.

“My husband didn’t know this guy who was holding his wife’s keyholder so he tells him to hand over the car key and my colleague says, “Boss, I’m not handing out my girlfriend’s keys!”

I’m chuckling like an idiot. “Did he punch him in the throat?” I ask a little too hopefully.

“Mark you I’m in the cell, he hasn’t even seen me, he just ran into this guy outside the cells, making calls. Anyway, he comes in and I ask him to give me his warm jacket because I was freezing in the cell… it was so cold, my God. He looks at me and tells me, “Ask your boyfriend out there for a jacket” and he leaves the chips and kuku porno he had brought me and walks out and goes home.”

“Good man.” I say laughing. “You could have saved that situation by taking an Uber while drunk like any sensible person does now. No use dying because you refused to spend 500-bob while you left 5K in the bar.”

“True but also that time Uber was not available in Kenya,” she says. “Plus, I have seen what you have done there with the Uber mention, Biko.”

“Aren’t we all just trying to take our children to school?” I say with a grin.

The waitress comes to clear her plate but she says she isn’t done. There is a sad-looking wedge of steak still on her plate. Her phone rings and she says it’s her mom and she launches into Kuyu.

“I didn’t know you’re Kuyu.”

“I’m Luhya, but my mom is Kikuyu, so I speak it fluently.”

Her drinking problem slid from really bad to crucially bad.

“There is a point I’d run a tab in a bar we frequented because they knew us and I would drink on credit. But since I was drinking more than I was making I soon ran into debt at the bar, which meant I would stop going back there and stop picking their calls. But then when I got money I would go back and pay off the bill and remain with only like 1k to drink. It was pathetic. There were days I craved a drink so much and didn’t have a single cent, but I would go to a bar and sit at the counter and order one drink and hope that someone would offer to pay for it.”

The turning point came when she met a lady who runs a brothel, I think they are called Madames. She was 38-years and was looking for ways to support her drinking problem because it had become almost impossible to afford a bottle of Myers rum every other day. She went to meet the Madame in her brothel in Hurlingham, the exact location of which she refuses to disclose. It was a house with a deceptively bland living room and bedrooms that were furnished tastefully. A few candles were lit. The girls,  consisting of mostly university students, sat away from view in a different room killing time on Facebook on their phones  as they waited for clients. Debz sat in the living room and chatted with the Madame.  

“I admired her because she seemed so successful,” she tells me. “ She was driving a Mercedes, her child was studying in Braeburn and she seemed so connected in this town. I just needed an alternative source of income and she seemed like the right person to accord me that. The only thing that I was hesitant about in the whole thing was her remark that some clients prefered to have the madame instead of the girls and you had to oblige because it was business. I wasn’t a pious girl but I wasn’t too enthused about that. As we continued to talk she started dropping names of some of her prominent clients; politicians and public figures and people we all know. Eventually she mentioned the name of someone I knew and I almost fell off my chair with shock. I left immediately.”

“Who was that?” I ask.

“I can’t tell you.”

“Come on, tell me.”

“No.”

“Debz, it’s me.”

“I don’t know you,” She said firmly but then added, “I can’t tell you, not on the record.”

“I will leave it out.”

“I mean it, you can’t write this in the article.”

“I won’t.”

“I’m serious. You have to promise.”

“I promise.”

She tells me and I’m like, no effing way!

After she left the Madame’s house she went home, removed her clothes and jumped into the shower and  as water trickled to a pool at her feet she thought to herself, “How low have I sunk as a human-being to think of opening a brothel, or selling my body to get money for alcohol?”

A few weeks later she quit, on her  39th birthday.

“The first Friday after I quit, I remember sitting in the house wondering what people who don’t drink do with their lives on a Friday night.” She tells me. “ It felt so empty, like that loud silence. I had all this free time and I didn’t know what to do with it. So I started stitching – you know, needle and thread? My husband didn’t think I would sustain my sobriety. I don’t think anyone did. He waited a week, nothing happened, two weeks, three weeks, and after one month he said, “Ala, yaani you have quit for real?” She laughs.

“By the way,” I ask her, “Won’t he read this article and get really pissed off?”

“No. He won’t. He doesn’t read you.” I make a dramatic sad long face. “ He doesn’t have the time for reading, especially your long posts. Besides, he knows me. I’m open, I speak my mind.”

After two months dry she relapsed. A friend invited her for a drink that she turned down and an hour later the friend was at the gate with her husband, to pick her up. So she went and drunk but then stopped again.

“There are things in AA called triggers,” she says. “Your drinking friends are some of the triggers you have to do away with if you are to recover. I cut all my drinking buddies loose except one who I still talk to because our relationship was beyond alcohol. She’s my rock. In fact she will pass by here to say hello to me, she works around here. You can’t stop drinking alcohol if you still keep your drinking friends.”

“I don’t suppose you have been a model mother to those children,” I tell her. “Does that fill you with guilt or regret?”

“I think I have been as good as they come.” She tells me and I look at her to see if she’s being sarcastic but she isn’t.

“Oh you think? You don’t think your drinking has traumatised them in a way? ”

“I don’t think so. I don’t pick up on any damage to them.”

“Some damage can be delayed,” I tell her. “Maybe the damage will start showing when they are teenagers or adults…”

“Yeah,” she reflects. “I remember one of my daughters asking me, ‘Mom, you drink and smoke, Dad does too, what will happen to us when you people die?’”

“Jeez.”

“I didn’t even know what to say, so I evaded the question.” She says. She’s quiet for a few seconds and then says, “I think I was a fairly good mother, I was home every Sunday with them.”

“Wow, look at Debz. Home every Sunday….Mother Of The Year!”

She laughs so hard she keels over on her side.

“What kind of friends did you have, describe them for me.” I ask her, and she talks about friends with whom she would drink from Friday, sometimes to Sunday, only taking breaks to go home to shower and change, check on the kids and then go back to the bar.  “I was paying house helps a lot of money to raise my children.” She adds

“When someone called me, all our conversations would start with, ‘So, who’s buying?’ The problem of alcoholism in this city is not appreciated enough. My friends – and so many people in Nairobi – are functional alcoholics. They don’t look like drunkards but they suffer from alcoholism. I don’t look like an alcoholic, but I am, even though I look healthy, because I never drunk cheap drinks. These people drink all the time, they dress up and go to work and they work and they don’t think they have a problem with alcohol because they are still able to do their jobs. Then there are the bingers who can decide to go for one to many months without alcohol but when they go back they binge through the weekend non-stop, or drink for 24 hours non-stop. My friends and I didn’t think we had a problem, but we did.”

“How does one know they have a problem?”

“When your body wants alcohol. When you think about alcohol. When you have to drink to get courage or you feel you need to drink to be interesting, when you wake up in the morning and pour yourself a drink, when you keep a drink in your car or you put it in a water flask and sip it in the office…these are signs…”

“What do you think spurred your drinking? What were you looking for?” I ask.

“Boredom and peer pressure.” She says without hesitating. “Boredom because that’s all I knew. I didn’t know how else to fill my time, so I drunk. And two, we think it’s only teenagers who suffer from peer pressure, it’s not. Adults do as well. Drinking is mostly driven by cliques and these people derive energy from each other.  People in this town don’t want to feel left out. You don’t want to hear of a party that happened without you. Mostly I would do these things just to please my friends. So I drunk to belong.”

She got saved.

Her relative from shags added her to this whatsapp group that consists of women in Christ. There are lots of prayers in this group, lots of teaching, lots of sharing and support. When she relapsed twice at the beginning the girls in the group would tell her, “Don’t beat yourself up, don’t be afraid to fail and if you do, come here, we will accept you, God still loves and accepts you.” It offered her courage and support.

