Breaking virginity: Just A Band, Sorry for the Delay

Right off the bat, I had never been a fan of Just A Band. Their hit single, Ha-he, received the airplay that it greatly deserved. And it had a video and a memorable character to boot; Makmende jokes that followed afterward gave me a mild momentary humor that fizzled as soon as turned my head away. But it was all good. For me, my love for them started and ended on a commercial stance; I didn’t break my back looking for their albums or downloading any of the singles. When they found me on radio or in the hanyee or wherever, they found me.

So when they announced that they would be releasing their third studio album – Sorry for the Delay – my reaction was expectedly tepid. What thrilled my curiosity though was the album. And its launch. An album launch. Album. Launch. Do you feel the romance and hip that comes with an album launch? I did. It turned out that I was not the only one. The turnout at the KICC grounds was excellent; the crowd mature and mannered; the DJ busied us while we watched some groupies perform choreographed routines in the sporadic drizzles.

And they were late. J.A.B was three hours late. A penny for what their apology sounded like? Yep: sorry for the delay. I snorted. Until they got on stage and did their thing. In the two hours that followed, they not only got one foot into my favorite artists list but paced up that list with an ease and grandeur that, I must admit, I never considered they possessed. They climbed a notch with each chord that was struck, each beat that was created, each new track that had the crowd waving its hands in unison and each feeling that engulfed us on that rainy Saturday evening in late-October 2012. J.A.B was not commercial anymore; my response was no longer flippant or bland: I was converted from an atheist to a believer.

Probably for lovers – the first (and last) track from the album that received airplay on mainstream radio – marked the end of the launch. When the gig was over, we hurdled to the booth to buy the album. Not that I was expecting to see it in vinyl but the drop-cards were a tad too digital for my liking. C’mon, what happened to plain old CDs in bulky colorful cases?

After that night I stopped watching and judging them from a distance, and joined there fans in the panty-throwing and juvenile excitement and whatnot. To catch up on all I had missed, I got a hold of their two previous albums: Scratch to Reveal (2008) and 82 (2010).


I met J.A.B again in April 2013 when Goethe Institut put together the TEN CITIES ‘club culture’ event. The Nairobi edition was the fourth in Africa after Luanda, Lagos and then Jo’berg.

Marshalls Service Workshop along Loita Street was converted into a concert dome for the evening. The vibe it gave of an abandoned warehouse added to the uncomplicated list of bands that would grace the stage for the evening. Coupled with the rain, an honest and (dominantly?) white audience, the buzz of the night that lay ahead was palpable. Some came to see Ota Push, others to listen to the DJs, for others it was Batida, and others for Camp Mulla. But for most of us, it was J.A.B. I am a huge fan, we shouted into each others ears.

Dan Muli was around this time. Jim Chuchu and Masya, I didn’t see them. The guy on the keyboard, with his expressionless face, looked like he had just been pulled out of bed; but he had his game together all the same. The drummer boy, oh, the drummer boy. Last I saw him, during the album launch, was with a red beret that hang over his forehead and covered his eyes; this drew undeserved attention to the bottom lip he bit the harder he pounded his drums. The drummer boy, oh, the drummer boy. He had a marvin on this night. Same lip biting, and same tenacity with the drums.

Then there was Blinky Bill, hurling meaningless commands to a euphoric obedient crowd.  And boy, did we move back and forth, side to side as he asked. We sang along with Stano (reportedly a church member of St James, Buruburu) to Dunia ina mambo; with Lisa Oduor-Noah to Probably for Lovers, and other tracks from their albums. Of course they could not leave without performing the notable Ha-he. The crowd was insatiable. J.A.B was on stage for less than twenty minutes and for several of those moments, we forgot how terrible the sound in the dome was; we forgave the organizers for dragging the start time for over four hours; and we sang along to every lyric that we could recall. And we danced and jumped around as if the night would never end.


The review that follows was my first ever album review for any artist. Come to think of it, I am glad I broke my album-review virginity with J.A.B.


Something untold happens to an artist when they take a hiatus – too long and the fans feel that you’ve strayed too far from your signature style, too short and they feel that you have not matured enough in that period. It is a delicate balance.

Just A Band worked around both of these factors with ‘Sorry for the delay’.

