She’s a Catholic Girl


“I thought you’d stay and have some cake,” she says.

My mind starts opening up in all sorts of unexpected directions. Her parents are off to work and we’re alone in the house.

“Which cake?” I ask with a grin.

And her face returns to its settled lines. Her gaze steadies on my face and I suspect I might have made her angry. She has a black hair-net and I’m having a tough time reading her today. Her feet are tucked into grey fluffy socks and the weather outside has turned iffy and I’m supposed to be in school.

I don’t want to go to school. I want to sit on this couch and find out exactly what she meant by cake.

She doesn’t tell me which cake, though. She stands up and heads to the kitchen, and I’m left in the living room with a glass of cold Sprite and some French toast. Blades of morning sunlight have thrust between the curtains and the TV is turned off.

I can see the girl’s silhouetted reflection on the blank TV screen. I can see her bending over the oven to check on the cake. She felt like baking a cake today, she tells me.

Usually I’m not the kind of guy that gets his panties wet over the color of frosting but when a girl says she’d like me stay to have some cake I don’t refuse. Besides, would I rather be in school instead? Fat chance.

A muted staircase lies to my right. The balustrade looks like oak and the bottom of the stairs dabbles as a closet. The walls of the house are rugged, giving off a self-sufficient impression. There’s a family portrait hung on the wall ahead of me, and our girl is standing behind her mom – with a different smile than the one I’m used to.

There’s an oval shaped mirror next to the front door. In a few minutes I would be standing in front of this mirror – wondering how I could have let this happen. How I could have just sat there and watched as another man charmed and snatched her away from me.

There’s a portrait of her dad on the wall beside the TV. He’s bespectacled. His eyes give off nothing and they take away nothing. Like he didn’t really care that his picture was being taken. I wondered what he might have been thinking at that moment –when the camera flash was in his face.

I take another sip of Sprite and I feel its cold snaky fingers wriggling through my chest as I swallow. And then I hear a happy squeal coming from the kitchen. The cake is ready.

“My cakes never turn out the way I want them to,” she says. Her voice curls itself on the doorway but I’m still looking at her dad’s picture. I wonder how he’d react if he found out I was about to taste his daughter’s cake.

For a brief moment I don’t catch what she’s saying. I’m still stuck on the portrait. And then she says, “Or are you afraid of the kitchen?”

I’m not sure whether it’s an invitation to go into the kitchen or a mockery of my cooking capabilities. I go into the kitchen and find her getting the cake out of the oven.

The thing glows with golden yellow and it smells like a toasty piece of heaven. It’s a yellow cuboid with an arched roof and she looks at it as though she’s stumbled on hidden treasure. I want her to look at me like that.

Then we’re back on the couch. The cake has been left to cool on a tray on the kitchen table. She’s sitting with her legs folded and her back straight like a yogi.

She wears an oversize jumper. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her without a jumper. (“I don’t like my breasts. They’re too big, ugh.”) We talk about things. She reminds me to bring the book I borrowed. I tell her I will, soon. She says she’s been watching ‘Grey’s Anatomy’. I tell her about my favorite lecturer. She tells me she doesn’t like Trace Mziki. I say Trap Music will be the end of our generation. She laughs. I smile. We talk.

And then, as the minutes crawl by, her face takes on a different sheen. She’s more animated now. Her eyes have eased up and they’re no longer poking into my being. I get lost in the shape of her lips and the maddening fluidity of her movements. How would she look without the jumper?

Kiss me.

Her gaze steadies on me again. It’s a look that scares me, to tell you the truth. Like she had already read my thoughts and now she was just waiting to see what I’d do next. The French toast in my belly has turned to a warm ball.

I make to lean in but some kind of revulsion causes me to withdraw. Instead I say, “Did you read Bikozulu today by the way?”

“I haven’t. How is it?”

“It’s just okay.”

“Can I read it now?”

“Go ahead,” I say.

She picks up her phone and starts reading. I’m left alone in the room again. I stand and walk around the room, moving towards the mirror by the door. Only then do I notice bread crumbs all over my shirt. Maybe that’s why she didn’t want to kiss me, because I was proving to be sloppy. Probably not a very good kisser, ata.

As I’m flicking the last of the crumbs away I hear her laugh behind me. It’s more of a helpless paroxysm, and I turn just in time to see her head thrown back and her hand over her mouth. Her eyes are shut and her upper teeth are showing.

I couldn’t have made her laugh like that, not even if I buried my face in cake. Not in a million years. I wanted to make her laugh like that.

I watched as she read on – her nicely curved lips parting in spasms of pleasure. And I couldn’t help but think that this other writer was taking her away from me. It was some sort of twisted telepathy, that this guy could waltz into the room with his words and make her forget about the cake.

I was about to kiss her, man. And this cellular bandit was taking her away from me.

I turned to her dad’s portrait and looked at him for a moment. Your little girl is being taken away by an old man, old man. She’s like 20 for chrissakes. Are you just going to sit and watch?

And in another moment I’m back on the couch. I imagine her parents are on the couch across and they’re looking at me – sizing me up, trying to see if I’d be a good fit for their daughter. They’re boring into my family history.

And what do you do for a living? You write? Haha, nice one. So what else do you do?

And then some more doubts would flood into my mind: Will her parents see my big hair and rule me out as some kind of riff-raff? How can I have the confidence to ask for their daughter’s hand if I can’t even tell the girl what I really think? That I’d like to kiss her? That I’d like to eat her cake?

What if I just walked up to her and kissed her now? Will she hate me a little for interrupting this moment with the bandit? And hadn’t the cake cooled already?

Her eyes were still glued to the screen. She didn’t see me staring hopelessly at her. I moved closer but she still didn’t look up. I wanted to be there in case the bandit became sloppy and let her go. I would be right there to catch her.

She didn’t look like she’d come back, though. The bandit had swept her clean. No crumbs. The portrait on the wall had turned a blind eye and the boy in the mirror was still waiting for a piece of cake. Kiss me before you go, he says.

I think that’s a song. Not Trap Music, thankfully.
Florence Bett is away. Follow Mike on Instagram: Mike Muthaka

Old Dogs, Same Tricks

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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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