She hasn’t drunk in two years now. “Stopping to drink is the best decision I ever made,” she says to herself more than to me.  There is always that beautiful moment in an interview when people start addressing themselves rather than me. I find it very fascinating. I call it auto-pilot, when barriers have fallen and we are on cruise control. I could leave, go to my car to pick up mints and come back to find them still talking.

I ask her what was one of the lowest moments  for her and she tells me a story of when she was out of a job, she had just quit alcohol and she was doing some stitching to kill time while she watched some TV evangelist preaching. Her period started and she didn’t have a single cent to buy sanitary pads.

“Do you know how much sanitary pads are, Biko?” She asks me.

“Uhm, no.” I say. (I wanted to say 200-bob but I was afraid of being wrong).

“It’s 75-bob. I didn’t have 75 shillings to buy pads!” She says. “So I had to ask my House Help for pads. Can you believe that? Anyway while I sat stitching, the TV evangelist was talking about Moses  and how he was reluctant to go to Egypt to go free the Israelites and He asked Moses what he was carrying and he said he was carrying a staff which God said he would use to bring his people back. At that time I heard the TV evangelist or someone ask me, ‘Debz what is in your hands?” and I looked and it was a needle and thread…”

“Aiii, Debz,” I laugh, “ati God spoke to you through the TV evangelist guy, those are now stories you are giving me!”

We laugh.

“I’m telling you, I swear I heard someone ask me that. Anyway, I realised this was what I was supposed to do for a living. Use needle and thread! My mother is a fundi, after all.”

She then started a company called ALL MAX PILLOWS, check her on Facebook here. She makes pillows, poufs, bean bags, cushions, etc. She says it’s doing better than she thought it would; she is in Jumia and her stuff is moving, she has three sewing machines. Life is picking up again.

“You know, I can offer to make a cushion for those people who rush to your blog to say they are number one to comment. A nice little pillow with some writing on it. How about that?”

“Let me sleep on it,” I say.

“Oh, no problem, take your…”

“I meant it as a pun, as in “Pillow? Sleep on it?”…hallo?”

She laughs. “Ohhh…that flew over my head.”

(Don’t you hate it when people miss your hard-earned puns?)

A friend of hers passes by to say hello. Dreadlocked, sunglasses wedged over her forehead, a packet of cigarettes and mobile in one hand. Trendy-looking bird, good-looking, curvaceous. The type you would see seated on a blanket at Koroga Festival smoking shisha and managing not to smudge her loud, red lipstick. We are introduced. They make small talk as I pretend not to listen. She’s from having a “liquid lunch”, she says. When she leaves, Debz tells me she is the one friend she has kept. “Don’t write her name in this piece.” She warns me. (People are always threatening me with bodily harm)

“Do you regret wasting your 20s and 30s drinking?” I ask her.

“I don’t regret it, but if I was to do things all over again I would start my life at 39-years,” she says. Then she’s quiet for a while. By the way, I forgot to tell you that her steak was eventually taken away. The cold wind from Wilson Airport blew it and it became cold and started looking like a carcass.

“You know the irony is that my marriage got strained when I stopped drinking. I thought it would get better than the days we would drink together and fight physically, but my being off alcohol simply strained it because I think he thinks I betrayed him and left him alone in the bar. I don’t regret being sober.” She’s talking to herself now. “ I’m a better mother and a better wife. I spend all the time I can with my children.” She pauses. “You had asked me what good has come out of my alcoholism? I think I will never wonder what I might have missed. I completely did everything I could have done in my youth. I will never be that person who says, ‘I wish I did this or that when I was younger.’”

She’s wearing this wonderful sweater that has no arms; you sort of just throw it over your neck. What are they called? I ask her about the tattoo of a bird on her left arm and she tells me getting that tattoo in 2006 is probably the only regret she has in her life. The tattoo symbolises how God takes care of her as He does the birds in the air. “My regret of it has spiritual connotations.”

“What is the conversation like when you run into your former drinking pals?” I ask.

“I always have to ‘reintroduce’ myself because I’m not the same person I was,” she says. “I tell them I found the Lord and they say “Well, praise the Lord,” in that mocking way. I hear some say that if Debz could stop drinking then anyone can. And indeed anyone can. Drinking was stopping me from fulfilling a lot of my potential.”

“Or maybe it was also preparing you for this moment in your life,” I say.

“Yes.” She stops and I see her drift away from me in thought, like incense towards the ceiling. I let her. She stares intensely at one spot. Eventually I intrude in her thoughts and ask her what she’s thinking and she says, “You know when babies are born they are born holding fists, like this,” She shows me her fisted hands. “I think we all come to earth with a gift, a talent, a purpose and God sends us down holding those things in our hands. Some of us never open our fists. Some of us do. Is your fist open, Biko?”

“Yes.” I whisper in reverence to what she just said. Those words fill every space in my chest and I think there is no other question I will ask this lady that can close this interview. Besides, she has to go pick up her children from school.

You can’t hear Debz story and leave feeling the same. Lessons riddle her story like bullets through a rag: No hole is deep enough for God not to fetch you from. Reach out. You are not forsaken until you forsake yourself. Open your fists. Cold steak sucks pipe.

Ps:

I have listened to your complaints the last few weeks. Last week our resident editor, Yvonne, begged to go under to attend to other pressing matters distracting her. She will be gone for a while.  (Yvonne you have been precious, thank you). Going forward I have picked three volunteers to edit and proof-read my pieces; Linda Were (“A recovering perfectionist”), Mutanu Lanogwa (Kenyatta University student, Education, English major) and Andrew Ochieng (News Reporter, NTV). Now you know who to burn should you see typos. Ladies and gentleman, thank you for doing this.

Ps 2: Oh and Happy birthday to my Masterclass alumni, Nyambura Ngare. Send us a postcard and tell us how the land of 40s is from the gate.

216 Responses
  • bumblebee
    25.07.2017

    Guys guys,
    Hold up for just a sec.
    Let me tack you off track for just a sec.

    What are your Biko stories??

    Can we all just take a min to acknowledge how much we’ve grown with this blog?

    I mean, I started coming here when I was a senior in high school. I would swim in all the posts I had missed during the holidays. I would embrace them and they have seen me through in boredom and life, in insomnia and in dreams.

    Back when I was too shy to even comment.
    Ona vile nowadays me huwa na kiherehere having an opinion on everything. I personally do not have physical biko loyal friends. I mean, they only read when its something outta the norm but not the kind like Carol Meryl Achieng who would not let her ‘bladder control her life’ when she is having our daily dose of tuesday syrups.

    The life lessons we have taken to our hearts.
    For instance, following the advice to Joe black, I got me a mentor in my line of work and last week’s O.P ‘s post just verified how vital it is. And that move has got to be one of the best things I have in my career.
    My point is, we are like a family. Our identity is our anonymity, buddled up together in a nest waiting for bwana biko to bring us our weekly food. So thankyou all for making the nest warm with all the clutter and chatter and the nauseating first to comment comments.

    It feels really nice coming here knowing there’s a breed of people like me out here.

    Thankyou.

    Now as you were




    360
    • kimani
      25.07.2017

      You deserve a cushion. Niepwe bill.




      38
      • bumblebee
        25.07.2017

        Hehehehe. Tafadhali Debz chukua order hapa. Iandikwe good vibes




        25
      • Ole gachago
        27.07.2017

        Biko Wewe ni mhenga. Good read.




        2
        • mospet sasa
          27.07.2017

          They were flagged down by sirkal who stuck the breathalyzer in her mouth and that shit went nuts.
          “Almost got me suspended for laughing out loud!”

