Mohawks and Manes

The plan for Muna’s hair was to have no plan, really. I simply wanted to maintain the mohawk she was born with. (Hang on. Is the right word for it ‘mohawk’? Give me a sec I look it up. I’ll be back in a jiff, don’t leave, OK? [A jiff later] I’ve looked it up on Google – it’s not a ‘mohawk’ but a high top. A hi-top. Let’s run with that, even if my title no longer ties to the story.)


I simply wanted to maintain the hi-top she was born with: I’d let it grow itself out, trim the sides and a little off the top every so often to neaten it and its fade, splash on some olive oil after her evening bath to lock in the moisture then comb it out with my fingers to make it look like it was not combed. There was a vibe I wanted her hair to give off – a mix of edgy and punk, bohemian and chic. Cared for enough to put some thought into its grooming but not too much to be obsessive. Her head was shaped for that hi-top.

I couldn’t tell just yet whether she had my hair or my GB’s. GB wouldn’t say it out loud just yet but I knew he was secretly praying that she had his. Understandably. I have terrible hair: it gets really dry, it grows too fast, its wispy and weak (I’m avoiding the word thin) and gets this brown unhealthy tint in the sunshine. My hairline is as irregular as a coastline. Only an insensitive bastard would ask me to style it in a bun that sits at the top of my head. I care about it only enough for it not to die and fall off my head.

If I could play the blame game and point fingers, I’d point at my Ol’Man – his lineage of Kale folk had their hair blown off their head as they got down the family tree. If this is what I have now, I’m terrified to imagine what the third generation after me will have.

GB’s on the other hand, the gods smiled on him. He has hair that light bounces off. The individual strands are thick and strong enough to prick you with. I’ve never seen him shampoo, moisturize or condition it. Let alone comb it. That hairline deserves a pinup in a barbershop, right next to the poster for Trey Songz or Ludacris. If he grew out his hair, it would grow into this mane that can be used as the cover art in an album sleeve for some hip hop artist. It’s unfair really. What does he need all that lovely hair for? Or eyebrows, what does he need them for?! I can’t even get into that storo for my eyebrows and their scarcity. I can’t! Haaha. I sometimes feel like Uncle Fester from The Addams Family.

I’ll say this to draw the carpe – my hair mumbles under its breath to itself, GB’s sings in a falsetto to a crowd.

As her Mummy, I didn’t care whose hair Muna got. I’d take whatever she was given – or came with – and I’d like it, even if it were three strands of hair that sat in a lonely patch at the top of her head. It’s the same way a new mum who hadn’t picked a name for her baby when she was pregnant ends up settling for whatever name her partner suggests, once that baby is born. “As long as we don’t end up calling her Baby, I’m fine,” she’ll tell him. So he’ll name their daughter Zipporah, Nancy or Peninah, after his own mum. Or their son Zephaniah or George, after his paternal great grandfather.

Muna came with a mild bush of newborn hair styled into a messy hi-top. God had taken His time to moisturize it before He let her into the world.

I shaved off this newborn hair when she was seven months old, so that her real hair would grow. I put it in a Ziploc bag then fixed a strip of masking tape on one side to label it: ‘28 May. Muna’s birth hair’. It looked like evidence collected from a crime scene. Or ingredients a witch doctor saved for a spell. Or pieces of an ex a crazy girlfriend put under her pillow at night. (Saving birth hair is a psychotic new-mum thing. You’d only get it if you’ve been there before.)

The new haircut made her eyes and forehead pop. GB insisted we plait it to make it grow faster, her nanny suggested we knot it up with coloured rubber bands. I ignored them both because it really wasn’t that serious. She’s just a baby, for Pete’s Sake. Hair grows! Besides, what were we fussing about it for, was she a finalist in a beauty pageant? In Toddlers and Tiaras maybe?

It filled up by the time Muna was nine months old. I continued with the hi-top. Then one Friday, I’m at the door from jobo unlacing my boots when Muna came towards me in this unusual half-run half-hop. An ‘oh no’ escaped my lips as I saw why she seemed off: the nanny had plaited Muna’s hair into two cornrows. They started in the middle of her head and run down a few inches to end right there in the middle of her head. In the words of Less Than Jake, the band, they were going nowhere.

Maybe it was the angle I looked at her from or maybe it was trick the cornrows played on my eyes, but the way she was running down the corridor toward me, she seemed to have no balance, like she was falling forward. Like her head was much bigger and heavier than the rest of her body. She looked older; less like a baby and more like a toddler, less like herself and more like a boy. She looked like GB. Jesus, she looked like GB – that box head with a flat top and gentle kisogo was all his. He squealed when he saw her. “This is what I’ve been talking about,” he said as he pointed to her hair and threw her into the air. Muna squealed back.

Well, the two cornrows became two and half in the weekend that followed. I undid them then slapped on some olive oil-water-castor oil mix I made from a natural-hair care video I had watched on YouTube. I took my time moisturizing and sectioning her hair into four matutas, and sweeping down the sides of baby hair. I sang to her while at it. When I was finished, she looked like an African doll. GB saw her and his eyes misted with tears.

Doing the matutas as she sat between by thighs every weekend became our thing. Still is. I have to admit, I was having such fun styling it and seeing it grow. The hi-top was long enough to tie into three neat little buns when we sang around her cake on her first birthday.

But I still can’t tell whose hair she has. Hopefully, and I pray GB doesn’t hear me say this, not mine.

An edited version of this story first run in the March-2017 issue of True Love Magazine

Exes and Texts

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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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