State House Job Plunged Me into Depression - Big Ted

President Uhuru Kenyatta and entertainment guru Thomas Kwaka (Big Ted) during a past event.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and entertainment guru Thomas Kwaka (Big Ted) during a past event.

A common perception among most Kenyans is that an appointment to a State House job should be a source of comfort and happiness. 

Unfortunately, that was not the case for Big Ted, whose real name is Thomas Kwaka. He was appointed as the State House Deputy Director for branding and events in 2012. He now claims that the job partly contributed to him suffering depression.

While speaking to artists on matters to do with investment, Ted disclosed that the big State House job came with very high expectations from friends, relatives and associates.

“I suffered numerous emotional states of character development during the period as there were so many expectations from family and people I had interacted with," he said.

He narrated how the job made him lose his social life, seeing as he was scared of leaving his house.

Ted said he was scared of meeting friends and associates for fear of not being able to meet their financial needs and general high expectation from him. 

In a previous interview, Ted opened up about a financial debt of Ksh15millon that led him to lose his 15-year-old company, while still working for State House.

Kenyan Currency notes.
A photo of sample Kenyan currency notes.

“People wouldn’t realise that I came close to being auctioned twice despite my big name and job,” he said.

This made him appreciate the need to have a group of close friends as a support system. It is something that helped him to get out of depression.

“I wake up early every day to put in work. It saddens me that there are some of my agemates who still depend on handouts,” he said.

It's unfortunate that the culture of begging and nagging people for handouts is increasingly becoming common among Kenyan youth.

So common is the culture that voters expect politicians to pay them for their votes. Some aspirants have reported losing elections for not offering handouts.

Irene Cherop, part of the newly appointed commissioners for Independent Elections and Boundary Commission, disclosed that she is a victim of such, during her vetting for the position by the electoral body.

IEBC nominees Irene Cherop (left) and Justus Abonyo.
IEBC nominees Irene Cherop (left) and Justus Abonyo.