          , “You know when babies are born they are born holding fists, like this,” She shows me her fisted hands. “I think we all come to earth with a gift, a talent, a purpose and God sends us down holding those things in our hands. Some of us never open our fists. Some of us do. Is your fist open, Biko?”
          my high light of the day




          5
    • Ali
      25.07.2017

      Well,reading your comment. I feel like we are all in a desert and there is only one watering trough and we all come to drink our fill. Then without even glancing at each other we leave. The only evidence of our presence is the foot prints, that are like tentacles that are tied to the water trough. We are ghosts, a wind whisper playfully picking dust letting settle down on the desert.




      94
      • Derrick Maingi
        27.07.2017

        Wow, see that narrative




        1
    • hahahaha..excuse you bumble bee. Nice to have an online family. I need to empty my bladder. *whistless off to the loo.*




      38
    • Crappy Writer
      25.07.2017

      ah Bumble Bee can i buy you lunch sometime?




      19
      • bumblebee
        25.07.2017

        Of course. I am available on Thursdays and I like my chicken marinated .
        Should I bring my Writing for Dummies copy XD??




        29
        • jo
          25.07.2017

          Hahaha nice one. The writing for dummies bit hahahahahaha good one




          2
    • Betty Irungu
      25.07.2017

      Hahahaah the quiet battalion we are .but soon we shall be together in the commenting.I surely look forward to Tuesdays and always refreshing my emails so that bwana biko can come through.Yes we are a family though anonymously…Oh my have i missed joe black.I think we should have a whatsapp for the gang




      15
      • stephanovmutua
        26.07.2017

        Telegram might be better. Groups can hold upto 10,000 people.




        1
    • Munyambu
      25.07.2017

      hahaha hey there sister!! I read everything Biko writes, I start reading my True Love from the back, stop everything I’m doing the moment I get a notification. I remember reading in class when I was in campus. And boy have I learnt a lot from his posts




      8
    • Becky
      25.07.2017

      Damn! I am starting to get the feels.




      4
    • Timon
      25.07.2017

      Hehehe..the family is growing…




      0
    • Nava
      25.07.2017

      Thanks once again for this




      0
    • Sam
      26.07.2017

      Best comment ever, a nice break from, 1st to comment




      10
      • Nelly
        28.07.2017

        My sentiments exactly…




        2
    • Allylah
      22.08.2017

      “I would swim in all the posts I had missed during the holidays. I would embrace them and they have seen me through in boredom and life, in insomnia and in dreams”
      This is so like me though I was not in high school but i would intentionally let the articles accumulate so that i would read them all together.




      0
  • Maggy
    25.07.2017

    ‘No hole is deep enough for God not to fetch you from”




    39
  • kibetty
    25.07.2017

    There is always something to do with funerals and/or death and alcohol……..Biko, what are you driving @?




    2
  • Biegon
    25.07.2017

    Alcohol doesn’t change you! It amplifies who you are!




    9
    • Caro
      25.07.2017

      That’s profound!!




      0
    • CHARLES
      28.07.2017

      and it doesn’t define you, you define your drink!!!!!




      1
  • Wairimu Wa Chege
    25.07.2017

    “I remember one of my daughters asking me, ‘Mom, you drink and smoke, Dad does too, what will happen to us when you people die?’”Sad!
    Such a deep piece,triggered my emotions, cry baby! Well done as usual!
    “I always have to ‘reintroduce’ myself because I’m not the same person I was,” Great lessons to learn.All the best Debz




    20
  • Wahito
    25.07.2017

    Wow, Debz-more power to you. I hope your hubby can come across this blog post and see ‘you’.




    8
  • The Kasaine
    25.07.2017

    Happy Birthday, Nyambura!




    3
  • Davi K
    25.07.2017

    Amazing story!




    0
  • Murithi Murithi
    25.07.2017

    I know this comment will be lost in the crowd, and you’ll probably not bother to read it, but I just wanted to let y’all know that am selling Avocado from Meru




    161
    • bikozulu
      25.07.2017

      Haha! Oh boy. This is hysterical. How much a kilo?




      53
      • Moraa
        25.07.2017

        Biko, it takes avocados for you to respond to replies? Who are you? I feel like I don’t know you. Too layered man !




        15
        • Majuma
          27.07.2017

          Moraa,that makes two us…isn’t this so weird that he only replies to a post about avocadoes….Anyhow,Biko,your blogs make my day-good stuff!




          1
      • Chrenyan
        26.07.2017

        I predict a Tuesday post will develop from here.

        I was going to write another reply but let me stick to this one:

        “There is always that beautiful moment in an interview when people start addressing themselves rather than me. I find it very fascinating. I call it auto-pilot, when barriers have fallen and we are on cruise control. I could leave, go to my car to pick up mints and come back to find them still talking.”

        I totally loved that. I do interviews for a living. And all the wacky questions, all the sidetracks and tangents, they are to allow the person on the other side of the table to feel comfortable. To feel they are with a friend. An interesting friend, but a friend, bottom line. Then you get to the monologue bit.

        Debz, only freed addicts understand what it means to be free from addiction. Jesus means everything after that! And no amount of eye-rolling from “friends” can change it. Thrilled for you. God bless you, and now may He heal your marriage. Be good to hubby, You be sweet. You be kind. He already knows he’s in the wrong –
        he’s got enough lashes on his back from the way he lives. Leave him with the Lord, God will do the rest. (Advice from a Rev Lawrence B Hicks in a sermon called “This is That”.)




        14
    • Teryl
      25.07.2017

      Hahaha haha
      Is there free delivery?I would love some.




      3
    • Kinns
      25.07.2017

      Hahaha…. Nice one.




      2
    • Sophie
      25.07.2017

      had you not added the getting lost in the crowd…!!!
      wewe unajua marketing kweli




      10
    • Julianna
      25.07.2017

      Hahahahahahahahahaha!!! Why?! Why?! Why?!




      1
    • GAKII
      25.07.2017

      Haha Ni zile za budding I hope




      3
    • Ythera
      25.07.2017

      Mangapi? Ni zile take zenye hazina mauzi?




      4
    • Munyambu
      25.07.2017

      hahahahaha avocados from Meru..hilarious
      I love me some avocados, how much??




      2
    • Stella
      25.07.2017

      hahahaha .. WTH!




      1
    • Wairimu Wa Chege
      25.07.2017

      And you already made it life!Biko has replied!Print the comment and frame it..lol!




      23
    • Mushie
      25.07.2017

      Haha…yaaani hadi Biko amereply..
      You have made it!!




      4
    • Ms. Mbake
      26.07.2017

      And just like that “ukamtoa nyoka (read biko) pangoni.




      4
    • Pgmaina
      27.07.2017

      Bumblebee sasa update us on bumblepete alafu we see how this dummy lunch will be.Mtu wa avocado, where have you been all these years!?




      2
  • wekesir
    25.07.2017

    People look at the sky and at the other animals. They make beautiful objects, beautiful sounds, beautiful motions of their bodies beating drums in lines. They pray; they toss people in peat bogs; they help the sick and injured; they pierce their lips, their noses, ears; they make the same mistakes despite religion, written language, philosophy, and science; they build, they kill, they preserve, they count and figure, they boil the pot, they keep the embers alive; they tell their stories and gird themselves.

    Will knowledge you experience directly make you a Buddhist? Must you forfeit excitement per se? To what end? #This is the life




    8
  • Wesh Peter
    25.07.2017

    Whoa. Firstly (in a kuyu way), Debz should get us that ka-list of those people visiting the Hurlingam place. Feed our curiosity Debz! It’s encouraging that she rode the bottle to dark places and learnt her lessons. Many go down that path never to show up again. Now let’s go check out those cushions, shalln’t we?




