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 as a result 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 into drains.
“My childhood dream was cut short by alcoholism,” he said.
Chacha remembers how he used to miss work before his firing; something he says was contributed by alcoholism. He says at times he could miss from 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. So, when. I was fired, I could get into alcoholism even more,” he narrates.
Chacha is one of the beneficiaries of Pastor Dorcas Rigathi’s rehabilitation program. He underwent rehabilitation with 79 others at the ASK Grounds in a rehabilitation Centre that had been setup by Pastor Dorcas a few weeks ago.
The renowned journalist says when he heard Pastor Dorcas was running a rehabilitation program to the youth in alcoholism, drugs and substance abuse in Nairobi’s Dagoreti area he wouldn’t hesitate to join the program. The program started by screening of over 500 youth in Dagoreti with 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 the Pastor Dorcas’ rehabilitation program after a successful rehabilitation.
“We have learnt a lot about life from the rehabilitation program. It was my own 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 to 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 learnt but learnt the hard way, but I have reformed,” he says.