Renowned radio presenter Fareed Khimani has over the years been struggling with substance abuse.
This he revealed on Engage Talks where he opened up about the gruelling journey to recovery and losing his family.
The Capital FM presenter said he started using drugs while studying at the University of Florida and then while working as a bartender in Atlanta.
There he worked ten hours a day which proved difficult. To keep up with the fast-paced environment, Fareed started using cocaine.
Fast forward to 2000 when he returned to Kenya, Fareed landed his first radio gig.
The lifestyle made access alcohol and the drugs easy.
“We never paid for drinks, we were invited to the best parties, exposed to the best drugs and I didn’t disappoint. Unfortunately for me, the wheels began to come off around 2016 and 2017 when I stopped being accountable, stopped working hard, stopped being able to follow through.
“I couldn’t take myself to places and meetings. It was depression mixed with substance abuse,” he recounted.
When the situation deteriorated, the presenter checked into a rehabilitation facility in South Africa for 28 days.
His then wife promised to stay put and wait for him to recover. But according to him, she did not keep her word.
On March 18, 2018 his spouse upped and left him.
“It was a day where they called it a recovery day, they said it’s called ‘letting go and letting God’. It’s a moment in your recovery where everything kind of starts to make sense. Where you kind of see clarity and the reason you are doing this is for a greater purpose for yourself and people around you.
“But it is also the day I walked into my counselor’s office and my private counselling session at the rehab center and she was holding a slip of paper. It was actually an email from my wife. My wife had picked the kids and moved to Switzerland on that very same day. That completely broke me.
However, Fareed says, his ex-wife leaving him was the best decision she could have made. He remembered putting her and the children through a lot of pain and anguish for 10 years.
“I had so much resentment, so much anger, so much animosity towards my now ex-wife but it was probably the wisest decision she’s ever made in hindsight leaving me because I had put them through 10 years of hell,” he said.
Now sober, Fareed hosts the ‘Breakfast Show’ with Amina Abdi Rabar.
Before the 98.4 gig, he worked with XFM and Nation FM.