    42
  • Maureen
    25.07.2017

    Her story is so inspiring…




    1
  • Priscilla Wambu Kamau
    25.07.2017

    Phew!! Deep. Keep on keeping on Debz.




    0
  • Kevin
    25.07.2017

    Your comment
    ‘No hole is deep enough for God not to fetch you from. ‘ Deep. Insightful.




    8
    • Lorus
      01.08.2017

      “There is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still”. Corrie ten Boom

      “He drew me from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet on solid ground, and steadied me as I walked along” Psalm 40:2

      Indeed kweli, Praise the Lord.




      2
  • Joseph K
    25.07.2017

    Nice Piece. You forgot to provide the link to ALL MAX PILLOWS pillows. I wouldn’t mind one if I’m first to comment.




    5
  • Maureen
    25.07.2017

    Debz is so inspiring….Is your fist open??




    2
  • myroz
    25.07.2017

    Debz is a strong woman.few lessons learnt from this..still trying to open my fist




    2
  • Karyah Margaret
    25.07.2017

    My dad is a recovering alcoholic . My siblings and Mom don’t believe that he changed but for some weird reason i believed in him. Am closer to my Dad now than i was in my childhood, we can sit and talk about anything and everything. He has deep issues he is dealing with and sometimes i don’t know how to help but i sit and listen. My Mom calls me from time to time if my Dad slips into a depression to help him out. Growing up i thought my Dad would be my rock especially now that am 3 years into my twenties. I try to be strong for him but i also fall. I pray that the ghosts of his past stop haunting him and he can be happy again. When he turned 60 this year he gave up but am still hopeful.
    Debz congratulations.




    52
    • bumblebee
      25.07.2017

      Its so encouraging for him to know you are there…
      You have no idea.




      6
    • James
      25.07.2017

      Prayers work miracles keep on praying n don’t give up on him, I have a feeling this is the time he needs the whole family now more shop than ever.




      2
    • Njoki
      26.07.2017

      Be his rock, am sure he will recover from alcoholism fully knowing his ‘little girl is his rock’ kudos for the support.




      0
  • kimani
    25.07.2017

    “I think we all come to earth with a gift, a talent, a purpose and God sends us down holding those things in our hands. Some of us never open our fists. Some of us do” Really deep. Thank you Biko . Keep going Debz.




    7
  • lynnah
    25.07.2017

    I’m encouraged by her courage to open up Alcoholism is a real problem in our generation. Alcohol is a good servant but a BAD master.




    1
  • Low lying fruit
    25.07.2017

    Hii imenigusa cos currently this is what I am struggling with . What do people who dont drink do with their time. And then the binges and coming back and looking at ur kids the morning after a binge and promising yourself you will do better. You read Osho a little Jibran. You put up the quotes of how change takes 16 days. Then you come off a really hard day at the office or in life and you have no one to talk to and there is your never judgmental friend who you can rely on no matter the time of the day you call them and a few drinks later you feel so good.But then its never just a few drinks. What do people who don’t drink do with their free time. We need parks in this city.Good story. May we all find strength to deal with our demons




    37
    • Stella
      25.07.2017

      This is so true. Even if it is not alcohol, any addiction/escape seems viable than ‘nothing to do’. Can we have more parks for sure? That would be lovely.




      2
    • bumblebee
      25.07.2017

      We play chess and darts and monopoly. You should try it sometime




      3
      • Meg
        26.07.2017

        We also hold fun fitness activities with our calender of events. Any one interested to kill boredom can visit out fitness group FITNESS BOOSTERS-Ji Boost nasisi




        0
    • Nelson
      25.07.2017

      I relate




      0
  • panaO
    25.07.2017

    …this life, just under 40, 39yrs to be precise. so life starts @40!




    1
  • Grace Njenga
    25.07.2017

    Amazing…so many alcoholics amongst us…well done Debz




    0
  • aswito
    25.07.2017

    My brother used to drink a lot when I was in high school and I remember the judgmental voice I used to tell him that he should get his shit together.His reply was”You will end up drinking more than I do” .
    Needless to say he was not far from the truth.




    7
    • Suleiman
      25.07.2017

      I hope you will get over it someday, one day.




      0
  • Ngina
    25.07.2017

    My prayer everyday is for my two brothers to quit alcohol like this wonderful day..
    One day soon, I hope God will answer my prayer.




    8
    • Ngina
      25.07.2017

      *lady




      1
    • Malaika
      25.07.2017

      Ditto… I look at him in his blacked out state and feel so bad… I dont confront him no more. I pray for me to love him and for him to want to conquer this. One day soon..




      2
  • jahmin
    25.07.2017

    Point on as always




    1
  • weke-sir
    25.07.2017

    It is great that after hundreds of wrong trains and many lost years later,Debz has
    learned that, despite the jovial public legends, inebriation and
    expression are at odds with each other. If you have to live with some sort
    personal integrity, you cannot be a drunken butterfly.




    3
  • Rael
    25.07.2017

    I need me an ALL MAX Pillow…I just love the courage in these stories….




    5
  • Mso
    25.07.2017

    People rise from the very basement of sewers……….‘No hole is deep enough for God not to fetch you from”…….One day at a time Debz!




    8
  • Kagz
    25.07.2017

    “I think we all come to earth with a gift, a talent, a purpose and God sends us down holding those things in our hands. Some of us never open our fists. Some of us do. Is your fist open”. DONE!




    5
  • Bildad O'brian
    25.07.2017

    Of cause their are weird questions to ask a drunk at a wedding ceremony, and trust Biko to ask them.
    …the child…birth fist thing just won. Just clinched my fist expecting something…ha!




    1
    • Bildad O'brian
      25.07.2017

      Oops! There***
      Not wedding…funeral.
      See what alcohol is doing to me




      2
  • Mwendemicheni
    25.07.2017

    A pillow coming my way, maybe Debz?
    ‘No hole is deep enough for God not to fetch you from’ i love that!




    1
  • Abdullah omar
    25.07.2017

    A torrid story!




    1
  • Riri
    25.07.2017

    Deeeeep!! You are not foresaken until you forsake yourself!




    9
    • Low lying fruit
      25.07.2017

      Deeeeeeep! Shikilia uzito




      0
  • Kendi
    25.07.2017

    I clenched my fist and opened it a few times while reading this…perhaps hoping for some revelation.




    9
  • Lauryn
    25.07.2017

    The best 40s story i have read from Biko so far….. Congratulations Debz for the 2yrs clean slate on alcohol, and i wish your marriage the best




    1
  • Dickson Kinyua
    25.07.2017

    When does one stop being referred to as a recovering addict? I’d want to imagine that eight years down the line is more than enough?

    Debz, more power. I see how easy it is to fall into alcoholism without knowing. And I have some bingger friends, who’ll drink from Friday evening to Sunday evening then go deal with hangovers from Monday. It is sad to imagine a friend…a person you actually connect with at the moment, can drink themselves into such dark pits of misery.

    They could use some pillow talk right now.




    5
  • Anne
    25.07.2017

    Biko, you always touch a life. Great story




    0
  • Dm
    25.07.2017

    Sounds like a movie! Thank God for coming through for her and her little children. Children should not suffer because of parents wrong choices.




    1
  • Ben
    25.07.2017

    “Stopping to drink is the best decision I ever made,” she says to herself more than to me.
    Hahahaha. Biko. I see what you did buana. This gave me a good laugh.




