Getting published

I was published last Saturday. The Saturday Nation. Page 22. Following last week’s post, it was as if the magic and miracle of attraction had worked in my favor, revealing itself to me in a way I had hitherto taken with a pinch of salt. A small win, it is to me this publishing. A small win. It called for me to remember where I was when those events which wrote the pages of our history happened. Because my own history, on both those events, was written in its own unrelated and unanticipated manner. I take two of those events. One is announcing the president-elect. The second is his inauguration four weeks later.

9 March 2013: Saturday, hot day. That Saturday when the streets of Nairobi were tumbleweed-deserted. The roads were so clear that mirages turned up at every stretch of the highway. It’s on days like these you realize driving in Nairobi can actually be pleasant. The wiser and more cautious Kenyans like you were indoors; content in the strength and safety of their locked doors. I, on the other hand, was listless and fidgety in the constraints of the digs. Bored out of my wits. On this Saturday afternoon, when Issack Hassan made his way to the podium at the Bomas of Kenya to deliver the final tally, I was at a bookshop at the Yaya Centre. The one on the second floor. The one with the dreary and weary staff who, I’m certain, were cursing under their breath for being at work. BookStop Limited. I was browsing the used-books section with a wild chance of stumbling on a bargain. I had two books in my hand already: A 200-puzzle Sudoku challenge (for my ol’man) and Strunk Jr. and White’s, Elements of Style (for me). I stopped to look up at the screen when Isaack Hassan announced the final tally: Uhuru’s 50.1% had earned him the win.

I left the bookshop as the crowd at the Bomas cheered on at the news of a winner. We had a president-elect.

9 April 2013: Our president-elect was inaugurated at the sports complex in Kasarani. I was at the Nation Centre waiting to see a man who would later be my boss Editor. I was an hour earlier than we had agreed. Calling the punctuality eagerness would be a dire understatement. I waited at the second floor with two female askaris – a pregnant cross-eyed chirpy bird who laughed too loudly for my liking. The other was her accommodating colleague who invited me to follow the inauguration with them on TV.  I could tell that she was a closet diva from the way she patted her weave instead of scratching her scalp senseless. She nodded to her chirpy pal’s stories and laughed only when she needed to. She was a diva alright.

In my bag was the book I was currently reading. Binyavanga Wainana’s memoir (ironical, right?). I followed my bookmark and opened the page from where I had last left off. I broke the monotony of the read by casting a glance to the inauguration proceedings every few minutes.

I was at my Editor’s desk a few minutes after 1.30pm. Just as President Uhuru drew that double-edged sword from its sheath to cheers of Kenyans in the stadium, and at home. My Editor told me they had a long day ahead; “Events like these are a nightmare to the newsdesk”, he said. I gave him a blank stare, expressing no empathy.

When we got down to it, he spoke of things that had never crossed my young mind. “How about you join us and write for the paper?” he said. I got my notebook out and furiously scribbled.

My writing career had just begun.

15 June 2013: Two and half months later. Two and a half months of preparation and attitude-change later. Several weeks after the meeting with my Editor/the inauguration. I remember that moment I turned to page 22 of the Saturday Nation and saw my name in print. Reviewer: Florence Bett. Standing there in my sleeping gear, I remember my eyes water. I remember my heart melt. I remember what it felt like to finally get a win. I remember being humbled. I ran my fingers over the neat columns tenderly, as if the words would disappear from the pages if I rubbed too hard. These words were my words. Lord, I prayed, You are wonderful.

I called my mum. Then my ol’man. Then, I alerted my six siblings. Then, I got on whatsApp and text to make the announcement to my pals, one by one in no particular order. A one-liner. Then, I put together this piece with the ease of a published writer, ahem. Somebody pinch me, I am a writer. I. Am. A. Published. Writer.


I am about to get into a paragraph of preachy and unending clichés about not letting anyone but yourself stop you yada yada yada. My version of all that drag self-help books teem of. But I shall save that for the soliloquy which will find me many a time for the rest of this week. Look, I am on a high. It has been days since yet I am still floating around in a bubble full of fickle and personalized excitement, humility and triumph, disbelief.

Smile with me though; I just completed a stage. I just completed the publishing stage.

Becoming a writer: the X stages of grief
3 things about Blankets & Wine XLIV

Comments (22)

    • fra

      The print version is a timeless trophy.

  1. Judith Ndungu

    This is cool, and I love reading your stuff. Keep writing.

  2. Double M

    A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step – Lao-tzu

  3. Sharon Mitey

    The beginning of many more wins for you dear,you deserve it so please indulge in this high, am proud of you

  4. Mystery

    You write easy fra,between Chinua and Wole, you are definately a Chinua. You unwittingly (or was it ?) juxtaposed events that happened externally to your triumph, for that, l salute you…..
    This is just the beginning…….

    • fra

      You could not have put it any better, thank you. Really.

  5. Oliver

    Thats awesome couz, proud of ya!!

  6. hobbit

    Congrats Fra, keep writing, keep winning!

  7. pepe

    gal…..writing is a gift and u have got it bad. Can’t wait for the next win because the so many more to come. a toast to the published writer.

  8. Wangechi

    Amen! Amen! CONGRATULATIONS!! Niceeeee….

  9. Chao

    Congratulations. I am not a writer but I love reading! Your enthusiasm at becoming published reminds me of this quote by Raine Marie Wilkes:
    This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple “I must,” then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse. Then come close to Nature. Then, as if no one had ever tried before, try to say what you see and feel and love and lose…

    • fra

      Cheers Chao. And for the quote, too.
      I read a couple of others from him. I never knew poets to be so rough, hehhe.

  10. Liz Muigai

    Just pumped into your blog. I love it. Though my congratulations may be belated you deserve it..

    You join the list of my mentors….keep writing, keep developing me into a refined writer like you.

    • fra

      Thanks a bunch Liz.
      Keep writing, keep reading.

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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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