If you grew up in the lower echelons of this Nairobi, it goes without saying that you absolutely adored Omosh’s character on Tahidi High
The sheng, the no-nonsense attitude that bordered arrogance ad the ability to hustle spoke of the lives some of us were inured to
It was thus shocking to watch the viral clip of Omosh crying during an interview as he narrated his predicament. It was hard reconciling the hardened gardener with the frail, beaten man absolutely bludgeoned by life
The actor revealed that he took a hit financially following the outbreak of Covid-19 and the show’s cancellation in 2020.
“All this time I have been jobless without any source of income. I had tried other gigs but they did not materialize. It has been a tough journey, especially now with the pandemic,” said Omosh.
The father of three divulged that he used to earn about Sh18,000 per episode on Tahidi High.
“I cannot provide for my children – they are now wondering what I have become… It’s true that I have a family; I am sure my sister and friends have seen or heard all this, but I don’t want to be a bother to anyone because they also have their own issues,” he added.
“I just want a job, even if I will be getting Ksh200 a day. I don’t mind about class and even if someone decides to start a hotel business where I can sell uji and tea, I am okay with that. There is nothing as hard as waking up every morning and there is nowhere I am going. You see people going to work and coming back and you have nowhere to go. It is very painful,” Omosh cried out.
He went on to deny reports that he had a relapse and affirmed that he has been off alcohol after seeking treatment at a rehabilitation center.
“I used to be a drunkard for so many years. I tried to overcome it to no success. But my sister came and took me to rehab for 3 months, and after that, I changed. I was a changed person after the three months, I had even added some weight.”
Well, after being hosted on Bonga na Jalas, well-wishers came through for him and he is now building his own hoise.
His co-actor Benard Mwangi, famously known for his role as Mr. Mweposi in the popular TV series Tahidi High, also opened up on his battle with alcoholism and how unfavorable acting conditions have led actors to live their lives without proper planning.
Speaking during a recent interview with Managemente Synergy, Benard admitted to battling alcoholism for years before deciding to quit and get his life and family in order.
Before indulging in alcohol, Benard revealed that he was a staunch believer who often preached the word of God. It was until he joined the production that things started going south for him.
“In all my youth, I never consumed alcohol. I was a very upright person that loved God and even preached his word here and there. Even when I was joining Tahidi High, I was very clean, but unfortunately, I slipped. It was while I was acting in Tahidi High that I started taking alcohol. But it got worse in 2011 when my family split. Owing to this fact I became depressed and sunk deeper into alcohol,” he said.
Having experienced the ups and downs of the film industry Benard, who was working with Citizen TV on contract, says he exhausted his deal and was left with nothing but his acting career to care for his family. According to him, the inconsistent and underpayment that came with the job only drove him deeper into alcoholism and consequently depression.
“Before Tahidi High, I was working with Citizen TV on a contract basis. I had hoped to venture into news reporting and get a permanent position, but that didn’t happen. So when my contract ended, I was left jobless and at the same time needed to provide for my family. I was already known out there as an actor and people expected so much from me, including my family and friends.
“I don’t think I will ever go back to mainstream acting because first of all, we as actors get really frustrated when it comes to getting paid. You have a big name out there but no money in your pocket. There are very many talented actors here in Kenya, problem is that they pay. It is very little and untimely. Yes, they make a name for you, but when you really get to understand what actors go through, you’d opt to get employed in a different field where you will be assured of a constant pay,” he said.
According to Benard, all he needs is financial assistance to expand his chili farm to get a livelihood.
“I’d like to appeal to Kenyans to help me expand my agri-business. I’m interested in planting chilies for export purposes and would appreciate if someone gifted me the seeds,” he said.
A number of other actors from Tahidi High have come out to share their battle with alcoholism and depression that came about soon after their exit from the show, a cause that has raised concerns among their fans.
Angel Waruinge, popularly known to her fans as Miss Morgan, came out to admit her battle with depression and alcoholism.
Speaking during a recent interview with media personality Massawe Japanni on Radio Jambo, Miss Morgan addressed the rise of addiction cases among Tahidi High cast members explaining that most individuals at the time had all the money and time to engage in any form of leisure which mainly revolved around alcohol consumption.
She however asked Kenyans to stop targeting Tahidi High actors as there are other individuals in the same state only that they have not come out to speak.
“I don’t know why they are targeting Tahidi High and please they should leave us alone. In the beginning, Tahidi High was for the longest time the top show around 2005, 2006. Alcohol came in as a form of enjoyment.
“You are young, you are famous, and you have money not to forget getting attention from everywhere including high-end people. The reason why people are getting away now is that there are so many other things to watch. During our time it was just KTN, Citizen, Nation, nothing else,” she said.
Opening up on her own struggle, Miss Morgan went on to state that most people in the showbiz industry face depression due to their unpreparedness when it comes to dealing with fame and money.
“I honestly don’t know what caused my depression. I just felt the need to come out and speak on my struggle with depression and also alcoholism, especially in our industry. Let me speak for myself, I think most celebrities fall into depression, number one because they are not prepared for fame. When you are famous you become an easy target and people will judge you for the simplest thing. So you end living life as per the expectations of society whilst trying to be yourself.
“Because of this you go home and put down the mask you have been wearing the whole day to fit in and yet that is not who you are…. I am not Miss Morgan, I am Angel Waruinge, those are two very different people,” she said.
For Angel, separating her celebrity life from her personal life proved to be a hustle that ended up affecting her immensely.
“Depression for me was empty. And before anything Massawe I want you to stop calling me Miss Morgan, I am not Miss Morgan. I am not that perfect woman you see on TV I’m probably perfect in my own way as Angel. For the longest time, I had to try to separate those two people, living as Angel and as Miss Morgan and it affected me a lot. Expectations from so many people,” she explained.
Touching on her massive weight loss, the actress admitted to wanting to lose weight for the longest time as it affected her self-esteem and ability to land job opportunities.
“My weight made me have very low self-esteem and not only that, it cost me so many job opportunities. I was plus-size, light-skinned with a babyface, that didn’t favor me,” she said.