    0
  • Morris
    25.07.2017

    it is touching… indeed open your fist




    0
  • Wow! What a story!
    I’ve always wondered how the path to alcoholism begins, given that alchohol tastes so bad..it seems to have a hold on many and some are not able to escape it. I’ve met some toothless young folk and it gets me wondering, what would be so special about getting wasted that you end up looking like a grandpa.. I think not being able to eat nyama choma off a bone, or crunch soft chicken bones to powder or grind sim sim balls in my mouth would send me into despair.
    Debz made the best decision to quit, spend all the time with her kids (they grow too fast) and as well to turn to God. A God decision is always a good decision.
    “No hole is deep enough for God not to fetch you from. Reach out. You are not forsaken until you forsake yourself. Open your fists.”
    Thank you! My fists are open.
    While most people think that God is not for them, God is for everyone, you are the apple of His eye no matter how deep the pit is, God is deeper still.
    Most people think that coming to God is unfashionable or is for old people close to their death bed…but just looking at God’s residence would make anyone sensible know that He is tops; *Gates of pearls, crystal waters, streets of gold, mansions built from blocks of diamonds* now how cool is that?




    44
    • JB
      25.07.2017

      Love love love your comment. God is deeper still. He does rock!




      2
    • Claris
      25.07.2017

      ” I think not being able to eat nyama choma off a bone, or crunch soft chicken bones to powder or grind sim sim balls in my mouth would send me into despair.”

      And here i was thinking am the only one who enjoys soft chicken bones and simsim.




      4
  • Mungai
    25.07.2017

    “Clean eight years now” is a recovered alcoholic. Or how long does recovery take ?




    1
    • Renee-Rene
      25.07.2017

      Once you become an alcoholic, you will be a recovering alcoholic the rest of your life because the moment you touch that bottle of rum/beer/wine again, you are back to zero…..




      3
  • Mr. Tubz
    25.07.2017

    Good stuff. Great lessons we can draw from this piece. Keep doing what you do Biko.




    1
  • Philip
    25.07.2017

    “I think we all come to earth with a gift, a talent, a purpose and God sends us down holding those things in our hands. Some of us never open our fists. Some of us do”……..opening mine ASAP




    2
  • Betty
    25.07.2017

    It is all fun and games until you realize that ” having fun” (read drinking) is what is/has been keeping you from achieving your potential.




    1
  • jcee
    25.07.2017

    My small bro is a recovering alcoholic……he drunk some funny brew – was in a coma for 2 days and when he woke up he was interviewed in NTV and when he left the hospital he stopped drinking. It has been over 2 years. he was a big nightmare – made christmas holidays so bad with his alcoholism . But today we say Alleluyah. the guy farms seriously in shags and even built a rental room on my parents plot. so it is possible – all the best debz from the gang!




    14
  • Ronald
    25.07.2017

    (1) Alcohol is ‘quitable’
    (2) Not everyone will be supportive
    (3) Functioning Alcoholics do not even know that they have a problem
    (4) What do you have in your hands ?
    (5) Peer pressure is ageless
    (6) Always ensure that you don’t miss out on any of Biko’s puns. He’ll sulk and wear a long face. He’ll pay up goons to mess you up. He might instantly disorganize your face. He will chongoa your steak. He will say bad things like ‘it looks like a carcas’. He will diss your friends. He will describe their lips. He is a man of vengeance. He takes no captives. He is he. He is the guy. The guy you don’t want to be in his wrong books. OK, not books, blog.
    (7) Don’t have a degree? Don’t worry. Biko is the only guy south of Punjab University who can give you a Masters in three days. He will also throw in a few citations here and there once in a while as after sale service.
    (8) Yeah, he advertised Uber. And because of the Kenyan education system, you missed it.




    61
    • Dotty
      25.07.2017

      Funniest comment so far




      2
    • Meg
      26.07.2017

      Hahahaha no.7 ! Anyway thanks Biko for these deep stories that keep motivating us each new day.




      1
  • Anonymous
    25.07.2017

    I’ve been reading this blog for quite a while now. If I have to hazard a guess that would be 6-7 years, few times at first but later on with a consistency of a qualified member. Normally, I choose to read through stories and leave. I don’t comment.

    But this time, I have to leave something. This story elicits different views am sure. I consider mine unique because of the parallels with my story. You see, I see this as a battle with an addiction, only that this battle was eventually won. Well, mine is still underway.

    I have fixed so much in my life, including alcohol. Am a hands-on person. Am the kind of guy who if sick checks on the net whatever am ailing from then go buy the meds. I don’t have a medical background. Yet I can’t seem to rid myself off masturbation. Every other time I reach for my member.

    Debz seems not to have any regrets, I consider this striking sense of self awareness instead of denial, or worse still, ignorance.

    I can’t reveal my identify, clearly that’s a pointer of being stuck in a hole of denial. …No hole is deep enough for God not to fetch you from… I shall take this home.




    29
    • JB
      25.07.2017

      May God bring you out of that darkness soon. Do not give up. He cares.




      2
    • Nangi
      25.07.2017

      Hi Anyonymous 🙂

      Please email info@penstrokes.co.ke to get assistance.




      1
      • Julz
        21.08.2017

        LOL @ that email address.




        1
    • bumblebee
      25.07.2017

      I think any kind of addiction needs salvation.
      I may not know much but i can relate from a heart break.

      1. Admission. You admit you have a problem and you need help.
      2. Find another liking. A sport you enjoy, a board game?
      3. Find new friends. Nothing is more interesting than getting to know people all over again.
      4. Go to new places. Travel if you can. Swim more.




      1
    • Anonymous 2
      25.07.2017

      Porn can be really addictive man… Been struggling to stop the habit for quite a long time now.




      2
    • Emmanuel Mash
      03.08.2017

      @Anonymous, He Who Conquers Others is Strong, He who Conquers Himself is the Greatest Victor.




      0
    • Freddy
      17.08.2017

      Sure, alcoholism is that addiction or vice that you can open up about and almost be praised for because its considered cool and always comes with fun stories but porn/masturbation is a true killer of men. Kills the mind, body
      & spirit. Its one of those things, men can’t just open up about and its destroying their lives.

      Hopefully we can get more topics like these on this blog and hear guys stories of overcoming all kinds of addictions. More power to you good folks.




      0
  • Shiroh
    25.07.2017

    I am loving the 40’s series. So many lessons from each of them.




    2
  • Nimusiima Susan
    25.07.2017

    Oooh for the courage to open our fists!




    0
  • IsaacM
    25.07.2017

    In this life God will always give you a chance to make it in life, and most importantly a second chance!




    0
  • Kish
    25.07.2017

    Lovely piece!

    I want an interview too, Biko maybe you should do a series on 20’s people also… Surely there must be something we millenials see that oldies don’t :p




    11
    • Phanice
      25.07.2017

      how about we do oje with you… we talk to millennials and see what kind of stories they have




      0
  • Brand Lubian
    25.07.2017

    40’s people is just like gliding on Alladin’s carpet and knowing that perfection only happens on social media and movies




    5
  • Bett
    25.07.2017

    ‘Is your fist open?’….Strong words indeed.




    0
  • Faith
    25.07.2017

    The brothrel story I feel is so incomplete…..is it a legal business??




    0
    • Ava
      25.07.2017

      You should take a drive along kilimani and see the business advertised on adopt a light . they are advertised as massage parlors. I once answered an advertised job with them as a masseuse only to get their and realised it was not a spa. Biko don’t i have a story for you.




      3
  • Grace Yaa
    25.07.2017

    Debz’ story has touched me.
    I think she is a brilliant woman.

    More love to her family.




    1
  • Muthoni
    25.07.2017

    My goodness!!now that’s a graphic picture of alcoholism.Thanks Debz for sharing. Am sure this story will save somebody.Reading the story I thought how is she still alive??Truly there are no depths God cannot fetch you from.I salute you.




