I was deported from Dubai because of alcoholism
By - Jan 1st 1970
LAWRENCE NYAGA got a chance to work in Dubai as a tour guide but alcohol made him get deported with only Sh200 to his name. He shares his regrets with JAEL MUSUMBA on why youth should avoid alcohol.
When and how did you find your way into alcoholism?
It’s been years since I started drinking. I come from a well-off family where I got what I wanted.
I was also introduced to business at an early age – I used to manage my mother’s shop, so money was not a problem. After my primary education, I went to a boarding secondary school where food was an issue and worse of rules were so harsh.
I struggled to fit in. While in Form Two I dropped out and started doing odd jobs.
I was ostracised by my family after efforts to take me back to school failed. I ran away and was employed to be offloading lorries. It’s here that I was introduced to alcohol. My friends a few glasses would help speed up work. Before I knew it, it became a routine.
Back home, my family wasn’t happy with my decision to drop out of school.
One day, armed robbers broke into our home and stole some items. I was the prime suspect. I was taken into custody for interrogation. To be released I was told to name my accomplices. I was desperate for freedom since I was innocent but nobody believed me. I lied to them that I was with a friend and gave his name. That’s how I was taken to jail.
After serving two years, my family empathised with me and decided to pardon me on condition that I go back to school. I agreed.
So did you go back to school?
After I was released, I enrolled in school and even sat my Form Four exams, after which I studied marketing. I got a job in one of the book publishers which paid me so well I slid back to alcoholism.
I later moved to another firm as the Nairobi region coordinator at salary of over Sh70,000 – back then that was a lot of money. So with zero responsibilities, alcohol became my job.
I drank to a point I started vomiting greenish stuff. It never occurred to me that my health was becoming affected. One time, I lost consciousness when I was coming from the airport. Luckily the conductor of the matatu dropped me at Guru Nanak Hospital gate. A good Samaritan rushed me inside the hospital.
When I woke up, before I could figure out where I was, a doctor asked for my next of kin contacts. I gave my wife’s number thinking that they probably wanted someone to take me home. When she came, an ambulance was outside waiting for my emergency transfer.
This happened just a few days before my trip to Dubai. I tried to resist but my body gave in. I passed out and that’s how I ended up at Kenyatta Hospital in an emergency unit.
What had taken you to Kenyatta Hospital?
I was to start dialysis immediately because my body organs had started shutting down one by one. Miraculously, the day I was to be operated on, I woke up and started talking and walking. Even the doctors were shocked. The doctor who was to operate on me couldn’t believe it.
I left hospital after few days with a warning never to taste alcohol or else I would die.
And did you heed the advice?
Actually a week after my discharge, the day I was to fly to Dubai, I drank whisky and told myself that if I die then let me die in the skies.
I laughed off as I didn’t die and drank some more. I even alighted with few bottles.
Did you continue drinking?
Yes, I landed safely got a good job as a tour guide but alcohol robbed me of it. I was sacked after two years. I ended up being an alcohol vendor after spending all my severance pay. Worse came to worst, I was deported after several cases of assault. I was so violent while drunk.
Did you come with anything?
I came back with nothing other than 200 shillings that a friend gave me. I had to take matatu town from the airport. All my years in Dubai were wasted because of alcohol.
How was the reception at home?
I got in town totally drunk. It took me time before I adjusted and became sober. Even though I stopped drinking, I regret wasting my time on alcohol. I’m still trying to recollect myself but a lot is in a mess.
I would like to advise youths to avoid alcohol as it will rob them of their future.