Three tracks into the album and the mood is yet to be established. The predictability that marked their last album is easily erased in this album culminating in mix of tracks that demands for your attention to the very end. Flip in the record and you shall stumble upon a track that shall match your mood. In the mood for partying? ‘Life of the party’, ‘Get down’ and ‘Bush baby Disco’ effortlessly works it up. Silly beat?  ‘Doot doot’ cannot go wrong. Mellow it down? ‘Matatizo’ and ‘Another chance’ unendingly loops in your conscience. Feeling retro? ‘Dunia ina mambo’ checks in; and as a pleasant surprise if you ask me.

Just A Band seemed to lie dangerously on the extremes with the melody being either too mellow or too harsh. Beneath this extreme is a focus on either the vocals or the beat. Enmeshing the two results in the album’s subtle weakness – the balance between the vocals and the instruments. In more instances that one, the vocals seem to drown beneath the plethora of resounding instruments climaxing in a noisy clash.  An overkill, if you may. Lyrically, the compositions are straight-forward; speaking of simple stories of ordinary men who possess very little, if no, immortality.

The saving grace lies in the excellent production and the defiance they exhibit in playing with their own rules.

Taking it away, the hiatus worked for Just A Band.

Rating: 7/10

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Florence Bett-Kinyatti


Columnist Saturday Nation Writer Craft It Author of best-selling ‘SHOULD I?’ and ‘HOW MUCH?’ ~ Guiding word: Overdrive Subscribe to our Newsletter👇🏾 eepurl.com/igmN8P
  • Dear God, 
It’s me again.

I don’t pray as often as I need to, You know that. I don’t kneel by my bed in child-like humility, as Muna does. I don’t whisper a prayer in the morning. Or at noon. Perhaps just in the evening. 

This going-to-church habit is a constant false start. So is reading the Word. 

I’m often guilty but I also know: You and I have a language only we can understand. 

I speak to You through this gift You bestowed upon my Kale shoulders, this gift to write in colour. It’s a gift that sometimes feels like a curse, a burden I have no choice but to pursue. 

Yet other times – most times, actually – it’s the very breath of my essence. Everyday I sit to write, when the words flow from my head and heart through my fingers to the page, I feel You next to me. 

You are here, Lord. Hovering. Lingering. Swooshing about in Your regal robes, like a character from Bridgerton.

Sometimes You get so close I can feel You breathing on my neck and I’m like, ‘Err, God, do You mind, personal space?’

And You chuckle uncomfortably. ‘He-he, of course. Of course.’

I’m here to tell You, Thanks!

I hosted my first in-person event last March, Lord, thank You to all the lovely ladies who granted me their time and full attention. 

I’ve carried them in my heart since and every day, my prayer is that You bring them closer to the life of abundance they each seek. To their own version of wealth. 

I always call them by their name: Becky. Purity. Lindsay. Wangui. Naomi. Shiqow. Mercy. Liz. Winnie. Polly. Nduta. Lynet. 

And Mike. 

Dear Lord, I’m prepping for my next in-person event in June, Inshallah. 

Walk with me as I get there. 

Love always,

  • Highlights from our first-ever in person event hosted by Craft It and @financialfitbit 
Thanks to all the lovely ladies — and gent, hehe — who honoured us with the privilege of their time and attention. And colourful energy. It’s been weeks since and it’s only now that I’m coming down from the high. 

Thank YOU!

🎥 @mikemuthaka 

#craftit #author #MakeYourMoneyMatter #personalfinance #money
  • I am a woman.

I’m strong. I’m brilliant. I’m like a comet shooting across the sky, I’m so bright you have to put on shades to see me.

I’m almost 40, I’m almost fully realising myself as a woman and the power of womanhood I possess.

I’m so powerful that if KPLC connected me to the national grid, I’d power up this country and we’d never have another blackout.

Ho! Ho! Ho!


To recognize and celebrate International Women’s Day today, I’d like to recognize and celebrate eight women.

I have eight things to give away to each of these women:
a) Two tickets to my upcoming event on March 18 with @financialfitbit Theme is ‘Make your money matter’
b) Three autographed copies of my book ‘Should I?’
c) Three autographed copies of my other book ‘How Much?’

To participate:
1. Like this post
2. Tag women who deserve a win of either event ticket or book (tag as many women as you like)
3. Tell us what you’d like her to win and why she deserves the win
4. Make sure your tagged women follow @_craftit and @financialfitbit 

Here are the rules for the giveaway:
— One woman, one win
— Winners will be contacted via DM
— Giveaway closes at the end of this week, Inshallah, on Sunday 12 March
— Only open to people living in Kenya

All the best!

(Swipe right to see the women I’m celebrating.)

#craftit #internationalwomensday
  • My 2022 word of the year was Wholesome. 

