The Help


The request hit Cathy’s Bureau at eleven thirty on a Wednesday morning. The phone in her office rung thrice before she picked up: “Cathy’s Househelps, how may I help you?”

Cathy had been running the bureau for three years now, and answering the calls still gave her goosebumps. She always wondered what sort of person was on the other end of the line. Most of them were women, and most of them wanted a house girl. But this one wanted a boy.

“Yes we have houseboys. What age would you prefer?”

“Not less than 28.”

The lady at the other end spoke with a commanding edge. Cathy grabbed a pen and a piece of paper.

“Is there a specific tribe that you’d like?” Cathy never knew why, but tribe seemed to be an important factor in this business.

“Any tribe will do.”

“Okay, I have one here who says he’s Kyuk but doesn’t know the language.”

Sawa. When can I come for a quick interview?”


I show up at Cathy’s the next day at noon. The client is yet to arrive. Cathy suggests I wait at the reception. I’m carrying a bag of clothes and a hope for employment. I haven’t had any work experience. It’s been close to six months of waiting. There’s barely any demand for houseboys, but this might be my lucky day.

A growing sense of anxiety gnaws at my belly as I wait. A wave of questions rushes through me: who would be the one to hire me? What kind of family would it be? Where would they live? And what would my work load look like? The knot in my stomach tightens the more I ponder.

A tall woman walks in twenty minutes later. Something tells me that it’s her – the client. She has a low-cut top and jeans – with a fine neat waist and strong legs. She smells like jasmine. Her hair is long and dark and it tumbles across her shoulders.

She walks by, paying no attention to me, making me feel like a pebble on the pavement. When she gets to the front desk she asks to see Cathy and is led to the office. I’m left to wonder if it’s really her.  

She’s strikingly beautiful, this woman, and some twisted part of me is excited at the prospect of taking instructions from her. I hope to God she isn’t one of those cold mistresses who’d work me like a mule.

Then Cathy sticks her head through the door and beckons me over. The walk from the reception to the office feels like a lifetime. My fingers are crossed and my feet are cold. I want this client to like me. I want her to take me back to her place and order me around. Hehe.

“Yes Jasmine.”

“Sure thing, Jasmine.”

“Where would you like me to put this, Jasmine?”

I find Jasmine seated cross-legged –across from Cathy. Her feet have disappeared under the table. I stretch out my hand to say hello and I notice her sharp gaze, probably looking for that thing in my eye that would tell her if I’d be at all reliable. And the minute she takes my hand I see the lines of doubt on her face. She realizes how soft my hands are.

Will this one be able to handle it?

I take a seat next to her and Cathy excuses herself. Then Jasmine turns to me and asks how old I am.

“Twenty eight,” I say. And I can almost tell what she’ll say next.

“Aii, are you sure you’re twenty eight?”

She asks me if I’ve been a house-help before, (never) and where I come from (Maragua). She asks about my life story; how I ended up at Cathy’s, and how far my education goes. (Form 4; B+) She asks if I’d be willing to work in a house with two teenagers (why not?).

It’s hard to believe this lady is a mother of two. She tells me I have a baby-face, and that she hopes I’m up to the task.

Jasmine seems reluctant, but eventually she takes me on. Cathy comes back and hands Jasmine a form to sign. I feel like some sort of property being passed over. I try to suppress a smile when I think: I belong to Jasmine now.

I fall in beside her as we walk out the bureau –backpack slung on my shoulder. She leads me to a black Lexus. And when she enters I pause: Do I get into the back? Sitting back-left just doesn’t seem right and slipping directly behind her would be weird for us both. Going for shotgun would seem like kiherehere.

She sees my fluster and points to the front seat. I get in awkwardly while shifting the bag to my laps. After clicking on the seat-belt she turns the key and the car wakes up –purring softly under my seat. The car stereo lights up and I notice that it’s tuned to XFM.

And it takes all of me not to tell her I think she has such a great taste in music. But have you heard the new afternoon presenter? I swear if he says ‘fantastico’ one more time I swear I’m going to pen a much worded Email.

Too soon, boss?

All through the ride I wonder what kind of home she has. She tells me that her two kids can take care of themselves –they won’t need much attention. The job will be mainly housework, she says, and to wash the car sometimes.

Only when she adjusts the volume do I notice the ring on her finger. And I start to wonder what kind of man she has. He must have been lucky to land such a beauty. But does he know she’s bringing another man in the house? Is he okay with this arrangement?

But soon I find out the guy is rarely home.

Days pass and I finally get the hang of it: wake up at 5:30, make breakfast (tea, bacon, eggs), wash the dishes, water the plants, do laundry, mop the floors, and wash the car –sometimes. When Jasmine comes home early she prefers to cook supper herself. Sometimes she orders out.

Working for Jasmine turns out to be a hoot. I get three meals a day and I sleep in a cozy outhouse –with a bed, a chair, and a discarded coffee table. On weekends the family goes out and leaves me home alone, and I use the opportunity to play loud music and take selfies.

I get one day off, on Sundays, and come back the next day. I get along with Jasmine’s kids and her husband – whenever he’s around – doesn’t say much. Everybody minds their own business, really.


But one Saturday morning – when the family had gone out and I was mopping up the corridor – I noticed Jasmine’s bedroom door had been left ajar. She never left the room unlocked whenever I was home alone, and I had never glanced inside, much less gone close.

Now I got curious. I wanted to know how it looked like. I wanted to see her bed, and to feel the fabric of her bed sheets in my hands. I wanted to see where Jasmine spent her nights. Did she ever get lonely in there?

I set the mop down and walked towards the room. The closer I got the faster my heart beat, and I got that same feeling I had at the bureau – when I was about to meet Jasmine for the first time.

I was surprised at how big her bed was. It made the one in my outhouse look like a crib. A green duvet was gathered harem-scarum atop it. I had never pegged Jasmine as one not to make her bed.

A single blade of sunlight pierced between the curtains and struck the tiled floor. Wooden closets lined one end of the room, and a full length mirror was embedded on the opposite side. Her dressing table was awash with perfume bottles and different kinds of body oils.

The room smelt exactly like her. Like jasmine.

There was a pile of books on her nightstand – along with a lamp and a half-glass of water. I sat on the edge of the bed and wondered how it would feel to wake up next to her, to snuggle in the warmth of her body and kiss her lips.

Then I opened the drawer and a purple vibrator rolled out. The sight of it made me stand up – literally, figuratively. I looked at it for a moment, jaw dropped at the sheer size of it.

I put it back quickly and walked out of the room, but no matter how fast I went I knew that image would stick with me for days on end.  

That night I took my supper in the outhouse. I couldn’t stop thinking about that vibrator. And I couldn’t stop thinking about Jasmine using it. I imagined Jasmine in her room, lying naked on that monstrous bed, the soft curves of her body limned in the faint glow of the lamp.

I pictured Jasmine pleasuring herself – the vibrator buzzing from between her long legs. I imagined Jasmine helping herself to climax, and the vividness of my thoughts made me reach for my crotch. And I helped myself as well.

“Yes, Jasmine.”

Follow Mike on Instagram: Mike Muthaka

Cables and Kings

Comments (2)

  1. Ian

    aye man you literally had me thinking that you had applied for a houseboy position… this is too good. Never stop writing no matter what happens
    Sincerely, big stan of your writing!

    • Mike

      Thank you, Ian :)

      I’ll not stop. Promise.

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👇🏾
  • 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