Let's be honest, we have an alcohol problem

Friday October 11 2019

Alcoholism is a touchy topic. Few people want to admit that someone in their lives has a problem with the bottle. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP


In the history of September, this has been an extraordinary one.

It's been sunny, meaning that sundresses have come out to play. There hasn't been a corruption scandal every week as we are used to but even better, it has been party season.

This September, you partied whether you wanted to or not. You would wake up and alcohol will be at your doorstep.

‘Cement-crazy Twitter' hasn't yet asked us to calculate how many sacks of cement we could have bought using the money we spent to buy a bottle of whisky. They are the evangelicals against liquor.

Since I can't see any stones in their pockets or cement in their cars, it's safe to say that not drinking alcohol hasn't brought the financial awakening they speak about.

Imagine staying home because you think you would be wasting money drinking and then still being broke? That could never be me.



This was the month, revellers watched all the artistes they could stomach. The same Nairobi people who pretend to be broke every day seemed to find miraculous money, perhaps from a money fairy after leaving a bunch of lies under the pillow.

Everyone seemed to be buying everyone else drinks and we all know there's nothing sweeter than drinking on someone else's budget.

It is the same joy those KRA guys get when they look up Instagram businesses, pretend they would want to place an order, get their physical location, and slap them with a huge tax demand.

Maybe at some point we will figure out that this country is broke? Okay, maybe not today. Anyway, I digress. September has also been the time when people can drink without judgment.

A full month where you could post party pictures and everyone would be envious and jealous of the good time you're having.

This was the month where those Tusker promo t-shirts found greater meaning than their pajamas and where beer bellies were cool again. Unless you are old Kikuyu money, in which case your belly is always sexy all year round.


It's also the month when I realised that we might need to have some tough talk with our friends about how much they drink.

While a few days of fun isn't harmful, we need to get the courage and talk to that friend who seems like the prime candidate for an alcoholics anonymous billboard.

We all know that one guy who parties hard owns the bragging rights for high alcohol tolerance, but is always above the sobriety limits. We know he goes overboard, but why do we choose to stay silent?

Not too many of my friends have gone to rehab apart from Mudendezo, son of John Peter (He likes his name pronounced in full).

The only reason he went to rehab is that he comes from a prominent family and when pictures of him blacked out in a car surfaced on social media, he got an ultimatum. Either he goes or else ...!

He has gone back a few times but he's now the head of his father's empire that is as big as a country.


It's a touchy topic this one. You don't want to admit that someone in your life has a problem with the bottle.

Maybe it's because it reminds you of the fact that your father probably was a drunkard or maybe alcoholism is something that happens to other people, not your friends?

Or maybe you don't consider alcoholism an actual disease but more of a lack of self-control? ‘Ugonjwa ya Pombe' doesn't sound like a bad thing and neither does it sound like one needing immediate attention.

You know that friend who drinks every day or every other day? It might be that guy who was hitting on you, but you later learnt that they knew more about bartenders than actual tenders?


It might be that friend who tells you that he drinks socially, but does six days a week qualify as socially?

You can't confront him. You hope that they're going through a phase and that they will get better. That was four years ago. They're not better.

Many men are going through life self-medicating, but because they are the life of the party very few people can tell that they are fighting devils of their own.

That friend you're thinking about when you read this needs your help. As a matter of fact.