Wholesome meant engaging in moderation and in pursuits that didn’t leave me feeling yucky.

An example: there’re weekend nights I’d go out then have too much to drink. On the drive home, I’d tell GB to stop the car every half mile so I could throw up on the side of the road. Then I’d take three working days recovering. 


No more of that nonsense.

Now I have only two doubles of Singleton whiskey and chase it with water. I eat less food and I eat better. I take my supplements. I treat myself to an early bedtime and arise with my body clock, no alarm.

I spend a lot more time hanging with my kids, Muna and Njeeh. 

I buy fewer things. 

I play the piano. 

I created a disciplined routine for my work and take Thursdays off. 

You catch my drift…

Wholesome has become my lifestyle. 

(By the way, I was asked, ‘Where does this word-of-the-year come from, Bett?’ I don’t know about other people but for me, the words present themselves when I’m journaling. My spirit tells me what it needs; I must be still enough to listen and brave enough to obey.)

My word for 2023 is Overdrive.

My two books have unlocked new opportunities for me as a writer and creative. As an urban brand. I’d honestly not foreseen them. 

I know that if I adjust my sails to where the wind is blowing, these opportunities will translate to wealth.

Last Friday, I listed all the work I’m already doing and all the new opportunities – potential and realised – knocking at my door.

I asked myself, ‘What am I taking up here and what am I dropping?’

The response, ‘None – we go into overdrive and smartly pursue them all.’

#craftit #urbanguide
  • Years ago, my best friend said to me, ‘Bett, we’re almost 40 – forget makeup, let’s take care of our skin instead.’

I had to laugh because this was coming from Terry. Terry my Kisii pal, this fine gyal with skin the colour of honey, the only practising SDA in my circle. 

Terry had spent her 20s and early 30s sleek with Arimis. That’s right, the milking jelly with a lactating cow on its logo. 

Arimis addressed all her skin pickles back then. It was her problem fixer. Her Olivia Pope. It’s the one thing that always said, It’s handled.

Now here she was preaching to us about a consistent skincare regimen in the AM and PM.


It wasn’t until Terry shared her selfies on our girls WhatsApp group that I stopped laughing. It wasn’t until we stood next her – and took these selfies – that I reeally stopped laughing: Terry’s skin was youthful and toned, plump. Hydrated. Moistured but not shiny. 

It looked like it had been kissed by the Greek goddess of radiance. 

So we gathered around her feet and said, ‘Forgive us, master. We are ready now. Teach us everything you know.’

She did. 

Terry and I now spend plenty of time before work and before bed squeezing out little portions of expensive skincare products from expensive tubes, we layer them on our face in a calculated measure.

This serum here is for the circles under my eyes and the fine lines around my mouth.

Turns out I’ve been giving away too much of my face: I’ve been looking too hard, laughing too easily.

I’ll have to spend the next year into my 40s with my eyes half shut and laughing little. I'll have a resting bitch face.

Don’t blame me, blame the retinol.

And age.

#craftit #urbanguide #urbangirl
  • I’m Bett. I’m the author of your favourite books about money. I’m hosting an in-person event in March, Inshallah: This is my personal invite to you.

#craftit #moneymaker #moneyinkenya
  • I am hosting my first money event this March, Inhsallah. It’s the first of quarterly events I have planned for the year. 

(Give me a moment here so I pull myself together long enough to write this. I’m smiling very hard right now, ha-ha, I look like a donkey.)


The event will be in-person. On a Saturday morning, a loose three hours which, I am certain, you’d have burned on some other pursuit you couldn’t account for later. (I’d probably be oiling the hinges of a squeaky door or decluttering my sock drawer.)

My guest host for this edition is Lynet Kyalo. 

Lynet is a personal finance coach under her brand @financialfitbit She also hosts @getyourbagrightpodcast 

Buy your tickets from our Market.

Early bird tickets are discounted until the end of this month.

Limited slots available. 

#craftit #millenialmoney #moneyevent #moneymaker
  • Sometimes I sit down and read my own book. 

Odd, huh?

Reading my own stories is like an out-of-body experience. Or getting introduced to myself again. An outward journey inward.

It’s fascinating.

I also read because I need to improve my writing for my next project.

We call them the Elements of Craft: things like sentence structure and punctuation, word placement, story length etc, they all inform your reading experience.

This is what makes the book easy to read, and has you turning the pages.

Cop your autographed copy and #betteryourmoney 

#craftit #howmuch #millenialmoney #moneymaker

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