Knock on Wood


A case was brewing in the compound of New Light Senior Girls’ school. There were reports that the hedge behind the students’ dorm had been tampered with. Someone had made a hole big enough for a man to crawl under, and then covered it up with thorny twigs. A knowing hand could remove the tangle of sticks by grabbing the middle and simply yanking it off.

At around the same time the hole was discovered, there was a subsequent report of a cartel that was responsible for smuggling contraband into the school. Chewing gum and chocolate were precious commodities.  It was said that a single pellet of gum could for 20 bob, a stick of fudge was ten times more.

A search party made up of eagle-eyed teachers was hastily dispatched to the dorms and classrooms – every student was to be frisked; their desks would be rummaged through; their metal boxes were to be ransacked, until the culprit was found.

The students were caught with all sorts of stuff. One of them was caught with a packet of crisps (salt and vinegar). Another one had wrapped candies. Another was caught with a bottle of soda that stank of liquor. Another had rolls of weed tucked away in the piles of underwear.

Most of them refused to play ball during the interrogations; none of them was keen on being labeled snitch, even after a bit of caning. Their parents would be called in. Meanwhile, further caning could be done. One of them was bound to squeal; especially after they were sent to the strong-armed math teacher.

The math teacher was unforgiving.

By the time she was done with them a name was put forward.

“Matilda,” they said. “It was Matilda.”

Matilda was the one pushing product into the school. And she was very smart about it too because no contraband was found on her person. It was only until her name was snitched and a closer inspection had been done that she was found with a vibrator and wads of cash.

It was hard to imagine that Matilda – form 3 prefect, pony tail, round breasts, innocent face – was capable of running the cartel.

Matilda was immediately called into the principal’s office. She was looking at a possible expulsion. She pleaded guilty, and went on to narrate the story of the hedge.


I was aboard a tuktuk when I thought about Matilda. It was about 6PM, Friday. I had just submitted a troubling ‘Dusty Rugs’ piece and I wanted to spoil myself with fresh episodes of Family Guy. I hoped there would be no queue at the movie shop. And that they had finally fixed the popcorn machine.

The tuktuk smelt like roasted corn and musty leather. I was seated next to a guy with the fattest thumb I had ever seen. He was the one with the corn, and he used his fat fingers to pluck at the grains. There was a scar on his temple and he kept leaning forward, wanting to see the road ahead.

Can’t he just sit still? I thought.

His movements unnerved me. His leg kept bumping into mine and I wanted to tell him to chill the fuck out. He was eating into my personal space while terrorizing my glands with that mouth-watering corn.

I wanted to ask him if I could have some, then when he’d pass me the cob I’d hit him over the head with it. But I was afraid he might squish me with his thumb.

Namanga Road rolled endlessly in front of us. Trees and shrubs crawled by and it would be ten minutes before I got off. I couldn’t bear to think I’d have to endure this guy all that time. And why the hell was he eating that corn so slowly?

I needed to take my mind off the bugger. He was really getting under my skin. So what I did, I edged closer to the window and stuck my head out. The wind slapped my face; it turned my ears cold and forced me to shut my eyes. Fresh air never felt so good.

When I opened my eyes we were passing by New Light. A yellow signage announced its presence and there was a lazy-looking guard seated at the gate. A stretch of dirt road separated the school from the highway and it struck me that, beyond that road, was a bevy of girls. Scores of them. A whole flock of them. Girls. Girls. Girls everywhere. Girls by the boatload. Girls.

I wondered what they could be doing at that moment, when it’s Friday and the sky is turning dark. I wondered what they usually did for fun over there. I had heard some crazy lesbian tales about the school and the thought of it stirred me. How fun would it be if I was a teacher? Ha!

“Irene, I see you’re failing in Chemistry. What’s the problem? I thought we went over this topic in class. Come and see me in the evening for extra work. And tell Tiffany I also want to see her.”

“Irene, this is not the right answer. How many times do we have to go over this? Do you want me to fetch my stick?”

“You girls need to be disciplined. Tiffany, go for my stick.”

I was still thinking about giving Irene my stick when Fat Thumb tapped the driver’s shoulder and said, “Shukisha hapa.”

He squeezed by me as he stepped out, the smell of burnt cotyledon trailing him. I was now alone in the back –wallowing in the acres of space, free to spread my legs and think about Irene some more.

What if I bypassed the watchman and got into the dorms? How would the first girl to spot me react? Would she be excited at the sight of a boy? A boy with a stick, no less? Maybe I’d be lucky enough to see one of them in the shower. Or two of them. In the same shower.

Geez, I needed to spread my legs further. (So did Irene, hehe.)

And that’s when I thought about Matilda, and the story about her I was making up.


She said it was a boy who was getting the stuff for her. They had met on a cold Friday night when she was heading back to the dorm after prep. She first saw his silhouette standing behind the hedge and she could make out his broad shoulders and his spiky hair and the smoldering end of his cigarette.

She paid him no mind and went along.

The bathroom stall at the corner had a grilled window with a view of the hedge. She peered outside and saw him still standing there. He barely moved, save for when he brought the cigarette to his mouth. She wondered if he could see her. Who was he? And why was he just standing there? Was that really a cigarette? It sure smelled like pot.

Matilda would see him the next week, and the week after that. And for reasons only known to Matilda, she didn’t tell anyone about him.

In the days that followed Matilda thought about him more and more. The curiosity kept tugging at her. Why did he only come on Fridays? What was his name? She would think about him in class, and she would think about him during sports. She would think about him while she wrote down the noisemakers. She would think about him when she unknotted her ponytail before going to bed at night. Did he have a big stick?

And now she started looking forward to Fridays. He would be standing on the same spot every week – blowing smoke into the air, watching her. She imagined walking up to him and asking if she could have a puff.

And then they would become good friends. Every Friday they would rendezvous at the hedge and smoke and talk with him while crickets chirped in the distance. It wouldn’t be long before the friendship morphed into a mutual physical attraction.

It had been so long since she had a nice fuck anyway.

She would joke that, if she was Matilda from the movie Matilda she would have transported him with her mind, to her bed.

He would chuckle at that, his voice floating under the starless sky, “You are becoming a naughty girl.” Then he’d move closer and whisper, “Go for my stick.”

Follow me on Instagram: Mike Muthaka

Humpty Dumpty Remembers
A Dusty 2018

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to our content

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

Seraphinite AcceleratorOptimized by Seraphinite Accelerator
Turns on site high speed to be attractive for people and search engines.