Tinder Me

(Craft It’s new foreign correspondent in Kampala)

When my boss signed off my leave application in December, giving me a rest for 13 working days plus the weekends and public holidays, making it a total of 22 days, I can bet my vampire teeth he didn’t think I’d end up on Tinder.

I could see him picturing me buy an overpriced Gaaga bus ticket – the effect of the festive season – to my hometown, Pakwach. I’d have no option but pay. My ancestors would be calling me to go check on them so fussing about ticket prices wouldn’t make any sense to them. Besides, December payment came in early. I could handle the bus fare. Of that, he was confident.

He probably thought I’d head to Arua Park with a heavy travel case with clothes I’d later give to the young men in my village, a 5-litre jerry can of cooking oil, 5 kilos of rice,  10 kilos of sugar and a box of soap, all bought from Kikuubo, Kampala’s business hub. These would be placed in the boot of the bus taking space I’d have to pay for. I’d also buy 5 loaves of bread from Hot Loaf and no fish. There would be no fish because – let’s face it – who takes fish to their home when their home is fed by the contents of River Nile? It would be an insult to my people.

I’d step in this Gaaga bus departing for Pakwach at 10. 00AM and sit on a maroon chair next to the window. A woman carrying a baby wearing a hat woven from green cotton crochet threads would sit next to me. Ella, the name of her baby. I’d adjust my seat to rest my back and we would set off, baby Ella smiling, stretching her hands to pull my goatee, drooling as if I have her milk. Said woman would smile too. But she wouldn’t look at me.

We would drive past the swampy environs of Bwaise, passing by the Agricultural Research Laboratories in Kawanda with their improved varieties of mangoes and matooke lining the fence.

In Luwero, I’d look out the window and watch people sell pineapples and water melons. I’d watch Ella sleep off in her mum’s arms and I’d also doze off. The bus would stop in Kafu and I’d wake up, open my window and buy roast cassava, two chicken thighs and two Fanta sodas. One for Mama Ella and one for me. Come on, that wouldn’t be interpreted as making a pass at her, would it?

We would continue the drive and cross River Nile at the Karuma bridge, watching the wild waters of Murchison Falls fighting with rocks and foaming up. I’d leave the window ajar for Mama Ella to show her baby the gift of nature. Our arms would touch, slightly, and we would pretend it didn’t happen.

There’d be monkeys with pink butts at the sides of the road waiting for people to throw bananas to them, a sign we are entering Murchison Falls National Park.

We would reach a junction, one route heading to Gulu and the other, to West Nile. We would take the left turn, going to West Nile, where Pakwach basks at the bank of the river. Baby Ella would see elephants and giraffes. She’d point at the Uganda kobs and antelopes and the brown grass suffering from the extreme burn of the sun. Then we would drive across the imposing steel structure, the Pakwach bridge, crossing River Nile the second time. And seven hours later, at about 5:00PM, I’d be home.

Home, fish home.

Back to my roots, welcomed with a plate of unang nang and later, for dinner, Angara, our most prized fish.

But none of that happened.

Instead, I stayed in Kampala, downloaded the Tinder app off my Google Play Store and created an account.

I didn’t get a warning on what might happen or what to expect. There was no introduction. No manual. No heads-up from anyone. Certainly, there were no how-to’s. Nothing. I haven’t met anyone who has openly declared they are on Tinder. It seems like one of those secrets people keep in their spleens. But hey, here I was, immersing myself in this thing, trying to figure it out.

Is it a platform for single people to find love? A dating app? Or Is it a hide out for hook-ups? I needed to know.

I put up a picture of me but later decided otherwise. I took it down and uploaded a joke. It is a conversation between two chickens on a farm.

“Be reasonable, Frank. If he wanted us dead, why would he feed us so much?!”

“Hey! Believe what you wanna believe…I’m outta here!”

And Frank, wearing a fedora and holding his suitcase is matching away from the death by knife looming ahead of his dwanzie friends.

And I wrote a bio too. Said I’m an impulse buyer of books and whatnot.

