Happy Hour… And some Weed


Let’s call him Tom. He’s in his first year in my campus and has the longest legs you’ve ever seen on a boy. He comes from Burundi, and only last week did I ask him why he chose to study in Nairobi.

“Political i-i-nstability,” he says. His accent is like for someone who speaks French. How do you explain accents, anyway? It was…unexpected; you wouldn’t expect to hear it come out of his mouth. It was like… phlegm yet also pleasing in its foreignness. I don’t know, does that help? His voice, his voice feels like it’s leaking from the roof of his mouth.

“So you go there every holiday? What’s in Burundi?”

“Home. My friends.”

“What do you do for fun in Burundi, Tom? I mean, you leave your girlfriend behind?”

He doesn’t see the tongue in my cheek, so he says flatly, “Mostly kulewa.”

Tom is two semesters in, and he’s already dating, which is ironic because when we met during his first month – green as summer grass – he was convinced he wasn’t cut out for dating. He lived by the maxim Tap and go, and, like all of us, he was eager to make an impression on every girl he chanced upon.

He used to wear these plus-size shirts with huge African prints on them screaming with different colors. He could pull off the look, really, but because I was jealous I was invited to poke fun at his dress, so I’d say, “Tom, you’re scaring our girls away with those shirts!”

We’d chuckle.

Rather seriously, he’d say, “I like these shirts because my f-f-father has hundreds of them. T-t-they’re stylish to him.”

Tom since stopped wearing them though, and I feel bad about it. I mean, I’d hate to be the one that makes him hate his shirts.

We shared a class during his first semester, IRS 105. International Relations. He usually sat at the back of the class like I did. And not once did I see him pay attention. He would walk out the room a lot while the class was going on. If he was seated, he would always be on his phone.

One Tuesday, he came to class with a packet of simsims. The noise the paper made while he wrestled the packet open drowned out the lecturer’s voice and everyone turned back to look at him. A huge silence fell into the room. A girl chuckled. The lecturer frowned. I smiled. At the end of the class he offered some to me and I asked, “Do they have weed in them by any chance?”

“No. But I can show you where t-t-to get some.”

We became friends.

At first I found him annoying because he has a slight stutter – it would take him ages to construct a sentence and I would get so impatient I would finish his words for him. I think he hated me a little for it, but in my defense, I didn’t know he was Burundian. They speak a lot of French there. His loud shirts should have given me the first clue but I was too busy wolfing down his tasty simsims.

On that day, he was wearing a shiny brown beaded bracelet on his left wrist. He would spin it around his arm from time to time and I made a mental note to ask him if it means anything, the bracelet. But I never got around to it because it was too soon in the friendship. I didn’t want him to scare him away, moving from ‘Hey, thanks for the simsim?’ to ‘What does this bracelet mean?’ so fast.

Since then, we have spent quite some time together. He’s an interesting chap who know things, and every time you sit with him you learn something. He showed me a joint around campus that has the most tempting beer prices during happy hour.

He taught me how to say hello and goodbye in his Kirundi tongue. ‘Bwakeye’ for hello and ‘N’agasaga’ for goodbye. I would have taught him a few words in my Kuyo but….

And he tells a hell lot of stories. Stutters and all. “There this one time I w-w-was walking around the streets at night,” he once said, cackling, as we had our beers at happy hour, “and I got stopped by a man in a suit. I thought it was a policeman so I surrendered my phone.” I shook my head and defensively, he added, “I thought that t-t-this is what policemen in Kenya do! Michael! B-but I only thought it was a policeman because I had some, y-you know,” he brings his fingers to his lips and inhales, “on me.”

We laughed hard.

“That’s how m-m-m-y p-p-p…” he added, still cackling.

“Phone?” I said, sipping from my bottle.

“Yes. That’s how it w-w-went.”

We smoked weed later that afternoon.

Tom was also the one who introduced me to the chapo-smokie, which is basically just that – a smokie wrapped inside a chapo with kachumbari and tomato sauce poured inside. He was there when that piece of culinary genius gave me an explosive mouth-gasm, and now I’m even ashamed of waving a patriotic flag in front him.

Anyway, one time we were walking towards the chapo-smokie shop when I remembered to ask him about his beaded bracelet. To get to the shop you have to climb a hilly path. I turned to look at his wrist but the bracelet was missing. In its place was another bracelet, though. This one was pink, with three slim Kenyan flags coiling around the circumference. The underside had two strings tied into a knot, alive with the black and red and green and white of the land.

“Dating has tied me to one person,” Tom was saying. “Now, I’m n-n-not free to flirt the way I used to b-b-before.”

I saw a bit of myself in him when he said that. I mean, he derived a lot of excitement from sneaking into empty classrooms to swap saliva with his girlfriend. Just like I did. Once. But one day he would get bored of the sneaking around, and of it all, just like I did. Then he’ll probably skip classes a few times and tire of texting of her. She would want more attention from him, and that means his other friendships would lose traction. This would bore him even more. His bonga points would take a hike because he would spend many a night on the phone with bae.

Tom’s long legs made him take huge strides and I struggled to keep up with him. He was still talking. “…My family moved to a house closer to school, now I’m g-g-given less pocket money. I have no way to support my drinking. I’m thinking of getting a j-j-j…”

“A job?” I offered.

He nodded. “I’ve thought about walking over to that petrol s-s-station in Hurlingham and asking for one as a fuel attendant.”

I found that so bold and I admired him a little for it. “So why didn’t you go?”

“Well, first of all, sina ID,” he said. “Those guys will be suspicious. I have the Burundian one b-b-but…” he raises his hands in resignation.

I’m running out of breath and trying to catch up with him. “Tom si you walk a bit slowly?”

He ignores me and carries on. “But I know my M-m-mom won’t let me have a job. She’ll j-j-just say I want money for drinking.”

He looks beaten down, Tom, like the thought of having no money scares him. I chuckle at the look on his face and I see him take a longer stride.

“Hopefully b-by next year things will be okay and I can g-g-g-o back home,” he says.

I want to pat him on the back but he’s too far ahead for my reach. He says something else but it suddenly hits me that if he happens to go back home, I might miss him a little. I mean, I really enjoy hanging out with him. And it makes me feel even more terrible that I haven’t taught him a single thing about my country. Not even a word in Kuyo. Or sheng’. I haven’t even introduced him to my weed guy.

We finally reach the shop at the top of the hill. I’m sweating like a cucumber, Tom has barely broken a sweat. Breathlessly, I say, “Chapo-smokie on me today. Weed, later.”

He smiles back. “Kira.”
Follow me on Instagram: Mike Muthaka

Newborns and Nightgowns
Smells of Sunday

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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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