My head was pounding from a terrible headache

The book of Exodus chapter five to fourteen weaves the tale of Moses rescuing the children of Israel from the captivity of the Pharaoh’s slavery in Egypt.

From the very start, Moses felt he wasn’t the right man for the job. Stammering and whatnot. He pleaded his case but God would hear none of it. It is you I have chosen, said God.

That morning, right before he set out for Egypt, I wonder if Moses was in no mood for breakfast. I wonder if his wife, Zipporah, eager to help him in the only way she knew how, laid out his lucky underwear and his favourite caftan, starched and pressed to just the right degree.

I wonder if Moses stood mute in front of the mirror, uncertain to whether the look he registered in his eyes was fearlessness or anxiety. I wonder if he faced his reflection and told himself, “You are the man Mo.” His reflection, unconvinced, stared back. Moses injected some more vim and attempted the attitude-building soliloquy once more, “You are the man Mo.” Each declaration thereafter was a decibel higher than the last. And at some point, I imagine Moses was just a man in a starched caftan and lucky underwear – shifting from foot to foot, balled fists punching the air – shouting into the mirror, “You are the man Mo. You are the man Mo. You are the man Mo.”


Panting, Moses straightened his caftan and regained his poise. The fearlessness was growing, the anxiety dimming. His breathing evened.  I imagine Moses tapped the mirror with his open right palm, giving his reflection a high five. Then, nodding for each word, he said with manufactured certainty, “You. Are. The. Man. Mo.”

Moses and his big brother Aaron get to Egypt and meet the Pharaoh. In the Pharaoh’s eyes, these were two harmless and simple chaps with an even simpler request: let the people go.
The Pharaoh didn’t want his Israelite slave labourers to leave Egypt.  So he gave Moses and Aaron trouble for days. God gave the Pharaoh ultimatums. The Pharaoh was adamant. More ultimatums. More adamance. Harsher ultimatums. The Pharaoh cracked. Dejectedly, he ‘let the people go’. It had been 430 years in captivity – the Israelites sang in unison as they left Egypt.

The good book says the liberated Israelites roamed the desert for over 40 years in search of the phantom Promised Land. They cursed Moses. They sinned. They threatened to go back to Egypt because there, they had plenty in wine and bread. There, they didn’t sleep in tents amongst the desert snakes and scorpions.

Moses – the luckiness of his underwear and the starchiness of his caftan long gone – ran back to God time and again defeated. What do I do with these whiney Israelites? he said.


Liberation, for me, was glorious on the day it happened. Early April 2013. That Wednesday when all its pomp was unceremoniously crashed as soon as I exited the office building and drove smack into 5PM traffic.

That evening, my head was pounding from a terrible headache (I forgot to have lunch) and the tears were stuck in my eyes, refusing to roll out (the emotion was heavier than I had anticipated). Capital FM blasted from my car stereo; Cess Mutungi’s yapping could not have been any more suffocative than it were at this moment. It was raining. Traffic moved slowly. My cell phone was active with calls and text messages from my 10-minute-old ex colleagues wishing me Godspeed. The car windows were misting up. I rolled my window down and stuck my head out, turning to look at the office building majestic one last time. This was too much.

I needed a drink.

The entrance to Galileo was already behind me. So I swerved off the next exit and took the left turn to K1. When I got to its parking, I opened the door in a mild panic and hang my head out; my face was flushed red and my heart racing. A film of sweat had formed on my forehead. My head was pounding from a terrible headache. I spat. Right there beside me, on the passenger seat, was my orange office lanyard. Its tag was empty.  Next to it was an empty bottle of 4-year-old Keringet water and a case secured with a rubber band, full of unused business cards. In my trunk was a boxful of my belongings; one of those fancy ones with slots on its sides to slip your hands in. Egypt, eh? Children of Israel, eh?

I walked in the rain without a brolly. Head hang low and the spring in my step, gone.

At the bar, I slumped on a high stool. I ordered a double and stared at the catfish swimming in the aquarium behind the bartender. My head was pounding from a terrible headache (reminiscing on years past) and my head, Sweet Jesus, my head was pounding from a terrible headache (a significant chapter of my life had just ended). Did I mention my head was pounding from a terrible headache (the double I had gulped was making me feel woozy, worsening my head that was already pounding from a terrible headache)?

