Dominic Kariuki Ngori fondly known by his media name as Coco Sobo currently hosts ‘One Love’ one of the hottest reggae shows in the country.
But it has been a long road to success as he battled a serious heroin addiction for 16 years.
The reggae presenter with a raspy delightful voice had his first taste of heroin at the age of 14 after eating ice cream from a vendor who laced the snack with heroin
But it wasn’t until when he moved to South Africa that the heroin habit kicked in. An addiction that he battled for 16 years and it had him in and out of rehab and jail, it had him sleeping in the streets and selling his parents’ stuff to feed his habit.
Now that he is finally clean Coco aims to save the youth of today from the horrible pain and agony he went through when he was hooked to the drug.
“What made me come out and speak about it was because of the fact that I survived, I was using for 16 years of my life. So the fact that I made it out that for me was a sign that I need to spread the word. I need to be a message of hope to the youth out here, I need to save them a lot of pain and just try and guide them. I’m not gonna tell them don’t have sex, don’t do drugs because that’s not realistic they are gonna do it anyway. So what I’m trying to do is give them the guidelines and hopefully, they are gonna do it the right way or in moderation with the right people around,” He said on the Let’s Talk Show.
He has been in and out of rehabilitation centers countless times. He also found himself in trouble with the law a number of times and spent nights in police cells.
“I was in and out of rehab more than 20 times both in South Africa and in Kenya. I remember my parents paying Sh500,000 at some point so I could go to a rehab in Kenya.”
He got so used to the rehabilitation centers that he would manipulate the doctors into giving him more medication just to get a sense of some high.
At one time, after ten years of drug addiction, the burly Coco weighed under 50 kgs. He is almost six feet tall.
“I was a junkie that had given up on life. I used to black out and sleep on the streets-and all this time, my family would take me back in and take care of me.”
The self-proclaimed radio king is the second born in a family of four. He is the only boy, and for this reason, his parents doted on him.
“My mother is the reason I am where I am now, I love her so much. She once told me that no matter what I do with my life, I will always be her son. And that was so profound for me.”
His parents, frustrated, cajoled him to go back to rehab after numerous unsuccessful stints by threatening to withdraw every form of financial support. He had never worked a day in his life.
“They said they would withdraw everything. This scared me and I decided to give it another shot at rehab. At first, I just wanted to please my parents, but after a while, I also started to like the new me.”
“Drug addiction robbed me of my early years and I now feel like I have to rush against time to catch up with my fellow peers in the industry.”
“‘I needed some tough love.” He only got his identification card on turning 30. And started working at 32. His parents provided him with everything.
He then went on to add “You know with the right people around you if something did go wrong there would be somebody there to take care of you. I didn’t have that I just experimented on my own since I was told no sex, don’t do drugs. You know, nothing before marriage. That’s all I was told but I was never told why. We never really sat down or spoke about it. That’s what I’m trying to give the youth now.”