Newborns and Nightgowns

The cloud-stitched sky was loosening and the Sun sliding into view. Bright light struck the earth as the traffic crawled by, the sound of drilling pierced the air. Slow down, men at work. A roller truck with a blue Chinese Logo was smoothening part of the tarmac on the other side of the road. The sweaty dude at the controls wore a helmet and a reflector jacket, he stuck his head outside his window as if waiting to hear the squelch of the tiny bits of rock.

His work must be fun, I thought.

I mean his job was to seat atop the monstrosity and squash things on the ground with a big rounded mass of metal. Imagine how powerful he must have felt, that at any moment he could simply decide to drive the thing onto the main road and flatten everyone else into the afterlife.

I was seated in the passenger seat of a Mazda Axela, sharing legroom with a pair of high-heeled shoes. As you might have guessed, the car belonged to a chick – my cousin, Liz. She’s keeping a safe distance between us and the car in front because she needs to check her email from time to time. Liz is your typical career woman, really; married, two kids, pushing towards 40 and a desk job that stopped floating her boat ages ago.

“I’ve barely slept,” she says, swallowing a yawn.

I can tell because she has bags under her eyes and her face has lost its shine. She’s placed her elbow out the window, holding her head at a tilted angle. The other arm loosely hangs onto the steering wheel. This job is sucking the life out of her and I can’t help but feel sorry for her a little.

“How are the kids?” I ask.

She sighs but I know she loves to talk about her kids. She says, “Well, the older one is turning 10 in a few months. You are invited to the party, Mike. The baby is six and is getting more stubborn by the day. She’s very moody that one, kwanza when you don’t give her the phone,” she rolls her eyes, “hell.”

Liz is the kind of person who – when she’s frustrated about something – says stuff like, “Can I just be tired?” And she says it with just the right touch of anger and exhaustion so that you know it’s not really a question.

“Do you ever see yourself in your daughter?”

“A lot!” Liz says, eyes lighting up. “The other day I asked her to fetch something from the kitchen and you know what she told me? Ati, mum can I just be tired?”

That killed me. We cackled.

“It was just the other day I was bringing her home, Mike. Gosh.”

At that moment, I happened to see, to my left, a bearded man walking out of Gertrude’s Children clinic. I thought I saw a smile play about his lips and it wasn’t hard to imagine why because he was carrying a baby by his chest. The baby didn’t look a day older than a week. It was wrapped in pink blankets and I quickly assumed it was a girl, because, well, pink is for girls, right?

I could see she was asleep. Her tiny lips were open and rounded like the muzzle of a gun and she looked mighty peaceful, removed from all the noise and hubbub of the world around her. Against that man’s chest she remained shielded from the carbon-spoilt air and the clank of metal.

I wondered if she could feel the man’s heart beat, if it was in sync with hers in some way. I looked around to check if a woman was trailing them but I didn’t see any. I wondered where the Mom was, and what this moment meant for him, the Dad. How close will these two be? Will the girl naturally prefer to be in his arms? What of her eyes, does she have his eyes?

I wondered how she would turn out.


She meets me at the gate, green plastic comb in hand. Part of her hair is undone and she refuses to hug me because her hair is wet. “I’m doing bantu knots,” she says. I don’t remember her head looking this round, but her smile is as it’s always been, warm and joyous. Her face looks scrubbed clean. She has a sleeveless top that accentuates her long brown arms. She smells like lemon trees.

“We’ll have to go to my room because I need the mirror,” she says.

She has soft soundless slippers on her feet as she leads the way, I notice that her hips have majestically ballooned over the years. She now wears horn-rimmed spectacles to correct her shortsightedness, she tells me school is taking a toll on her. She always wanted to do architecture but she didn’t think the hours would be this crazy. But, unlike Liz, her complaints are tinged with satisfied exhaustion.

As we climb up to her room, the wooden staircase creaks beneath my feet. The rest of the house is deathly quiet and at the turn of the stairwell there’s a large vase with what looks like orange tree branches sticking out of it. Someone must have really put some thought into that, I think.

As soon as I cross the threshold into her bedroom, I notice two oil paintings hung on the purple wall. One of them is of a forest of sorts with two feeding giraffes. The other one shows a beautiful sunset and it arrests much of my attention that I don’t hear what she’s banging on about.

“You did all this?” I ask, interrupting her.

“What…?” Casually, hands still in her hair, she says, “Yeah…I did. Yeah.”

For a brief moment I picture her while she paints. I imagine that she looks at those pieces every morning and they inject her with pride.

“This is amazing,” I say. I trace my finger against the canvas.


She says it as if it doesn’t mean much to her.

Her bed is unmade but the rest of the room is neat, smells clean, like it has been soaked in a wash of lavender. Her green dresser is set next to the bed, with an oval mirror and a bunch of hair products in front of it. At the far end sits an open bottle of body lotion.

There’s a wardrobe on the other side of the wall, one of its doors is opened by just a crack. A pink nightgown is slung over it. The gown sticks out like a rose among nettles.

When she isn’t looking, I go over to the closet and hold a piece of the gown in my palm. It’s made from satin and it feels comfortable against my skin. An image of her in the nightgown climbs into my head and I see her wearing it in the evening, after a warm bath. I imagine her in the dead of night, unable to sleep, standing by a blank canvas thinking of what to paint next – it’s 2AM, and a ripening moon is hanging low over her window. Maybe she’ll gift the painting to her Dad for his 40th birthday.

And when she gives it to him he’ll have that same smile he had when he carried her home that first day.


Her Majesty
Happy Hour… And some Weed

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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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