What happened to Kimani Mbugua? Father opens up on son's mental breakdown

Kimani Mbugua's dad opens up about his mental health. (Courtesy)

Former TV journalist Kimani Mbugua has been battling mental health issues for the past four years, according to his father.

In a recent interview with Oga Obinna, Kimani's father provided an update on his son's condition and shed light on how the challenges began.

The turning point came in February 2020 during a seemingly ordinary board meeting for his father's company. Kimani's behaviour stunned his father.

"[It all went well] until February 2020," Kimani's father recounted. "I was in Westlands. I have a Consultancy company in which he's also a director. He's the MD. We were in the boardroom when he came and in the middle of the meeting he stood up and said Dad for four days sijawahi lala (I haven't slept) ulevi (because I'm drunk). I was shocked because we are SDAs (Seventh-day Adventists). It gave me red flags. Kwa basement alikuwa ameacha gari na mlango hakufunga (In the basement he had left his car with the door unlocked.”

This incident was followed by a call from Kimani's girlfriend, further escalating his father's worry.

"When he went home around midnight the girlfriend called me and said Kimani alikuwa anaongea tu (Kimani was just talking nonstop). She made me listen to what he was saying and it kept me worried until today," his father said.

The situation rapidly deteriorated, leading to hospitalization. Kimani's father described the experience of seeing his son in such a state as devastating.

"The girlfriend took him to hospital. I went nikapata amefungwa kamba mkono and anaongea tu (and I found him tied up with straps on his arms and just talking). Hanijui, hanitambua (He didn't know me, he didn't recognize me), he was just talking. He was chaotic. Somebody I knew, was healthy. Ilinivunja moyo hadi wa leo (It broke my heart until today). The way he is, it hit me like lightning. That was the day I saw darkness at midday, I couldn't believe it. When he saw me he even called me by my real names, he used to call me dad. When he came to hug me, he would fall down," Mr. Mugua said.

Further investigation revealed a possible cause for the sudden mental health crisis.

"I had to follow up to know what had happened before those four days," Kimani's father explained. "He had a bash. Ilikuwa birthday yake na ilikuwa kubwa (It was his birthday and it was a big one). The sister took his phone akapitia akaona picha alikuwa anaanguka akitapika na kuna wasichana wanampiga (and went through it and saw pictures of him falling and vomiting and girls were hitting him).

He added: “My daughter said aliona kwa glass yake kuna white substances zinaekwa (she saw white substances being put in his glass). Na anaambiwa kunywa na anatapika na anaanguka (And he was being told to drink and he was vomiting and falling down). So I told my daughter if we could consolidate the phone but how it got lost we don't know because we wanted evidence that was there."

A toxicology test later confirmed the presence of marijuana and other substances in Kimani's system, leading his father to believe his son had been spiked.

Kimani's condition worsened and he was admitted to Chiromo Hospital for treatment. The medical bills quickly added up, leading Kimani to suggest selling his car to cover the costs.

Kimani's father says his son is currently living in an apartment with close family members who can monitor him.

The apartment is secured to prevent self-harm and allow for easy access by family in case of an emergency.


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