The deaths of Hollywood A-listers like Avicii, Chester Bennington, designer Kate Spade, Robin Williams and chef and TV host Anthony Bourdain by their own hands shocked many.
7 Kenyan celebrities who have opened up about being suicidal and depressed (Photos)
I wanted to blow my brains out - Anita Nderu.
It also brought the focus on mental health issues not only among the crème de la crème of entertainment but also how depression is becoming a major health concern among the public.
Closer home, some Kenyan celebrities have opened up about dealing with depression, attempting suicide and suicidal ideation.
And today we look at some of them.
The Voice of America correspondent has battled depression and anxiety since the age of 14.
“I have struggled with depression and anxiety since I was a teenager. I started seeing a therapist at 14 years in high school. I kept running away from school and I didn’t understand why. My parents wakanipeleka Kijabe wakaniambia kaa huko! Walikua wananidrop shule wananikuta home, I went to Rift Valley Academy. It started a long time ago and it’s something you struggle with for the rest of your life its not something that can be cured, I have been on medication before, I am not currently. Sometimes life happens and the way you react as someone who struggles with anxiety and depression is that you can be a little extra than a regular person. I have been through some dark times,” she said on Radio Jambo.
The Hot 96 presenter sunk into depression after a rape ordeal at Jevanjee Gardens after she ran away from home due to the harsh nature of her mother. After the horrific ordeal, she returned home a very different person.
“I became a different person, I stopped talking a lot. I became a weird person. I smoked weed, did work and I didn’t talk. So my mum was like something must have happened to cause the change. I became very reserved and I tried suicide 5 times. I was so wishing to die,” she said during an interview with Pulse Live.
Annitah revealed that she still struggles with depressive episodes, “I am still broken, I don’t lie to people that I am okay, noo! Sometimes I have a bad day and I don’t want to wake up at all as I don’t see the sense in walking up. And sometimes wake up I have the energy.”
Annitah disclosed that by opening up, she hopes to help other people like her who have been through a similar ordeal.
Kansoul member Mejja battled depression after his wife left with his child while he was away on a business meeting. This sent him into a downward spiral of depression and at some point, he contemplated suicide.
“Suicide is a thought that crosses your mind, I can’t deny that. You feel suicidal because you look at other people’s happy lives and you feel that there is something wrong with your life. It crossed my mind but there was a friend of mine who would come and we would hang out and when the suicidal thoughts crossed my mind we would start talking about stuff like football so he kept me busy and away from my thoughts. But the problem was at night because the negative thoughts would creep in when you are alone. I rarely slept at night,” he revealed on Radio Jambo.
“It’s good to talk about depression, if you have friends reach out, call them, and see them physically because they lie sometimes that they are okay and they are not… And don’t believe everything you see on social media, because if I didn’t tell you my story you would never know. Don't wish for someone's life because you don’t know their story,” Mejja advised.
Do not be fooled by the smile she wears whenever you see her. Anita Nderu has been through some tough times and even considered suicide because of how bad things had gotten.
“I cried myself to sleep and cried every morning, my eyes were always puffy. I would RSVP yes to events, hire gowns etc then not go because I did not want to be around people plus my eyes were puffy and I didn’t want to answer all the ‘Are you okay’ questions. The people who caused all this, still sleep soundly at night, I don't get how but they do. To each their demons right? Above all even the one night I cried so much I contemplated killing myself, guys I wanted to blow my brains out, I remember only @dunn_can thought I wasn't okay that night when he saw me. I asked myself, are they worth it? No. God has a plan, he always does just hang in there boo. I recently addressed this issue in a WhatsApp group, the person supposed to be impartial was so rude, I cried even more,” Anita disclosed.
The ‘Beat Box Live’ DJ went through depression t the worst time ever, during her pregnancy. A situation that prevented her from gaining weight and when she was 4 months pregnant, she weighed only 49 Kgs.
“It was terrible, I could not even gain weight and at 4 months pregnant, I was 49 Kgs.I couldn’t gain weight, I was not eating. The good thing is that my family is very close and when they realized I was going through depression, my sister moved in with me. I had a support system. Polepole, I started getting over it and after giving birth, 3 months later I started gaining weight. I ate njahĩs, ugali...as I was breastfeeding. Depression iliniingia mbaya sana, but I got out stronger,” she confessed on Radio Jambo.
The Crossover 101 TV host tried committing suicide in Class 8 and once again in Form 3. She took 18 Amoxil pills while in class 8 and in form 3 she decided to take her life once again and this time she upped the dose.
“In form 3, I took 35 pills this time because 18 didn’t kill me so 35 will. People did not understand why a 17-year-old would be committing suicide, why a 14-year-old would commit suicide,” She said.
Ekirapa disclosed that she felt like she was surrounded by constant negativity and people thought that she was faking her sickness to avoid school. Factors which made her feel like a burden.
“For me, it was the constant negativity around me. I grew up as a sickly child and people around me always thought I was faking sickness to get out of school. My own parent didn’t believe me and I thought ‘You know what, I am a burden so how about I just take my own life.’ and I tried twice but I didn’t die and I remember countlessly asking God why didn’t I die, why didn’t you take me?” she confessed.
Kiss 100’s Chito Ndlovu also opened up on a social media post about being severely depressed and attempting suicide 3 times.
“There is a time I tried to take my own life three times. I tried 3 times, I successfully failed. I was so deeply depressed, I didn’t want to hear about God, I didn’t want to hear a verse and it all didn’t make sense. At that point in my life, God felt far from me. I was in such a dark place I can’t even dare imagine going back there. Many of my friends had been ripped from my proximity by events but now I see it was God saving me.
Something else that brought tears to my eyes is; I was called every 3 months for 2 years since 2014 by the Programs Controller of Kiss FM to come and work for the organization. Every time we were about to seal the deal something stalled. I remember praying with my whole heart for God to open this door and it seemed far from me.
The day my appointment letter was being printed, it was printed among over 100 termination letters. While I was getting a new job over 100 people had just lost a source of income. Man can’t do that, God is the only one who can do such a thing. And here I am living that answered prayer, the thing I prayed is where I am. It gets my spirit excited like I am here for the time,” Chito disclosed.
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