The lollipop man outside Airtel lifts the stop sign at the zebra crossing. The cars at the front, on Mombasa Road, turn on their blinkers and there’s a red patch in the horizon. Said patch was a Subaru Forester. Minutes earlier, I had exchanged glances with the driver. His fat exhaust pipe sounded like fireworks and he wore a brown hat and he looked a stereotype.

And I thought, Are you for real right now?

On some other day I’d have probably wanted his car. I’d have liked to hold the wheel with one arm and switch lanes unnecessarily. I’d have liked to play loud music and floor it. But this time – at the zebra crossing – my attention was drawn towards a bike.

A boy can dream, surely. The thing was mouth-watering as hell. The rider had one foot on the ground as we all waited for the lollipop man to turn green.

I imagined myself jumping on that bike pointing at the Subaru and shouting, “Follow that car.” I’d have wanted to tell the stereotype what I really thought about his hat by flipping him the bird. What an ass.

Now the last of the pedestrians were emptying out of the road. There was a man with an envelope and another man with a briefcase and a lady with a weave. The sun was eclipsed and in its place, a cloud, a white beast with a grey heart. The lollipop man flashed the ‘Go’ sign and all the cars took off like frightened hares.

I was dropping Mom off at the salon before heading to school but, as always, I was in no particular hurry to get there. And it’s not like Mom likes it when I’m speeding anyway.

I hadn’t even finished taking my foot off the brake when I noticed there was something off about the car on my right. The back seat was crammed and the woman riding shotgun had the biggest afro I had ever seen. The car was in a rush – the way it tried to wiggle about.

And then I saw a head stuck out the back-left window. It was a small brown head with very little hair. At first I thought it was just an excited kid who wanted the wind in his face. I thought maybe he also wanted to take a look at that sexy bike that was now charging away. I fancied maybe he also thought of giving the Subaru the finger.

But a second look revealed a boy in distress. His mouth was open and rounded – torrents of yellow vomit poured out, and some of it trickled down the car’s side. The remainder splattered on the tarmac.

The boy kept his eyes down, probably not wanting to see all the attention he was getting. You could see the wave of throw-up coursing through his body; moving up his throat and gushing out like a hose. Boy did people stare. All the necks on the matatu on my left were craned.

I felt sorry for the boy. The last thing I would have wanted is everyone in an Embassava mat looking at me as my gut exploded. Was he car sick? How soon would it be until he got over it? Or did the noise of that Subaru disturb his breakfast? What an ass.

The incident made me think of Joyce.

If you wanted to sound a bit cool you called it MIEC. If you had the energy and the extra saliva you said it in full: Mary Immaculate Educational Complex. Or you could just say Mary Immaculate.

Whichever way you said it, the place reeked of intense intolerance to indiscipline.

The first time I ever walked through the gate I saw the school’s motto and mission and vision painted on the classroom blocks in blue. The mission was a mouthful, and it was the first time I was seeing the word ‘norms’. And I remember thinking: Hm, what a sweet sounding word. Norms. The way it sits in the mouth. Norms.

It was a catholic school. Run by nuns. Not all the teachers were nuns though. I was in Class Six when I got admitted. That first week was filled with confusion and clangor. There was to be a new deputy and every one would go on about how nice the previous deputy was.

It didn’t matter to me. All I cared about was blending in so I could quickly lose the title of ‘new-comer’. I didn’t know much about the school. But from what I could tell, you were supposed to bow every time you came by the Virgin Mary’s shrine. You were also meant to develop a thick skin because those nuns were merciless when it came to a beating. It was the norm.

On the third day I found out there was a teacher called Joyce. She only taught the kids in lower primary. And the instant I laid my eyes on her I wished to be back in Class Two. Teacher Joyce was a real beauty. She had big eyes and her hips swayed with every step. Her wardrobe was mostly skirts and heels and she was the only teacher that drove to school.

She had one of those flirty smiles. I fantasized about Teacher Joyce a lot, the way her soft curves of her body lined her skirts. Geez. Teacher Joyce was fine as hell. I’d imagine her holding my arm and leading me to her car where we’d kiss and grope and the nuns would never find out. Ha-ha.

Sometimes, when she was on duty and I’d arrive late to school, she’d punish me by making me run around the field. She’d stand there and watch me huff and puff. In my head I thought she enjoyed watching me run. She must have punished me hundreds of times. And each time I’d blame the traffic and have another story.

Enter the new deputy. Enter Sister Mary Joyce. Like most of them, she was a no nonsense nun. Her skin was light and her legs were stumpy and her body was full but not plump. Without her specs she looked like the people whom the name disciplinarian was made for. She’d scare the shit out of us and anyone who had been to her office had a scar and a story to tell.

By that time I had accepted that Teacher Joyce and me was never going to happen. I had moved on. Now I was looking closer home. I wanted a girl I could actually talk to, or kiss, for that matter. So what I did, I got myself a girlfriend from my class.

It was a secret affair. If the admin ever caught wind of that story it would cause major scandal. Hugging was a sin. Kissing would be punishable by public execution. The concept of boyfriends and girlfriends was simply unheard of and anyone suspected of having such a relationship risked the wrath of Sister.

But jealousy ran high in MIEC. It wasn’t long before someone ratted out the love birds. I got the news during break time.

I was lounging outside class when someone tapped my shoulder and said, “Michael, unaitwa na Sister.” The message was delivered with a sly smile. And I instantly knew why.

“Sister mgani?” I asked.

“Mary Joyce.”

My heart sank. Sister Mary Joyce. I was surely going to get my ass handed to me. While I made my way to the office I wondered what reason I could possibly give for having a girlfriend. Hell, I even thought of saying there was traffic –if only to escape the inevitable beating. I was scared shitless.

I got to her office trembling like a leaf. She lifted her face as I neared her desk and asked, “Are you the famous Michael?”

“Yes,” I mumbled.

“You have done a bad thing, Michael! You need to focus on your studies. Girls are a great distraction. What if your parents found out? Are they paying fees so that you can have girlfriends? Do you see anything wrong there, Michael? Hmm, do you see anything wrong?”

I stood there looking down at my feet.

“I will give you a few strokes so you won’t repeat again.”

But she didn’t cane me. She said to come back tomorrow because this was a serious case and that there would also be some counseling. I went to bed full of dread that night, thinking that maybe I could feign illness and get a day off.

The next day – as Ol’ Man was dropping me off at school – I was so anxious I couldn’t breathe properly. I would shut my eyes and see Sister Mary Joyce standing over me with a stick. I could see my parents sitting in her office, being told how naughty their son is.

My breakfast couldn’t sit. I threw up in the car and got some of it on the dashboard. Ol’ Man took me back home and I thought I had dodged a bullet.

The next day, however, I went to school and someone was sent to call me from class. I got the beating of a lifetime –with extra for skipping school. Geez. There was no escaping the wrath of Joyce.

And as I looked at that boy with his head out the window I wanted to tell him not to worry. That he’d get better.

That it was just the norm.
Follow me on Instagram: Mike Muthaka

She’s a Catholic Girl
The Help

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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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