Have you ever heard of Judith Njuguna? Well, neither had I until earlier this year. I first read about Judith in a Business Daily article by Bill Odidi. The story ran in mid-February 2013. Odidi stirred my excitement in the opening line: “Gone are the days when wielding the bass guitar was the ultimate macho symbol of the male musician.”  The story covers Judith, a multi-instrumentalist who played with a band called the Jazz Girls back in 2008. Now, she plays with her new band – The Silk Notes – at Galileo bar every Wednesday, from 8PM.

Eager and excited, I made my way to Galileo. Off Chiromo Road. A Wednesday evening meant that the handkerchief of parking was free. A Wednesday evening also meant that the place was deserted. In fact, I was so early the band was still setting up. I killed time with a double at the bar, swiveling in my stool to regard the place. Galileo was designed with live performing bands in mind. The stage centers everything on the first floor; it sinks one level beneath the entire setting and the sound quality is excellent. Spotlights and disco lights, smoke fumes make the experience all the more memorable.

By 7.30PM, the place was still deserted with folks mushroomed across the floor. I suspect Galileo’s management has not taken to advertising the band as eagerly as other bars like Choices does. Finally, at 8.30PM, the MC made the intro, “Judith is a silk queen who never wears the same outfit twice. Ever.” Judith made her way to the stage. She was dressed in a sexy little black frock that complimented her maroon Mohawk and glittery eye make-up. She had the vibe of an accomplished pop diva. Her band was a four-man piece with Tugee (spelling?) on the bass guitar, Scott on the violin, David on the drums and Mike on the keys.

Judith opened the night with a rendition of Valerie Kimani’s ‘Nguga ii (I will say yes)’. She accompanied this with a double bass/bass violin (Google it. I had been wrong all along in thinking this was a cello).

For the next hour and a half, the band performed rendition after rendition of various genres with a flaring spirit and agility. Judith does this thing where she gives the spotlight to each member of the band; “Take it away,” she says as she signals with a wave of her hand. Tugee with his white bass guitar or Scott on the violin, steps forward. And when the spotlight beams in their face, something akin to a smoker on his cigarette break happens. Have you ever seen them, a smoker taking a yearned cigarette break? Have you seen how they shut their eyes tight when they draw in the first puff? Have you seen the slow and measured exhale, as if every sin in their life has been expunged with that single puff? Have you? Have you seen the escape, the surrender? Have you envied it? Eh? Well, it was the same case here with the artists: eyes shut in utter and pure surrender. The crowd went wild.

The thought of violins being part of a band’s ensemble at a bar will come across as peculiar but this thought is struck off once you get a feel of just how versatile these instruments are. The violin and double bass/bass violin peppered the show with a professional depth I experienced last with the Nairobi Orchestra. Come to think about it, the keyboard and drums could not match up to the elevated levels of the violins, and they would easily have been muted without our notice.

Judith – like the multi-instrumentalist she is lauded to be – switched between the bass guitar, double bass and keyboard with a deft hand. Her vocals were mildly powerful and she graced the stage with an easy yet commanding elegance. Off stage, she is inviting and lively.
Scott, the violinist, is also pleasantly enthusiastic. He tells me he does not use sheet music because it limits him, “I prefer to listen then compose the accompaniment as I go along.” He practices his craft daily, “Every single day without fail.” Listen to that dedication and commitment: every single day without fail. “I learnt to play the violin in high school then took it up seriously afterward.”
With that violin in his hands, this world is Scott’s oyster. Did I mention he has the cutest eyes? Very cute eyes.

After Judith’s performance this guy, his name is Sir Elvis, takes stage. A one-man guitar dressed in a checked plaid shirt and a cowboy hat. His voice is a cross between Kenny Rogers and Barry White. He gave country music a sultry urbanity.

Then enter stage Ruth Matete, a Tusker Project Fame (TPF) winner. Ruth performed that South African tune she has become synonymous with: Liwilo by Zahara. Her rendition is so over-performed I can tell exactly when she’ll ooh and aah. Still, Ruth is no doubt a talented bird. But all this curtain-raising and shadowing with other artists for the odd performances is no good. Neither is it enough. Rumor has it she was working on ‘something’ in late 2012. What become of that, Ruthie dear? (I shall pick up this TPF fight another day).

The curtains closed with Ruth performing a duet with Regina Re (the talk-show host); another banal and unexciting Halleluyiah. I forgave them because Judith’s prowess had already stolen the night. Otherwise, their attempt to add a sexy twist to this song all aspiring musicians reach out to was unpardonable.

I left the bar at midnight, squeezing my way through the throng which had steadily been growing through the evening. If not Judith, I wondered what else would bring these guys to Galileo on a Wednesday evening.


I returned to Galileo two more times just to make sure this first performance was not a flash in the pan. It was not. Judith and her band deliver a stellar performance every Wednesday evening.

Take a visit down there sometime. I swear on that double-bass and violin.

Midgets and toddlers in a row
Dog-ears and libraries

Comments (11)

  1. Gilbert

    Now I too have heard of Judith …can’t wait to see her do her thing. Will definitely be on the lookout for the cigarette break effect :-)

  2. Savvy

    You mention Judith has mildly powerful vocals? Maybe someday I’ll check out Galileo on a Wednesday night

  3. SmileyKimwana

    Perfectly worded. The imagery placed me right in the middle of that Wednesday evening throng.

  4. pepe

    gosh….how i would love to see the world in your eyes. need to see judith in action

  5. artfullyContrived

    You really managed to sell Judith.

    Those of us who have never been to any of her performances are now planning to.

    Do they do Lingala?
    Do they take requests?
    Do they do any songs by The Mavericks? (http://goo.gl/9Gqho)

    A four-man piece? She included in the count?

    • fra

      Lingala? No.
      Requests? Maybe, maybe not. Hey, how about you request for The Mavericks? ;-)

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to our content

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

Seraphinite AcceleratorOptimized by Seraphinite Accelerator
Turns on site high speed to be attractive for people and search engines.