Guest writer: The Call

He called.

He makes me happy. He really does.

He doesn’t make me happy as in laughing and giggling and joking. Well, he does, I laugh, and giggle and joke with him…a lot. I laugh so much that there’s a screeching pitch at the end of my laughter.

But he makes me happy, because we talk. We talk about stuff. Real stuff. We let free. Let loose. We just are. He tells, I tell, we tell.

We laugh and cry and hug through words. The conversations he and I have last long. This last one lasted two hours. We said good night. Then we hang up another half hour later.

He called me when I had a bad day. The only good thing about it was his phone call. Oh, and another deep conversation I had with my sister. I enjoyed that. It was unexpected. It was largely about life and how interesting it can be with all the curve balls it throws at us.

My sister and I…talking…I was happy. She’s been travelling the world, visiting South Africa at the moment, enjoying her hard earned accounting cash. Before that she was in Tanzania, and before that she was in Brazil. I am jealous.

I was happy we talked because she’s  finally on-board with who I am. With my art, my writing, my profession. She’s either on-board or making do, whichever one is fine by me.

Back to my friend, it had been a bad day. A bizarre day. A day where I was tired. Just tired.  I wanted to yell out that I’m tired, and I did, to my sister, via WhatsApp. She answered, “Well, that doesn’t help. What are you going to DO?” Mmh, my sister, she’s caring in that annoying, sober, kind of way.

My friend, yes, this back n forth is similar to what my life is currently. A lot of back and forth. A lot of here and there. Up and down. This and that. A drastic roller coaster. It’s driving me bonkers. I want definition, but the universe, together with Murphy’s Law, keep paying me visits. Murphy especially, has been paying me lots of visits this year. I do not like it.

He called, and distracted me a little (my friend I mean, not Murphy). He said he had a bad day at work, an egocentric boss’s sister-cum-colleague was belittling him, his job had its moments. Then there was me and my life. He offered to help on a sticky situation I was in, or find someone who could. I was grateful.

He taught me something on giving. When it’s immediate family, you give, without expectations, just give. With relatives, you question. With friends, you go with your instincts. But the lesson, was to give.

We got into stories of the past. Horrifying, mind-blowing, revelations on both our parts that could make for an Oscar-worthy movie. Everything, from violence to drugs to accidents to spooky cultures. He said he’d stop calling me, that I depressed him. I said I didn’t mean to, that my intention was to show that even when life shows us what it’s capable of, we can still turn out alright.

As for relationships; he was engaged, now he’s not, he likes it, he’s okay with it. The ex didn’t support his passions, but he stuck it out with the relationship, because they’d been together a long time, three years to be precise and he wanted to do the right thing, marry the girl.

Then one day, she wasn’t happy, she called off the engagement. He was okay with that, he wanted someone who supported his passions and he was also in love with someone else, his former ex, they’re back together now.

This brought me back to the conversation with my sister – life. It turns out however it turns out. It calls the shots. It gives the commands. And there’s not a damn thing we can do about it, except embrace our realities, find opportunities and hope for better days.

We then talked of health. Mental health. Life can really mess you up. It can mess the shits out of you. We hoped some people we knew would find help, or friends, or outlets, or…church.

He mentioned there was a time he thought of quitting on his passion. I admitted I also haven’t written in a while. Apart from submitting stories to the New York magazine, I haven’t written much. I haven’t blogged.

Someone earlier in the week asked me, “But you used to blog weekly?” Yes.

“Actually, you used to blog almost thrice a week?” Yeah, I know.

“And now you’re just not blogging?” No answer.

My friend said the answer is to not stop. He said sometimes we need to try once more. Just one more time. And surround ourselves with positive people, people who encourage us.

Like this story, my life is all over the place. I don’t know where this writing business is going. I doubt myself sometimes and I worry. I’m worried that I’ve signed up for too many writing engagements. I’m also insecure. Insecure that my writing makes me “talk” too much and I don’t like talking too much.

And then I’m terrified, terrified that I’m actually relocating to Kenya and everyone says it’s a bad idea, an unthinkable one, but my intuition won’t let me sleep at night if I change my mind. I’m worried that I don’t know what the hell I’m doing making a decision like this, that I might be making the biggest mistake of my life, that there are so many eyes watching and mouths waiting to say “I told you so,” but sometimes, I am excited. I am pumped. I am ecstatic because I have a gut feeling that this move is one I need to make. I am optimistic that Kenya could bring fulfillment, that it wouldn’t be as flat and grey and lucklustre as Australia has been for me. I’m hopeful, that I could be part of Kenya’s growing artistic culture. That even with matatus, potholes, black-outs, hawkers and dust, life could actually be colourful.

But then, there are those other times, when I am scared senseless. I put on the radio, sit on the carpet, hold on to the electric blanket, feel its warmth, then stare at the drink in my glass hoping for a sign. Any sign. Any…that I’m making the right move. That I will be okay. That everything will turn out fine. Of course glasses do not give signs, nor do drinks, so I pray, then I remember to hold on to three things: passion, dreams and faith.

My friend said that’s what life is, a journey and we make of it what we will.

He also said something else, something so profound that I wish it were written on stone. He said: “We don’t all have the same purpose, some people are meant to go overseas and stay. Others are meant to go overseas and return home. It’s the exposure that’s crucial, but we all ultimately have our own individual paths.”

The man had spoken. This was the day I was going to give up, to quit everything, to settle, and then he called, made me smile, had me laugh, helped me think.

He called.


About my guest writer
I asked CeeCe to write me a brief about herself; something sassy and bragful I would include as a footnote to her story. She responded with an emoticon: A half-smile half-laugh which made me realize that all the poise on her comments and emails told of the modesty that lay between that half-smile and half-laugh.

CeeCe said to leave her real name out of this story. Something about her work riding on the anonymity of her identity. So I did.

CeeCe tells me she is a growing artist – she writes, and she does voice-overs for TV and radio. Her feature-writing gigs include covering celebrity interviews, travel destinations and interior design reviews. She mixes all of this writing up occasionally with her ‘life’s musings’. Stories which make their way to her blog, The Cottage Comfort. CottCom.

CeeCe does plenty of ghost writing, too, especially for Aussie websites. She’s just been taken up as a writer for an elite New York magazine. (I told you she was modest.)

CeeCe relocates to Nairobi from Aussie after Easter.

Catch up with her on her blog sometime: cottcom.wordpress.com

Sizzle, no steak
Makadem and others’ story

Comments (7)

  1. Magunga

    Ceece sounds like an interesting character….following her blog. As for you Fra, write more often yawa….and reply emails :-)

  2. Mwende

    I’m thoroughly pleased to see a new post…Kept checking in and got tired of seeing sizzle no steak! Ceece I like your style….passion, dreams and faith :-)

    • fra

      The poor post has received so much beating it can no longer stand on it’s feet, hehhe.

  3. Wangechi

    Ceece, may the words of Isaiah 61 encourage you this year and always! You write well too!

    Fra, may these words encourage you too and may you never stop writing :-*

  4. dskuwe

    We got into stories of the past. Horrifying, mind-blowing, revelations on both our parts that could make for an Oscar-worthy movie. Everything, from violence to drugs to accidents to spooky cultures. He said he’d stop calling me, that I depressed him. I said I didn’t mean to, that my intention was to show that even when life shows us what it’s capable of, we can still turn out alright.

    Related to this coz am kinda going through the same. Well written.

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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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