Former Tahidi High Actress Angel Waruinge had to slay her famous Miss Morgan character to regain control of her life.
The celebrated actor engaged Kenyans.co.ke, and detailed how tearing down her famous Tahidi High character set her on a new path.
Her new-found fervor for life (including her brand new show discussed later on), only came about after she consciously decided to bury her 'Miss Morgan' tag and all the vices it came with.
"It has to go down as the single most important decision I've ever made. Saying goodbye to Miss Morgan opened me up to a world of new opportunities," she explained.Kenyan actor Angel Waruinge.File
Currently showcasing her gift on the critically acclaimed Showmax TV series - Kina - Angel is well on her way back to the top.
"My name is Angel Waruinge (the confidence in her voice is unmistakable). Acting is my passion, my favourite hobby, my North star. I'm also looking into production having been immersed in the industry for over 20 years now," she enthusiastically explained.
She further revealed that she's currently engaged in a 2-year psychology school program, geared towards her incessant desire to use her past experiences as lessons for the future generation.
Angel's personal battle with depression and alcoholism has been documented, however, what was never captured in all the stories was how she managed to turn things around and escape hitting the infamous 'rock bottom'.
It was through actively engaging her friends and colleagues and embarking on mentorship program tours across anywhere between 400-600 schools across the country.
From Nkubu High School in Meru County, to Makindu (Makueni County), Angel, Dennis Mugo (popularly known as OJ), Ted Kitana (popularly known as Kilunda) and Lydia Gitatu toured the country and used their personal stories as both cautionary as well as inspirational tales.
"You don't have to fall in order for you to learn, you can always use stories of people like me (who have been in the very industry you are looking to enter), as lessons and avoid unnecessary falls altogether," she explained.
The fact that well some media personalities have been battling with depression among other vices is an open secret.
Taking a trip down memory lane, the award-winning actor disclosed how one of her colleagues burned through Ksh 4 million in 2 months.
"I will not disclose his or her name but I can tell you that one of the expenses involved a 2-way helicopter trip upcountry," she said.
The amount of money they were making coupled with their celebrity status, led some to make financial decisions that steered them towards a dark hole.
Angel was quick to point out that it was wrong, yet easy to categorise mental health issues as something only faced by her colleagues in the media industry.
"The only reason stories from our darkest moments are known all over is because we have been living out our lives in the public eye,
"This does not mean that mental health issues and challenges are unique to us. It is a problem that has been festering within a huge chunk of the population. I strongly believe that it is time we tackled it head-on," she said.
As recently as July 7, 2020, the Taskforce on Mental Health (Under the Ministry of Health) recommended that mental illness be declared a National Emergency of epidemic proportions.
“The rising number of mental health-related cases in the country, such as depression, and other mental illnesses, some of which ended up in suicide cases, have been a concern to the Government,” Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe stated at the time.
It is this worrying trend that fueled Angel's decision to start her very own show, using her platform as well as her vast network to create a platform where Kenyans can openly talk about mental health issues.
Her new show (set to premiere on her YouTube channel) is geared towards tackling this issue. She has lined up Tina Kaggia as one of her guests.
"I settled on Tina as my first guest because she was really instrumental in helping me find a way back to myself, during my darkest days. I can confidently say that her story changed my life," she disclosed.
Notably, the former Tahidi High star is currently working on a new TV Show project. Despite keeping the cards close to her chest, she did reveal that part of it was shot in Mombasa.
The Covid-19 pandemic and the various travel restrictions have curtailed its progress but the enthusiastic actor's optimism when describing it was unmissable.Former Tahidi High cast members Shirleen Wangari, Kamau Kinuthia, Angel Waruinge and Philip KaranjaFile
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