The Windmills in the Hills

There has been an empty can of ginger beer living on my dresser for the past two weeks. It’s a beautiful bottle. Placed among the clutter of coins, colognes, cable wires, bits of hair and used up bottles of lotion, the can sticks out like a rusty nail. It has a blend of bright red and white and yellow and the word ‘fiery’ is labeled on its side – seemingly seated inside is a ball of flame. The silvery top of the can smells like dried-up sugars and the vivid memory of a girl wrapped around my arms.

The sight of it sends me a nostalgic wave. I can almost swear I still taste the ginger on the tip of my tongue.

So about this girl: She had always wanted to see the windmills on Ngong Hills. She asked if I could tag along. I couldn’t say no.

But as it turned out, neither of us knew where exactly we were going. We decided to get onto Ngong Road and just keep driving until the Google Maps chick said we had arrived. It was the first time a girl was driving me around. And when I saw that she held the wheel with one arm, the hairs on my skin stood up. I found it terribly sexy, and when she ordered that I wear my seatbelt, I adjusted myself to hide the bulge in my pants.

The stereo was turned all the way down. “I prefer it that way,” she said, “otherwise it will ruin my concentration.”

“Well, right now your twisted foot is ruining mine,” I said.

She chuckled. In the silence that followed I thought, My, what a laugh.

That day, I was nursing a herpes infection on my upper lip. I felt like my mouth was burning. The sore oozed water and that side of my face was numb. As we plunged down a winding road, I could see my reflection on the side mirror. I looked ghastly. But that wasn’t the real tragedy, the real tragedy was that I wasn’t going to kiss this girl. Not today, at least.

“I hope you know you’re the one driving back,” she said.

I turned and smiled at her. If I wouldn’t knock her socks off with a kiss then I may as well do it with my driving.

In another life I’d have probably been a race-car driver. I fell in love with the wheel ever since I saw a dashboard and I wouldn’t be surprised if anyone told me I was birthed inside a car. I feel at ease when I’m driving, and the most alive. Even though I like to lazily hold on to the steering, I still manage to have my reflexes in check.

And to support my race career dream even further, I find anything less than 70 on the needle to be rather boring. My need for speed feeds into my foot and the adrenaline warms my blood. Plus I also like to entertain the chilling thought that one wrong move and it could all end in an instant. It’s thrilling. She’d be thrilled.

“I know,” I said. “I’ll drive you.”

It didn’t take long to find the Hills, and after asking a bodaboda rider for directions, we were soon scaling a dusty path that led to a lonely windmill. The monstrous turbine sat on a flat area and we parked at the edge. The land below rolled like a green carpet out to the horizon and I thought I could see a smoky hut.

We sat in the car, talked and laughed, and at some point she reached out to hold my hair. We were suddenly encased in stillness. A bird chirped in the distance. A plane roared from somewhere in the clouds. It was serene as hell and I inwardly cursed the herpes because the moment simply begged for a kiss.

Later we found ourselves standing under the windmill. The massive white propellers were spinning right above us and we stared at it for so long until my neck hurt. I hadn’t seen that she had closed her eyes. I wondered what she was thinking, what this moment meant to her. So I stepped in behind her and threw my hands around her waist. She held on to them, not once opening her eyes. She fit like a glove.

When I looked back up at the propeller – rotating about its axis – I imagined the thing coming off and barreling towards us, slashing us to bloody rags. And I had the same feeling I get when I put my foot on the gas – that in an instant all of it could come to a crashing end.

Her hair was in my face and her sweet scent washed my nostrils and I thought, Still, it wouldn’t be a bad way to go.

On our way back, in the car, she sat with her legs folded like a yogi. When we weren’t talking, she looked out the window.

I usually get curious when I’m on the road. I always want to see the person in the next car. I always want to know who they are and where they’re going and why they drive the way they do. I always want to ask them what they saw in that car. How much do they spend on fuel? And what about car sex, have they thought about it?

The hound in me always notices other drivers and over time, there have been faces that have remained with me.

Like The Man in The White Subaru. The afternoon sun bounced off the car in sparkles and it slowed down as it approached the weighbridge at Mlolongo, going over the small bumps like a girl trotting in high heels. His windows weren’t tinted and he had a round bald head and neat beard. He wore a tailored white shirt and a quick guess would say early 30s – newly married, baby on the way.

There was also The Cabbie. It was weird that his front windows were up yet the ones at the back were down. Another bald head. P.S.V. He was picking his nose. I watched as he stuck a finger up his nostril and twist his hand downwards. I couldn’t quite see what he did with whatever he had dug out – was he going to eat it, or would he toss it out the window? He probably didn’t  have the freedom to pick his nose with customers in the car. Do you know what that might do to his star rating?

And then there was The Cat In The Hat. He rode at the back of an old Toyota, wearing a pale sad face under a green cap. His cheek bones pushed against his skin. An elderly couple sat in front, his folks, perhaps. None of them spoke. I wondered about the silence in the car, disturbed by the sound of the sad man’s breathing; gaspy and arrhythmic. I imagine he had a lung disease from his years of smoking, and now his drinking had gotten out of hand and his parents are the only ones who didn’t turn him away. Today he would check into rehab.

But not with this girl. Not on that day. With her, I struggled to keep my eyes in focus. She had carelessly snatched my attention away from the steering wheel and I couldn’t notice anyone else on the road. I wasn’t even at ease behind the wheel.

I looked over at her and imagined lying in her bed, reveling in the comfort of her warmth. I wondered if she wanted to kiss me as much as I did her. Did she know I fantasized about taking her breast in my palm? Maybe pin her against a wall?

I squeezed my foot to the pedal and watched the needle move from 60 to 80 to 120. She unfolded her legs and grabbed my hand to steady herself.

She laughed hard and in that moment, yet again, the possibility of death didn’t seem so scary.

Follow me on Instagram: Mike Muthaka

Someone, please call the Lifeguard
The Sad Man from Jus’ Chicken

Comments (2)

  1. Wamathwe

    Where have you been? The stories need to be longer though

    • Mike

      In fact I’ve been meaning to talk to the boss about my word count.
      Otherwise niko hapa tu. Mondays :-)

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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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