    0
  • Ava
    25.07.2017

    Deb’z just spoke to me. I just stepped on the 3rd floor feeling unfulfilled scared of the future. I do have something on my hand but fear of what if ,what if what if …what if. I believe i just got an answer, Biko see you when i step on to 40s and i tell you how my life changed when i read your article. I still want to read about your uncle.




    7
  • Lewis Martin
    25.07.2017

    Quiting alcohol is victory.
    Personally I wouldn’t consider myself an alcoholic but then when I went to my earlier written records, I had recorded three years ago that I wanted to quit alcohol. I don’t think I am successful this far.

    Alcohol is a real menace when you have seen someone you love in the death bed but all they want is alcohol. Even after the doctors tell him that he won’t survive when he goes on drinking. Well, it’s true that sikio la kufa halisikii dawa. I would be right to draw my conclusion that the renowned sikio la kufa is alcohol.

    Alcohol is blind and deaf, and it posses you so much that when you join it you become one and letting it go is a very huge victory.

    To those who have been able to win, I would play you the National anthem with a flag hoisted as you receive a medal of honour.




    9
  • JB
    25.07.2017

    Great read. I thank God with you. That whatsapp group you have is very important. It’s not easy to find people who do not kick you while you are down so hold on to them. You found success from what was in your hand, so many search for that in futility. Keep on keeping on.




    1
  • Ythera
    25.07.2017

    You can always tell when someone speaks from their heart and Debz has done it. This has been bookmarked to be one of the go-to stories of inspiration. More power to you Debz for allowing us to learn from you and to Biko for telling us her story.




    0
  • Abi
    25.07.2017

    I want to know why she regrets the tattoo.




    0
    • Anonymous loyal reader
      25.07.2017

      I think to answer you…its against the christian stand and teachings to put adorn one as you are fearfully and wonderfully created…My two pence thoughts




      1
  • @clif_the_tall
    25.07.2017

    wow. just wow! what more can I say? I know friends who are struggling with alcoholism and it is never easy. I hope they shall overcome one day. This piece is an inspiration to many i believe. keep on keeping on. The nuggets of wisdom in between are worth pondering on. Imejaza uzito tu! Thanks Biko for the 40’s edition. in every story i have read so far, there are lessons to learn about life. People go through much shit on their way to 40’s but the good thing is that it doesn’t break them down. It only makes them stronger.




    4
  • Mwesh
    25.07.2017

    People rise from the very basement of sewers.




    1
  • Elvira
    25.07.2017

    Second and third chances in life are rare. Big up Debz for and wishing you the best as you trudge on. May we all open our fists.




    0
  • Nairobi
    25.07.2017

    No hole is deep enough for God not to fetch you from. My biggest sermons have come from rather strange places. I got to acknowledge that.




    2
  • Debra
    25.07.2017

    Even though I aint good enough He still loves me!
    Debz, a step at a time.




    1
  • Leo
    25.07.2017

    Alcohol is a free solvent; dissolves marriages,families,careers and bank accounts!




    12
  • KK
    25.07.2017

    “She’s wearing this wonderful sweater that has no arms; you sort of just throw it over your neck. What are they called?” – A poncho?




    4
  • Kui1
    25.07.2017

    “You know, I can offer to make a cushion for those people who rush to your blog to say they are number one to comment. A nice little pillow with some writing on it. How about that”..No. U. Didn’t.!!!




    3
  • joyce
    25.07.2017

    am trying to quit drinking..i dont know if am denying it but i am not an alcoholic..am a social drinker that has not brought me any good..well done Debz




    0
    • Joy
      25.07.2017

      Get rid of your drinking friends maybe??




      0
    • Suleiman
      25.07.2017

      You won’t regret the efforts you put towards the right direction. You will overcome it, don’t give up.




      1
    • Suleiman
      25.07.2017

      You won’t regret the efforts you put towards the right direction. You will overcome it, don’t give up.




      1
  • Catherine Nyambura
    25.07.2017

    So God sends us down with gifts and talents clenched in our fists. I loooooove it.




    0
  • Wa Mso
    25.07.2017

    This hit home hard, “…she says, “You know when babies are born they are born holding fists, like this,” She shows me her fisted hands. “I think we all come to earth with a gift, a talent, a purpose and God sends us down holding those things in our hands. Some of us never open our fists. Some of us do. Is your fist open, Biko?”

    An inspiring story. I always feel sorry for people who drink to out-of-control levels but Debz’s story provides hope…never too big, never too late to quit. All the best Debz and thanks Biko.
    https://youtu.be/yXxomeId_dw




    0
  • Joy
    25.07.2017

    I’m speechless ; this one is deep. Debz, ulimpata Yesu and I assure you umepata yote. I pray that hubby finds Christ too.




    2
  • collins
    25.07.2017

    hey heee ma so if u r an alcoholic just continue spending your time in bars and after stick to your Tv and wait until ‘god speaks to you’ hoo pia mm nipewe pillow biko alipe kwan iko nene




    0
  • Machaa
    25.07.2017

    Nice read. What happened to this guy who was using a lent laptop? The one who was dumped by his girlfriend when things were thick as porridge?
    I hope he found his footing.




    2
    • Lilo
      25.07.2017

      Dickson Migiro?




      0
  • Passerby
    25.07.2017

    1.i love the word remand too.must have been coined by the colonialists ati it’s jang
    2.im glad debz managed to claw her way out of that life.i was once almost going down that road of alcoholism drinking 6days a week and thought It was cool nursing a hangie at work.a death of a boyfriend showed me my real pals and I clawed my Way out. am married with kids now too.luckily it was after the girl Days
    3.wonderfull close to the interview




    2
  • Mwanamali
    25.07.2017

    “You know when babies are born they are born holding fists, like this,” She shows me her fisted hands. “I think we all come to earth with a gift, a talent, a purpose and God sends us down holding those things in our hands. Some of us never open our fists. Some of us do. Is your fist open, Biko?”

    Maxine “Debz” Peku

    Some of the best words I have read this year.




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  • Mumbi
    25.07.2017

    Always a good read




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  • Don
    25.07.2017

    woi…in my late 20’s and just saw my current self in her with this alcohol thing.
    Kudos Biko for the eye opener……




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  • The Car Dealer
    25.07.2017

    Good read as always Biko. I have seen alcohol
    Mess people up for life. Talented young bright so much potential gone down the drain.
    Its a problem but we just act like its not.

    Am selling a Mustang 2017 and its yellow with a black spoiler, rims and grill.




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    • MyComicRelief
      25.07.2017

      Yesu! Ata kama ni kuhustle si you’ve taken it to another lever Mr./Madam Car Dealer?! You should include your phone number or something. How will we get to see that Mustang?




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  • Judy
    25.07.2017

    Thank you Biko and Debz represent a lot of people. Encouragement right there.




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  • Echesa
    25.07.2017

    one of those in the desert. and this is my water trough. have to quench my thirst here every Tuesday and snack in between on Saturdays frm ‘mantalk’. and u biko may never know the impact u have on our lives




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  • Eric Ndavi
    25.07.2017

    Wonderful, inspiring story. Well written, as usual.




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  • G.Oriwo
    25.07.2017

    People do quit alcohol.God listens to prayers.Chris did quit. He is my friend

    Those prayers our friends and family do, are priceless.#Maombihufika




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  • Ferdy
    25.07.2017

    “She tells me and I’m like, no effing way!” Tell us Biko, it’s us!




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  • Oyite Ojok
    25.07.2017

    Tibim, Tialala, Tiacha to this article
    Riaha




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  • Nyawira
    25.07.2017

    I think we all come to earth with a gift, a talent, a purpose and God sends us down holding those things in our hands. Some of us never open our fists. Some of us do. Is your fist open?

    I Looooooove it!




