Former ‘Mali’ actor Kevin Samuel who is also Janet Mbugua’s older brother has opened up about his struggle with mental illness. This was during an episode of Janet’s new show Here and Now.

Kevin revealed that in July 2018 he remembers waking up in a room he had known as his home for months and he couldn’t recognize where he was. Things got progressively worse from that moment and in December 2018 he flew back home and checked into rehab.

 “Things seemed to get progressively worse and eventually on Christmas I called my family and I told them I needed to come home. And I got back her checked myself into rehab in February and it has been 4 months into beings sober,” Kevin said.

Kevin during the interview (YouTube)
Kevin during the interview (YouTube)

The actor said that the 2018 episode was when he learnt that he had been struggling with mental health for a long time. “Last year is when I started realizing what the actual problem was. I think my struggles with mental health go all the way up to my early teens.”

When he was a teenager Samuel confessed that he built this fantasy world and populated it to a point that he didn’t know that he was living in a fantasy world. He also wore multiple masks to suit the people he was interacting with.

“I wanted to present something that was palatable to people, I was going through a lot of things, my depression started from a very early age,” he confessed.

Suicidal ideation

Kevin Samuel (Courtesy)
Kevin Samuel (Courtesy)

In 2007 his depression spiralled to a point that he decided to take his own life.

“In July of 2007 I was taking a train from Mombasa to Nairobi and it was during that ride that I decided I was going to end my life. I remember pulling the window of the compartment down and slowly throwing my stuff out, emptying my suitcase and by the time I was getting to Nairobi I didn’t even have a suitcase. I remember walking into shops and looking for something that was corrosive or poisonous enough that would do the job. And it was when I went into the hardware store and looked at these toxic bottles that I realized I am not okay. That is when I called my mum and dad and everybody in the family rallied behind me at the time,” he revealed.

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