Special feature: Happy birthday brah

My baby brother celebrated his birthday last Saturday. On May 18. Apart from DJ Adrian and the (late) Pope John Paul II, he shares the date with five other of my pals. Even the lead character, Sandy Patterson, from the movie ‘Identity Thief’ celebrates his birthday on the same date. I don’t know, there is something mystic and odd about the date. Something unsettling and unreal that I am yet to put my finger on. I may be wrong. Or maybe I am not, who knows?

At twenty-six and three years my junior, I still call him my baby brother even though he just may long have outgrown the title. The goatee is bushed-up, the locks are browned and his maturity precedes him.

He is still going through his checked-shirt phase though. Before that, he went through a Ted Mosby phase for over a year. You know, the ragged jeans and chucks and loafers; long-sleeved shirts with the sleeves rolled up or cuffs left unbuttoned, those sweaters. We sat patiently and waited for it to run its course. It didn’t. It was replaced by this checked-shirt phase which, I suspect, is here to stay. He added a new twist to it by buttoning them all the way up to the top. I warned him those models at GQ and Esquire who thought it looked prim never actually do this at home. He chuckled then told me I am a shao.

On most days, he likes to ask me what he should wear; one of those what-goes-best-with-this questions that are more rhetoric than he realizes. And on most days, I am torn between picking the shirt with the blue and green checks, the one with green and yellow checks, or the one with yellow and blue checks. When I tell him I can’t chose, he says to wait ‘Let me get you another one so you can see’. Peachy, just peachy. He comes back holding a fourth shirt with red checks that alternate with blue and green ones. I fidget, on most days. I bite on my fingernails, nervous, and then rub the beads of sweat that have started to form on my forehead. And I tell him I can’t chose because they all look the blahdy same to me. He clicks twice. Then he bundles them all up before going ahead to pick another checked shirt all together: the one with the three shades of blue.

When they are piled up in a heap, someone would mistake the shirts for Legos in a toddler’s playroom. I don’t know now whether or not to worry; but I know I shall the day he wears them without any sleeves. We shall have an intervention then, Ted Mosby style.

At twenty-six he never keeps time. He is still impatient. He still takes a nap between his dinner and bedtime, a rest, he likes to call it. He still gets disgusted with thoughtless misconduct. He still holds the largest collection of self-help e-books I have ever come across (Eckhart Tolle much?). He still walks funny, like he’s charging to attack you.

But at twenty-six, he takes care for us girls in his own faceless and expressive-less ‘diBinghi’ way. And somewhere between the non-ending journey of self-discovery and the vegetarian beliefs, he has managed to build a sturdy tower of trust around him. I am even embarrassed about all the selfish humor behind the jokes I used to make about his poppy-out ears and round head.

He grew up. Our baby brother grew up.

Happy birthday baby, sorry uhm, Big brother; may the Sun continue to shine in your new year. I thought that this year, we would sit in quiet celebration. Each one to make their birthday wish in his own little corner. What we did last year, and in the four years before – sitting around a table overflowing with tray upon tray of biscuits, crisps, peanuts and popcorn. Soda, the booze. A cake, dangerous because of all its lit candles.  Party hats and party string. Balloons – is a tad outdated for 2013. It reminds me of those estate birthday bashes we used to hold back when we were growing up. You are turning twenty-six kiddo, not six.

Let a prayer from the moms and a pat on the back from the ol’man be all you need to mark celebrations this year. And oh yeah, this mawkish note from me.

From us.

May 2013

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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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