Maria star Luwi, whose real name is Brian Ogana has spoken about his battle with depression for the first time.
During an August interview with his best friend Fridah Mwaka, he revealed that for about three years, he was reclusive and lost a lot of weight.
At that time, he was dragged into a nasty scandal with his then-girlfriend who accused him of cheating and conning her.Actor Brian Ogana in an interview with Fridah MwakaFile
The lady grabbed Ogana's high end suits and burnt them all in anger as they parted ways.
"Whatever was happening to me did not make sense as I had no relationship with God. People never wanted to hear my side of the story, they just ran with the story as it came. It was the darkest period of my life and I would never want anyone to go through it," he recalled.
He said that his identity as an actor and a man compounded the "psychological turmoil" because it was hard for him to reach out for help.
"I was going through depression and people would not have believed it because of how they looked at me as a celeb, or the guy in fancy suits.
"What I came to learn is that in the African setting a man is not supposed to cry. I came to realize that saying that reaching out for help does not make you less human," he added.
During that time, Brian's best friend barely recognised him after bumping into him in Nairobi.
"That day I noticed you had lost a lot of weight and you almost shrugged me off. I went home and cried and prayed for God to help you," Mwaka recalled.
Throughout his life, Ogana has referred to himself as a fixer because he would come up with solutions for any problem yet here was, in a situation he couldn't get himself out of.
His turning point came during a chat with his young daughter who had observed that he was troubled.
"There was a day I talked to my daughter and she asked if I was okay. I said I was but she did not believe me. She asked if she could help with my problems and that's when I realized that I was wasting away," he explained.
He made a conscious decision to move on with his life and God blessed him with a job as a communications officer.
After a few years at the job he was asked to audition for the Maria series but he was sceptical due to the many rejections he had gone through in the acting industy.
Ogana says until this day, he has never accepted how huge the show has become. He added that sometimes when fans scream out the name Luwi, it takes a second to realise they are referring to him.
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