Uko sawa madam?” the bartender asked as he wiped a glass with the white dishcloth that hung from his right shoulder. For a few moments, he looked surreal. The black and white of his staff uniform juxtaposed with the turquoise fluorescence of the aquarium behind him, surrounding him in a haze that softened the features of his diamond-shaped bald head and pointy ears. A mousey man.

His name tag read Mutua.

I wanted to tell Mutua that I wasn’t quite okay. I wanted to tell him I had just left my audit job with no plan for what-next: the only plan I had was to not wash my hair for the next one hundred days. I wanted to tell him I hadn’t anticipated all this bloody emotion; that liberation should come with no such highs.

I wanted to tell him my pals were on their way; that as much as I looked it, I wasn’t in desperate need of company. I wanted to ask him where everybody was; except for the couple seated at the extreme end of the bar – noses touching in intimate conversation – and the three suits behind me following the muted TV images of Discovery Channel, it was deserted.

I wanted to ask him if he knew what it felt like to end a career before it had even begun. I wanted to ask him if he loved his job, his work. If wiping glasses and scrubbing the glass rings off the bar’s countertop was his life’s work. I wanted to know if I would find my life’s work.

I wanted to ask him if he believed in God. If he trusted Him. If he trusted Him the way Moses had. I wanted to tell him Moses was neither fearful nor anxious when he liberated the Israelites. That even he, like the Israelites, wanted in on the Promised Land but wasn’t certain where to find it.

Most of all, I wanted to tell Mutua that my head was pounding from a terrible headache.

But I didn’t. Instead, I offered him a straight smile and nodded I was okay.

Niongezee double ingine Mutua.


Life is a see-sawing battle out here, man. I am Moses, and at the same time I am the children of Israel. I am leading but still being led. I am chanting attitude-building slogans while at the same time silently whining the harshness of the desert terrain. I am roaming in search of the Promised Land but have this nagging feeling that this is it. This is the Promised Land. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it Love.

Hey, did you tell you about my head, my head that was pounding from a terrible headache…?

Stuff of yellow post-its
An hour’s conversation

Comments (14)

  1. MIMI

    Yes You just did!!!, same as mine is at this point looking at this numbers that are not making sense and damn, I am I missing the promised land too??

    • fra

      Hehehe. You are in the Promised Land already.
      Crunch those numbers MIMI.

  2. Shi

    Breathtaking.. you’ve done it once more Flo… Keep chanting the attitude – building slogans.. keep on keeping on… until you have been liberated…:-)

  3. Savvy Kenya (@savvykenya)

    You must have been in Bush, they are the ones I know who say brolly :)

    Guess you’re still in transition from your old life of audit but of course the headache faded away and you’re fine now.

    • fra

      But are they the only ones who say brolly? :-)
      Yeah, I am still in transition. Old habits to unlearn and whatnot. It is a lengthy process.

  4. Sally

    Finally. Been checking you almost everyday. Keep writing gal.

    • fra

      Will do Sally.
      The hours in one day don’t seem to be enough anymore.

  5. Capt. Jecinta

    Fra, you are amazing. This i like very much, i actually love all your work. It shall be well…it shall be well. Keep going…, much support!

    • fra

      Aye Aye Captain. And thanks for the support.

  6. Mwende

    Bett….Started readin this blog a few months back and its really marveling how well you write….You should have dropped the suit and audit files sooner :-D :-D ….Seems like you have found promised land! Keep writing….

    • fra

      Thanks a bunch. It’s good to know you are somewhere back there.
      Pop your head up a little more often, will you?
      Happy New Year Mwende.

  7. dskuwe

    Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by draw backs and

    Its like courting this really hot chic (change for the better). You reall?y want her right? But no one tells you about her annoying family (drawbacks) and her intrusive friends (discomforts).

    I wanted to throw in an exclamation mark some where there. Then I remembered that bit you said about exclamation marks. So I rephrased. I am a better writer now you know But then again to each is own!! Haha!

    Loved the piece though.

    • fra

      Hehhhe, that made for a laugh dskuwe.
      Thanks for coming by here.

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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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