64. ‘Killing Karoline’ with Sara-Jayne Makwala King


Tribe Sober – inspiring an alcohol-free life!

My guest this week is Sara-Jayne Makwala King. Sara-Jayne is a household name here in South Africa – she’s a journalist, a radio presenter, and an author.

In this Episode

  • Sara-Jayne’s birth was the result of an illegal affair between a white British woman and a black South African man during apartheid – she shares her extraordinary story in her memoir Killing Karoline
  • As a child, she used to read voraciously as a form of escape and as a teenager, she went on to develop eating disorders and cutting to numb her pain
  • Her alcohol use began to get out of control when she moved to Dubai. She never really acknowledged it was a problem as her brother was a severe “alcoholic” and she was not like him – she was a functioning alcoholic
  • We talked about alcoholism being on a spectrum … one end … the other end being sobriety. Most of us are in between
  • Sara-Jayne got fired from her job as a journalist in Dubai for being so difficult – she felt so angry and unhappy that one day she was even tempted to crash her car when driving along a busy road
  • Her mother and partner got her into rehab – she was only supposed to stay for 28 days but she actually stayed for 10 months. She was learning, digging deep, and becoming aware that she needed to “do the work” if she was to recover
  • Sara-Jayne believes that recovery can’t be forced on you – you have to be ready.  And she was ready
  • It was connecting with the other people in rehab that healed her – she appreciates the deep value of sharing
  • Sara-Jayne realized that she’d been carrying her birth mother’s secret and shame for a long time. A secret that was not even hers to carry – that had been the root of her addictions and her unhappiness. So these days she strives for truth and authenticity
  • She realizes that we can’t hang on to secrets and shame – that only the truth will set us free
  • We see this at our workshops – when we ask people to share their stories, you can see the relief in their faces as they tell their stories about how unhappy alcohol has been making them. Stories they may never have said out loud before
  • We agreed that “connection is the opposite of addiction” – scientifically proven by the “rat park” experiment which is featured in the famous Johan Haris TED talk, “Everything you thought you knew about addiction is wrong”. Catch it here
  • Sara-Jayne feels that Recovery is about finding a space where you can feel safe and share your feelings. It could be Tribe Sober or it could be AA – there are so many alternatives out there
  • We talked about the recent study by The Tempest which showed that the average time between realizing that you had a problem and getting help was 11 years. Sara-Jayne agreed that sounded about right but that we should acknowledge that seeds can be still be sewn and growth will take place during those years
  • If you are listening to this and would like a bit of support to make a change, just go to tribesober.com and check us out . You can grab a freebie, do a challenge, join our community or do a workshop
  • Sarah-Jayne is on Cape Talk 567AM on Saturdays and Sundays 7-10 am
  • You can buy Sara-Jayne’s fascinating book Killing Karoline here.

More info

  • Subscription membership  – you can join up HERE
  • To access our website click HERE
  • If you would like a free copy of our “Annual Tracker” or our e-book “66 Days to Sobriety” please email janet@nulltribesober.com
  • If you would like to come to our Saturday afternoon Zoom Cafe as a guest and meet our community just email janet@nulltribesober.com

Episode Sponsor

This episode is sponsored by the Tribe Sober Membership Program.  If you want to change your relationship with alcohol thenn sign up today
Read more about our  program and subscribe HERE. 

Book a Discovery Call with me to find out if our membership would help you.


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Till Next Week

Janet x

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The 11 Year Fact

Did you know that the average dependent drinker will struggle alone for 11 years before reaching out for help?

Don’t wait for 11 years – join Tribe Sober today!