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Oliver Mathenge: I’d drink a bottle of whisky alone in one sitting

By NYABOGA KIAGE November 13th, 2018 2 min read

Journalist Oliver Mathenge has offered fresh information about battling with alcohol addiction, revealing that he would spend up to Sh80,000 in a night.

Appearing on NTV, Mr Mathenge narrated how he was completely hooked to the bottle, even considering quitting his job in 2016.

The journalist further said he could drown a whole bottle of whisky in the house alone before going out for more.

He said that he was unable to open up on the matter as it resulted in conflicts in his home.


“In the beginning, I couldn’t talk about my past, the violence in my home, the suicide attempts and the things I had done to hurt other people. When it got to 100 days, that is when I told my story,” Mr Mathenge said.

He said that he used to drink not because it was fun but because it was the only way of escaping his problems.

According to Mr Mathenge, when one takes alcohol they do not realise that they are messing up.

It was not the first time Mr Mathenge opened up about his dark days.


Previously, he has even opened up on how he was addicted to smoking.

Kenyans on Twitter camped on his timeline to celebrate his achievement after he stopped drinking.

Here are some of the reactions:

Catherine Waweru said: “Bold, determined, courageous.”

Tinnah Gathoni said: “I listened to you and just felt so encouraged. Amidst this storm, my strength has been renewed. As you told me, this too shall pass.”

PAUL OTIENO ONYANGO added: “What a story guy. I think, the secret to all this is powerful phrase “Hey, I need to change from this” You talk of “that is when I realised.”

In a past interview, Mr Mathenge recalled how he could not survive a day without alcohol unless he was too hangovered to get out of bed.

“In between the day in the office, I would go out to have a few shots of whatever drink I thought my system needed. Some Fridays, drinking would start as early as midday and would sometime go on until Sunday (Yes, I would spend two days in bars like that’s all about life). I was a slave,” he said.

And that left him with huge debts running into hundreds of thousands of shillings.

“I was breaking down. I messed up family and social relationships. I was messing up my job (until God decided I needed greater responsibilities to keep me in check). I suffered uncountable meltdowns. I sunk into debt (deep – as in deep to hundreds of thousands) as I sought to finance a champagne life on beer money,” he said.