Then I got my first match.

For you who is not on Tinder, a match happens when both you and the other person swipe right on your profiles. You can either swipe right or tap the green heart at the bottom of your screen. It shows you like the other person. When both of you have “liked” each other, Tinder opens up your inboxes to start a conversation.

So, because I don’t have a profile picture, I initially opted to swipe right on women who had no pictures too. That way, I believed, we would be an instant match by the fact that we were both keeping our faces in the dark.

I later dropped that idea because men are visual creatures and the last two weeks, I’ve been swiping right on women with or without a profile picture. It doesn’t matter. Tinder is the place where all potatoes live.

She was faceless, my first match, and went by an alias. And I liked it. I knew, with a hidden identity, she might be freer to share her stories and talk. Our chats were measured. I swear, I didn’t flirt. I kept it casual and clean, polite. I didn’t want to seem like a hungry lion out there waiting to hunt down an antelope. I typed out my number and sent it to her. We WhatsApped, played a few question-answer games. I called her. We talked. We spoke some more and learnt we had (almost) met before, about a decade ago, in high school. We have mutual friends. She’s a prayerful woman with a large heart, from what I gathered.

We haven’t met. Yet.

I later saw a profile of a fat ass pressing on my phone screen. It was wide. I clicked the pink arrow that allows you to see any other pictures someone might have uploaded. I swiped to see the next picture. It was another huge ass with a tattoo, a star. She was 25 years old. Her next photo made my jaw fall. She was posing with dildos of unimaginable sizes and colors. And her bio? It said, “Want me? Come get me.” I couldn’t handle that one. I was outta there with a swipe to the left.

The settings tab allows you control over whose profiles may appear on your dashboard. I set a radius of one hundred miles and the age range of 18 to 38. All I’m saying is, my other match was 18 years old. I know. Should I give you some water?

She’s on vacation, fresh out of high school, sleeping like a hibernating craze during the day and swiping away on Tinder whenever she wants. Her name is Queen. I called her, “Your Royal Majesty.” She’d giggle at that title. I kept it going for two days and realized I shouldn’t play with the heart of a young girl.

Two matches froze me out. One was 21 and the other 23. Both had no profile pictures. I said a hearty “Hi” with other poetic words and they responded with the sound of silence. My greeting felt like a rejected tomato.

Two others unmatched me manually. One of them was 31. We had a match, like the lock of hands. She travelled upcountry for a weekend, so she said, and when she got back, probably after a meeting with her aunty under the veranda of her hut, she thought I was a sick douche wasting her time.

The other, 25, said I’d have no chance with her if I was a dwarf. I told her I was one and she agreed to a blind date. Girls are fickle, hehhe, so fickle.

I have sporadic chats with Barbara. She met her boyfriend on Tinder.

Feli is on and off. I can’t seem to string a line of chats with her.

But there’s this particular match that has made my Tinder escapade thrilling. Her name has three consonants. Yeah. Zero vowels in it. She is mad-crazy-insane entertaining. She’s crisp and watches her grammar like it’s a baby, like baby Ella. She uses words like, “ergo” and “inter alia” in regular conversation. She wears no gloves and is a free spirit.

She tells me she’s always bored, cracks a joke within a blink, isn’t scared to use a cuss word in the middle of a sentence. We even had a shit-hole joke. I started feeling like I needed to keep up my pace with her, so much pulling and pushing. Arguments and counter arguments.

She has some dark humor too. She once asked, “Would you be able to pay for your funeral if you died today?” See that? And she keeps her cards close to her chest, doesn’t let out too much info. Keeps you guessing.

“I’m a legal brain,” she told me.

I discovered I was in trouble when I started looking forward to her texts. It was not supposed to reach this point this early in my immersion. But look what Tinder got me in. See what it has done to me. I’m in shit. I’m whipped.

I refuse to say I’m smitten.

Florence Bett is away. Follow Tuape on Instagram: Ernest Tuape

Five cafés to nip in when you’re stuck anywhere along Kampala Road
From Namanga Road, with Love

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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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