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  • Metumi
    25.07.2017

    Is your fist open




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  • Johnson
    25.07.2017

    Thank you for the inspiration.




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  • Mwalimu Adinasi
    25.07.2017

    Sadly I am a victim, am reading this while taking it easy on a glass of brown liquid




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  • Stephen
    25.07.2017

    Drunk stories are the absolute best. Like a movie you got to live in.




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  • Shawn
    25.07.2017

    This article right here, might be the very reason for my quitting the bottle… This is a blessing!




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  • Enis
    25.07.2017

    I hate when people don’t get my puns too. or when I ask a question whose answer helps me land the pun but they change the topic




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  • Tasha
    25.07.2017

    Love this read.

    But from Debz it sounds like alcoholism is one wild adventure, with no regrets. If anything, you get epic drunk stories to tell for the rest of your life. I think Debz’ turning point should have been when the kid asked about them dying. What about the sober people around alcoholics? Those dependent on them. We are directly affected by the ignorant decisions made by them. Are alcoholics selfish?? The damage that Biko is asking about, it’s there and its real. Are alcoholics too selfish to care about this?




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    • MyComicRelief
      25.07.2017

      Alcoholism is addiction; addiction is a disease. The person does not have the reasoning capacity to consider if they are selfish or not. Unfortunately their actions affect more than just them – it affects people who love them and care for them. If you listen to an Alcoholic the morning after a bad episode, you’d think they will never touch a bottle again. They realize that they are wrecking their lives and those of others; but they are seemingly unable to do anything about it. It is not that they do not care. They do. But addiction wins.




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    • Winnie Muchiri
      25.07.2017

      Alcoholism, a disease, renders you almost incapable of doing what you are supposed to do when you care.




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  • Ciru
    25.07.2017

    Beautiful. The last paragraph took my breathe away ‘No hole is deep enough for God not to fetch you from. Reach out. You are not forsaken until you forsake yourself. Open your fists.’….just do on point!




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  • Karis imela
    25.07.2017

    Inspirational! Considering the fact that i have travelled that road, i feel you Debz




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  • moh
    25.07.2017

    Am speechless,i also hope and pray that someone close to me changes.




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  • Victor mbuki
    25.07.2017

    This sunk in me,its the modern teaching of values and lessons, just from testimonies -i can think twice,maybe even thrice before i take a tot.Peer pressure is real,you in the 30’s, 40’s
    Share this stories, we in our 20’s will be pre-aware of the aftermath after a-to-please-drinking nightout or house party




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  • Jacqueline
    25.07.2017

    Amazing story




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  • Miriam Mwangi
    25.07.2017

    This is soo deep! ” Yes.” She stops and I see her drift away from me in thought, like incense towards the ceiling. I let her. She stares intensely at one spot. Eventually I intrude in her thoughts and ask her what she’s thinking and she says, “You know when babies are born they are born holding fists, like this,” She shows me her fisted hands. “I think we all come to earth with a gift, a talent, a purpose and God sends us down holding those things in our hands. Some of us never open our fists. Some of us do. Is your fist open, Biko?”




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  • Redempta Bisangwa
    25.07.2017

    I am glad i read this at the end of my day, in no rush! What encouragement this is. I have a young brother struggling with acoholism and ask of us turned our backs on him but from Debs story, i will find out his number and call him n encourage him : No hole is deep enough for God not to fetch you from.
    All the best Debz, and thank you Biko for these series in particular, such eye openers! Cant wait to be 40




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  • Gerard N
    26.07.2017

    Quite an inspiring piece…it’s never too late to pick oneself up and start over again..




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  • Njoki
    26.07.2017

    I’ve clenched my fist and opened it… Looked at my son sleeping soundly and I remebered that very first moment the nurse brought him to me, saying its a boy, weighing ….. Having…. All that stuff they say to u, but excitement, relief, anxiety, a joy beyond description, drowsiness (after effects of the theater) are all what’s going inside your mind.. And I’ve remembered looking at the little one and seeing his fist clenched.. Yes we come with them closed and some of us open them, others never do.. Kudos Debz for opening up your fist and grabbing the needle and thread to make a stitch.. They say a stitch in time saves nine and yours sure did save the nine. God continue granting you the strength of distancing yourself completely from alcoholism and may He work His miracles upon your husband so that he too can quit it..

    Biko thank you for this awesome piece. My second favourite on the 40’s articles.. After Pain and Pen…

    PS: Hope the avocados came your way…




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  • Martin Fundi
    26.07.2017

    Inspiring story. Nice read, i would like to see the pillows.




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  • Wango
    26.07.2017

    No fancy lingo here or English words most Kenyans would grab a dictionary for . I love this blog. Every story is a masterpiece. A reflection of humanity. Love loooove.




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  • Nancy Mutekwa
    26.07.2017

    God is the author and finisher of our lives no matter what you go through His watching and ready to fetch you if only you allow Him to. what a friend we have in Jesus! what an inspiring story!




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  • Susan
    26.07.2017

    Great job Biko……..I am so loving this 40s series. The next one is eagerly awaited.




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  • Nyambura
    26.07.2017

    I am not sure why this has made me cry…….am proud of you Debz




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  • Faridah Shiku
    26.07.2017

    “Open your fist” … touche’. Love that connotation in the story… happy for the happy ending! 🙂




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  • Dave
    26.07.2017

    Great great lessons to learn from this piece. Thank you Debz for sharing your story. My take home is this. Whatever is causing you worry or pain right now won’t cause you worry and pain forever. Time heals. Things change. It will pass.




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  • Shish
    26.07.2017

    It was interesting to note that she stayed with her husband after quitting alcohol, in my imagination I thought that it would be strenuous to lead complete different lives or to try and reconnect as a couple while both having different views. Not too worried about the kids though most children are able to pick life lessons from parents and lead an alternative life and she is an active part of their day to day now
    PS: CUSHION IKUJE BILL ITUMWE




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  • Kanyuira
    26.07.2017

    I normally restrain myself from the comment box…but this article has a special touch..kind of a healing effect. I love you Debz already. Can i make my order?




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  • Sheri
    26.07.2017

    Good piece




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  • Deep stuff
    i think we all come to earth with a gift, a talent, a purpose and God sends us down holding those things in our hands. Some of us never open our fists. Some of us do. Is your fist open?




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  • Karao Waweru
    27.07.2017

    First off, hats off to our lady of the hour Debbz for pulling herself out that piece of hell. Lord knows it’s easier said than done. 99% off people who drink are not new to that head splitting hangie you wake up with after a night of binge drinking and swear to the high heavens and departed ancestors, as you regurgitate last night’s sambuka, that you will never again touch a drink. Ofcourse after you recover, that becomes another war story shared with the wolf pack over a boti of James’ son (Jameson). I especially loved the part she so succinctly observes how this city is littered with functioning alcoholics. We manage it by reducing it to another twitter trend, and wear it as badge of identity “our thing”, with a hint of alluring appeal. A “must” experience. The thing that sets Nairobi drinking apart from the elsewhere’s of the world’s type of drinking. That and the overlapping, lewd, mannerisms of the city’s driving that we refer to with an Ora of pride and adoration in statements like, “if you can drive in Nairobi, you can drive anywhere in the world” The effing nerve!!!. The truth is alcoholism cuts across social demographics all over this country. The misguided assumptions that it’s only the bottom half falling victim to alcoholism’s clutches is deeply disconcerting. Let’s this conversation. As always, great piece m8.




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  • petty
    27.07.2017

    Just like new born babies we all come to earth with a gift, a talent, a purpose and God sends us down holding those things in our hands. Some of us never open our fists. Some of us do. . . . . . . . . .
    That’s the *Parting shot* of that article, very deep and challenging excerpt that makes you want to sit and think of what you have done with your life!




