Take this bread, Son


I can’t remember the last time I took communion. It must have been back in primary school – around the same time I stopped going for confession.

My first ever confession was in a closet, shut away from the priest with a partition. I was 11 years old. I thought kissing was a sin. I thought kissing and fornication were synonyms. So I told the priest I had committed the fifth sin. (Or is it the sixth?)

I bet he must have had a good chuckle behind that partition.

In catechism we were taught what to say when you went to confession. We were forced to cram the prayers before and after communion. We recited them like choruses. They gave us print-outs so we could hang them on our bedroom walls. And when you mixed up your lines you were given a good ear squeeze.

Then after high school the whole communion thing felt strange. I had forgotten the basics and the intricacies of it. I had forgotten the prayers. I felt like going to receive communion would be unscrupulous, so I stopped, then I stopped going to church altogether.

The Catholic Church in Kitengela is much like every other Catholic church, really. There are brown pews with rigid backrests. The building is shaped like a cross and the ceiling is high and there’s a crucifix behind the altar. On either side of the crucifix is a portrait of the Virgin Mary and one of Jesus. Mary has her head covered and her skin looks like milk. Jesus looks warm and inviting.

The air inside is domed and quiet.

Ours is St. Monica’s Catholic Church. The compound is paved with ballast. The volume of squelching on Sunday when the faithful are milling about is overpowering. The numbers are staggering.

One time, on a loose Sunday – a few months after we’d moved to Kitengela, must have been in March 2015 – I found myself seated on a pew outside. There wasn’t any more sitting space inside and the ushers had placed two pews close to the door. I was in the second bench, behind two men who both had their kids in tow, all boys.

For a long time I’ve always admired parents who come to church with their kids. It must take lots of patience. If there’s anything I’ve learnt from church, it’s that kids can’t sit still. They’re noisy. The throw fits. They drop coins on the floor. They run off and get lost in the maze of the clergy. And sometimes, much to the parent’s embarrassment, they openly declare their discomforts. “Mum, nataka kususu.”

Anyway, both of those boys looked nothing but trouble. One of them had blue Bubblegummers and his hair was cut close to the scalp. His tiny eyes looked like mischief and his sleeve was smudged with some grey matter. The other one was plumper and bald and yellow-skinned. He looked a bit older. A silver coin peeped through his clenched fist. Whenever he bent forward I could see his butt-crack. The thing stared right back at me in all its innocent glory – tiny, dark, and hollow.

They quickly became friendly, those two. They conversed in some weird baby language and they were soon using the fat boy’s coin to scrape random patterns on the pew. Taking turns. The game seemed to terribly amuse them. They had the same mirth-containing software. They exchanged glances and chuckled like little devils.

I fancied those patterns were baby language too. Maybe the one in Bubblegummers had scribbled something like, “Heads up. That guy over there has been looking at your butt-crack.”

That was the last Mass I ever attended. In March 2015. I didn’t even stay long enough for communion time.

I later discovered they had Mass on Friday evenings, it starts at 6.30PM.


What struck me first was the emptiness. The parking area was deserted, save for two cars tucked away into a corner. The verandah was deathly quiet. No one in sight. It was around 6.15PM. I had just stepped off a bodaboda and the watchman at the gate looked me over like I was some kind of thug. Certainly, St. Peter will have a kinder face at the gates of Heaven.

I moved towards the entrance, my shoes sinking in the pool of ballast – squelch, squelch. I got in from the back, and emerged into a massive dimly-lit hall. I met with a stillness so powerful it seemed that this was where molecules came to realign. Light poured through the low-set windows and the faithful were sparse.

A cough echoed in the air above, no doubt seeking solace like its owner. I sat two rows from the back, at the aisle.

It was a breezy evening days before Christmas. Soon the sky would turn dark blue – the first tender, chilly band of nightlight. There couldn’t have been more than a hundred of us when Mass begun. Up above us, a fluorescent light bulb was flickering and the fans whirred. Birds chirped from somewhere in the roof. The pews slowly filled up.

The priest came garbed in a purple robe. He had a shiny bald head and he looked like he would give an interesting homily. It was in the way his features sat on his face. It was in the way he walked to the altar. His gait egged me to pay attention. There was no butt-crack to look at today.

Then a woman with a baby tied around her back walked in. She looked exhausted. The lines on her face were tired. She was bundled in layers of kikois. She walked like she might tip over any second. She settled on the last row, at the corner, next to the wall. Her baby would peacefully sleep through the entire Mass.

I watched as she went through the motions: Kneel, sign of the cross, bow, interlocking fingers. She covered her face with her hands and I went back to listening.

It was time to stand up.

The Mass turned out to be pleasant. There were no distractions. No squeezing on the pews. The hymns were, as always, soulful.  And for the first time I gave the priest my full attention. The gist of the homily was that Christmas was approaching and that we should wait for Christ’s birthday by going to confession and cleansing ourselves.

I liked his deep voice. He cracked jokes and he delivered the message with an uplifting punch. And whenever he drew applause from the audience I couldn’t help but think that this was what church needed – an energetic choir and a funny priest.

Then it was time for communion. I remained in my seat as people were moving to the front. That’s when I spotted a pair of legs swinging out into the aisle. A black skirt. It took all of me to ignore the swaying of her hips –crossing myself for thinking of such obscenities in church.

When she came back around, however, I saw her face. She looked straight at me for solid moment, and then disappeared back into the pew. Her ears were set high – pretty, graceful, like a gazelle’s. The priest was serving the last of the communion, and by ten past 7 he was giving the final blessings. “Nendeni na amani, misa yetu imekwisha.

The church emptied out quickly. The skirt looked at me again as she was walking out, this time for a moment longer. I couldn’t place that look but the priest’s voice was still ringing in my head. I knew better than to give it another minute’s thought. The devil uses many ways, my Children.

Meanwhile the woman with the baby had knelt down, her face yet again lost behind her hands. She hadn’t taken communion either. I wondered what she was praying for.

We were the only two people left inside the church – temporary panic and permanent desperation circling above us, holy ghosts and pinching silences. The faulty bulb flickered on.

My heart scrambled and floundered towards her. I stared at the crucifix, as if willing some mystical and comforting power to drip out and meet her halfway, to converge where she was – to commune there.

She was still kneeling when I left.

Follow Mike on Instagram: Mike Muthaka

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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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