A Bike, a Sack and an Ugly leather jacket

By and by, I’m beginning to notice the tinge of yearning I get whenever I see someone on a motorbike. I remain aware of the desire I have to own a bike. And I’m not talking about those ubiquitous beat-up looking boda bodas you see running around this town. The kind of bike I have in mind is a monstrosity that makes a lot of noise, the kind that cranes everyone’s neck and with enough technological beauty to pulsate a girl’s loins.

So last Friday I would be found at the front entrance of a mall in Kitengela, leaning against the metal railing. A quick check at my phone would reveal a text from whomever I was waiting for. “Ndio mimi huyo,” it said.

He hadn’t even showered, obviously.

I had on my favorite black leather jacket, which usually makes me feel like I came on a bike. The air was chilly and I could feel goose bumps sprouting over my forehead and the skin on my lips was peeling, the zipper on the jacket had jammed.

It was a little too early in the morning, and the mall’s parking area was mostly empty. Once in a while, someone would go into the supermarket and another would come out with a small bag worth of shopping. And the thing with these people is that most of them were giving me a look. It seemed so anyway. Only, I didn’t know why. I thought they were just admiring my jacket.

I hadn’t noticed that, just a few feet away from me, was the designated parking spot for motorbikes. It only hit me when I noticed that all the bikes that were coming in were squeezed in one spot. And then a big red bike confirmed my suspicion. It glided over and parked a little distance away from me and all the other bikes. The rider was this lean-looking fellow with shiny pants. He turned off the ignition, hung his helmet on one of the handles and disappeared into the building.

I looked at that bike for a long moment, whetting my appetite for one just like it. And I pictured myself atop it, devouring the tarmac and stirring the souls of everyone else on the road. The bike had a bitey front, with two headlights plastered on its face. The bodywork was fat and the back was winged, and the whole thing looked like a piece of engineering witchcraft. I imagined a girl’s arms wrapped around my chest as we zipped through the highway, and what all that vibration under the motor might be doing to her loins. It was a magnificent bike, it really was.

It suddenly dawned on me why those people were staring – they must have looked at my jacket and confused it for a biker jacket and now they were wondering where I had left my bike.

And now that there was a beautiful bike parked there, I could comfortably pretend it was mine and see if the stares would change from ‘where’s the bike?’ to ‘how about a ride, sweetheart?’

And they did. At some point I saw a bespectacled middle-aged man come out of the building. He was carrying a brown bag in one hand and twirling a bunch of car keys in the other. Trailing behind him was an excited young boy of about seven who threw glances at everything and everyone, like he was in a carnival or something. I assumed the man was his father, and they passed right in front of me as they headed to the parking lot. The boy – like everyone else really – looked at the bike. You could tell he was amazed by it because his eyes went all wide and he threw an arm over his bald head and said, “Wawawawa!

And when he saw me standing there, his eyes widened some more and he said, “Eish!”

I gave him a smile because for a brief moment he had made me believe that the bike was truly mine. As he walked away, the sky light bouncing off his bald head, I fancied how he couldn’t wait to get home and tell his friends about the guy with the ugly jacket who wanted people to think he came on a bike.

I checked my phone for a text or call from my pal, the one I was waiting for, but got nothing. I was beginning to get impatient. And a little pissed off, to tell you the truth.

A little while later I saw two uniformed guards coming around the corner of the building. They were headed for the entrance and were carrying a green sack, each holding either end. They walked with a leaning stance and I quickly figured the sack was a bit heavy. One of them had a haggard face and he looked genuinely sad. He was the shorter of the two and his features looked worn out, his eyes were pale. I had the feeling his face would stay with me long after that.

Behind him were two other guards, only these ones were strapped with AK47s and were dressed in camo from top to bottom, with heavy boots to boot. And further behind was a petite yellow-skinned chick with a pink hoodie. She carried a book and a pen, and I quickly gathered that the sack was loaded with cash. I stood up straighter.

The group walked inside, and I couldn’t quite shake off that guard’s face. I wanted to look at it a bit longer. I wanted to memorize his face. I wanted to take him in and paint a nice place for him where he didn’t seem so beaten down. So what I did was, I followed the group into the building. This must have looked suspicious because the guard with the frisk machine touched me a little more than necessary. I cleared my throat loudly when he run the machine over my balls more times than he needed to.

The money was headed to an upper floor, and I tried to stay as far behind as possible because the last thing I wanted was to be shot and get blood all over my jacket. Didn’t matter how ugly it was. Meanwhile the sack went up the stairs and I saw the guard’s face again.

And his life flashed before my eyes.

I wondered if he was ever tempted to steal some of that cash; that would have certainly paid off most of his debts. I pictured his life at home, at the breakfast table drinking his wife’s tea. They have three lovely kids and the fridge is running on empty because times are tough. There’s no sugar in his tea. I wondered how it must feel for him to go to work every day, count boatloads of money, and then come back to the squalor existence that now surrounds him. And I could almost feel his pain, of having to walk around with irony on his shoulder and a bruised ego.

Maybe he had dreams of being rich. Maybe when he came to the big city his world was filled with hope and raw ambition, but now he’s forced to carry somebody else’s wealth up a staircase. He had probably wished to live in a leafy suburb by the time he was 40, buying his wife expensive shoes and taking his children to agreeable schools. Maybe at 20 he had wanted a bike, something cool to get around town with and impress some girls. Hell, maybe he wanted a leather jacket like mine.

And as we climbed up the stairs to the fourth floor I thought, maybe life is just like a staircase. It cuts corner. It’s unevenly paved and it’s steeped by dented ambition. And that most times – no matter how much climbing you do – there’ll always be someone at the top.

Most likely, a guy that owns a motorbike and a better leather jacket than mine.


The Ghost of Facebook Girl
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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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