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  • Spota
    27.07.2017

    Great piece as always, i feel like every other story in the series is like a season finale… ‘ is you fist open’




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  • Vianney
    27.07.2017

    “You know when babies are born they are born holding fists, like this,” She shows me her fisted hands. “I think we all come to earth with a gift, a talent, a purpose and God sends us down holding those things in our hands. Some of us never open our fists. Some of us do. Is your fist open,
    POWERFUL.




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  • victor nyakundi
    27.07.2017

    Biko I can only say that you are indeed a blessing…no other way to describe yohmu and may God keep giving you strength and Intellect to write..




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  • Dennis Mwendwa
    28.07.2017

    good read Biko,i have seen people take this path of alcoholism and how it can mess up things.I’m glad she made it back to sobriety may GOD bless her more.




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  • Ruf
    28.07.2017

    Am I the only one who missed something in the story. Debbz was driving her friends car when she was taken to Remand. Her husband found a drunk man (the self declared boyfriend) “holding her beaded keys”???




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  • Robert Muhavi
    28.07.2017

    Anyway while I sat stitching, the TV evangelist was talking about Moses and how he was reluctant to go to Egypt to go free the Israelites and He asked Moses what he was carrying and he said he was carrying a staff which God said he would use to bring his people back. At that time I heard the TV evangelist or someone ask me, ‘Debz what is in your hands?” and I looked and it was a needle and thread…”




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  • Mwakisha Makoko
    28.07.2017

    “recovering alcoholic clean for almost eight years now” isn’t that enough time for your uncle to be classified as healed.
    Nice read as always loved it.




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  • Wangari Muriithi
    30.07.2017

    Eti “don’t stop, run over that roadblock!”
    Pure, utter madness.
    Yaani there people who watch Rambo movies and think they can pull these stunts in real lives.
    Truly and surely God keeps us safe in his hands.

    Great read Biko. Debbz you are doing fine.




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  • ShirleyG
    30.07.2017

    Good read. Debz’s hubby if you ever find time to read this just know that Debz is reaching out. Give her an ear.




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  • James
    31.07.2017

    I looked at the story again today and noticed how ”we” perceive success without necessarily looking deeply at how the people we admire/ look up to made their money or earn a living. Its high time we changed our perspective of what is important in life.




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  • Pasomi
    02.08.2017

    Opening my fist, and letting go of stuff I need to let go of. Thanks, Biko and Debz.




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  • Felix Got Words
    04.08.2017

    I can remember back in 2009 when I was just completing my secondary studies, this was the first time I started drinking. It started with four sips of hard Vodka.

    Then I’d go to campus & every Friday, because of the thrill and peer pressure we’d binge-drink from 4pm to 6am on Saturday. First year, second year. By the time I was halfway in my third year I was ten strokes deep into alcoholism.

    You can imagine you’re in campus with no income, Just fraud money obtained from parents only meant for buying alcohol.

    Going to lectures when drunk, absconding lectures to spend time at the bars. Debts at the bars, selling personal items like laptops to buy Vodka.

    By the time I was doing my attachment in a service industry, we’d drink daily and on Friday’s a senior manager by then would offer to buy a bottle or five.

    After campus same trend and I’m struggling to get a job because I spend my entire time at the bar.

    Alcoholics know this is because of peer pressure & boredom.

    And Biko, can you help me get a job?

    Congratulations to you debz. This is inspiring.




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  • Jennifer A. Okech
    04.08.2017

    Thank you Biko. May this story inspire somebody to quit the bottle, nothing is impossible. And the bit about getting rid of drinking buddies, that advice applies to non alcoholics as well, we all need to get rid of junk friends to get better in life.




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  • Kelly
    16.08.2017

    Remind me to read this story for someone on 25th september. i have my reasons why.

    Greetings from kampala




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  • Reading through this I couldn’t help but relate to everything Debz was saying and going through, when your time has come it has come and it is never too late to discover your purpose. You are where you are supposed to be and every event is taking you to the next. Lovely read.




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  • Crossroads
    21.08.2017

    First off, kudos to Debz. She’s got the strength and courage of David when he faced Goliath.
    The story has hit me like a ton of bricks- your typical functional-drunk Nairobian enjoying life without giving a hoot about the consequences. I’m now sitting here afraid of tomorrow morning and what it will bring. One thing’s for sure- all actions have consequences and I/we need to be prepared for a proper beating before seeing the light.
    Keep fighting soldiers.




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  • Cheptoo Cece
    22.08.2017

    Hold up!
    Biko are you just leaving me hanging without the actual name of the person Madame mentioned while at Hurlingham??
    Is it the hubby? Is it the EX?
    .
    Those puns are just blowing my chains right now.
    The part that got me laughing hysterically {Now I have to explain to my boss what’s so funny}, is the part where she makes a wrong turn and drives to Limuru just because Rum is sweeter. Keep them coming.
    .
    FOODIES: http://www.tastiedine.com




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  • Gem
    22.08.2017

    I see Gods’ grace all over this story..

    ***No hole is deep enough for God not to fetch you from. Reach out. You are not forsaken until you forsake yourself.” ***




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  • Dee
    25.08.2017

    “……… mostly driven by cliques and these people derive energy from each other. People in this town don’t want to feel left out. You don’t want to hear of a party that happened without you. Mostly I would do these things just to please my friends. So I drunk to belong.”

    There is just something about these statements…it stirred lots of memories man!… (Doing stuff to belong and all other people-pleasing tendencies )…

    Debz thanks for the honoring us with your story and Biko thanks for always telling these experiences and lessons with such a vivid imagination!

    *How does anyone not read this blog?* (thinking out loud)




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  • Mideva
    29.08.2017

    I have been reading Biko’s blog for quite a while, Never commented (dunno why). But this one has really left its mark. God bless you Biko.




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  • grammarnazi
    30.08.2017

    Biko- Wacha kuniaibisha boss. Ama ni mimi najianika:

    Drink – drank – drunk
    Drink is the present – I like to drink coffee.
    Drank is the simple past – She hasn’t drank in 2 years.
    Drunk is the past participle, used for the present perfect and past perfect – I have never drunk coffee, I had never drunk coffee. Also used as an adjective when referring to people who drink.




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  • Thomas
    02.09.2017

    Great post! Have nice day ! 🙂 tquqf




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  • Guchu
    03.10.2017

    Hii story ya Debz is very familiar. I used to be in that vicious cycle in my mid 20s. I would drink an entire weekend and operate my Mum’s home like a lojo…. eat and sleep. I have a loose bladder and some nights id wet my bed and hide it in shame. My Mum would find out and fix it quietly. You would think that would be a low moment for me but even that did not stop me. And the only person who knew was my Mum so what the heck… Lucky for me God intervened in my self destruction when i was 25 and in 2005 i joined the diaspora club (Australia) where i still live today. My drinking habits didnt stop but not being around my drinking pals in Nai, stuck in a boring city where music and clubbing was different from the vibrant drinking culture in Nairobi slowed down my habit ..slow enough to see the problem in Nairobi every time i come over that way on holidays. I know of friends and relas in Kenya who are deeply affected. In 2013 i tried helping my cuzo and no one i spoke to either to help or to help me help him could actually bring themselves to accept the problem and call it by its jina….ALCOHOLIC. I love my Cuz like a brother but i couldn’t help him. One thing i love about majuu is that they put hard labels on these things and create an acceptable system to address the problem. I am so happy for Debz because God is our only refuge. For me, I recently found God and when I look back, its just by Grace alone He removed things that facilitated my drinking. Money, friends, relas, geograpghy. Thank you Biko. I love your blog.




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