An angel in spandex


A man sits behind a desk on the third floor of an old building. The room feels cramped. A stack of files have piled up on the desk – backlogs and small pressing matters. A worn and rugged coat hangs on the back of his seat, it smells like tobacco.

Every surface of the office seems to be covered in a thin layer of dust. The cleaners are on a go-slow. Everyone wants a raise.

It’s barely noon and he’s already exhausted. Rays of sunlight pour through the window behind him, firing up motes and things in the cheerless air. When he bothers to look out he has a view of the sprawling city.

He reaches for a neatly-folded piece of paper among the pile and spreads it on the desk. It’s a detailed drawing of a gated community. The middle-class. An upstart located 40 kilometers from the town that promises fully furnished three-bedroom maisonettes and ample parking.

These things were cropping up everywhere lately, and it was his job to lay down the electrical wiring, fix it up on the grid.

He needed to think, so he pushed back his chair and headed for the top floor. There was a door on the far right of the hallway that led to more stairs, and then to the roof. Only a handful of colleagues ever went up there. It was where he went when he needed a break from the usual office hubbub. It was where he went when he needed a smoke.

He had once invited a girl up there with him, Sophia from accounts, that curvy siren on second floor.  They had shared a ciggie, followed by some light kissing. She got her lipstick on his shirt collar. He didn’t mind. Word around the office was that she spotted a flattering skirt today. Maybe he could call her up.

He dips a hand into his pocket and takes out a cigarette. He lights it and tosses the matchstick off the ledge, and takes one long drag. The smoke burns his throat and fills his chest.

He playfully places the cig on the corner of his mouth and mumbles to himself, as if playing some cool guy from an 80’s film: a sated gangster working the corner, or a moody playboy with a fancy fedora.

He drifts off to his early years, long before he had his first cigarette. He remembers the dark evenings: doing homework by candle light, his mom bent over a smoky stove, the sound of an igniting kerosene lamp. He would go to sleep wrapped up in a cloak of snug, a cave of warmth dug out of the heart of the room itself.

He remembers the cold wet mornings, heading to school – a 20-minute walk. Sometimes he’d hitch a ride on his uncle’s bicycle. He remembers the hard saddle, and how he’d watch his uncle’s back swinging as he pedaled up-hill.

Electricity was only folklore back then. And now he was a top ranking officer for a power company.

When he finally returns to the office, he finds a three-page document on his desk. It’s from the Kajiado office (county 034): a request for a new transformer at a place called Korompoi, a tiny populace along Namanga Road.

Probably some bugger had siphoned the fuel, he thinks. He skims through the document. It needs his signature. But as he looks at the badly-written report he feels his heart sink. This job sucks the life out of him, and he throws the document atop the pile on his desk. It would be far more exciting to swing by Sophia’s office.

And what the hell was a Korompoi anyway?


There’s been a black out in the homestead. Five days long. The house feels like a cave at night. When Ol’ Man called, the power company said they were aware, and that the trouble was in the transformer. We needed a new one but we shouldn’t hold our breaths because it would take a while.

Apparently the engineers had to come down and see what’s what. Then they’d write a report and send the paper work to Nairobi, where it would sit and wait until someone got around to approving it. It would take at least a week, they said.

Meanwhile, the fridge had turned into a cupboard and hot showers were unheard of. Limited phone use. The evenings came creeping and candle lit. Darkness would fall into the house in shades, like slowly drawn curtains.

After a week and some days, we called the power company again. We were told that it seems the whole of Kajiado County has no electricity, from Kitengela town all the way down to Namanga. Brakes would have to be put on the transformer business, there was bigger fish to fry. And besides, our transformer only serves a small number of people – a village up the river called Korompoi.

The blackout comes at a time when my body feels like a write-off. Each morning I wake with a sore back. I find reasons not to exercise. I’ve let myself go. My midsection is terribly unattractive and my joints crack whenever I try to squat down. Perhaps it was time to start working on my resolutions.

So the next morning, out of some self-loathing and boredom, I went jogging. And there I saw an angel in spandex.

The sky was a rich, mindless, never-ending grey – heavy and melodramatic. My running shoes felt uncomfortable as hell. And out of the silver-grey fog came the sound of distant engines. I went past a group of school-going children as I turned onto the highway.

I hadn’t run for more than five minutes when, on the other side of the road, I saw a bright green jacket heading in my direction.

Her hair was tied to the back. Black spandex pants, white earphones swinging in front of her torso. She was doing a brisk walk, never lifting her face from the gadget. I didn’t see her face until she walked past me. I had my eyes fixed on the road ahead, wondering if it was easier to just brave the back-aches instead. The path to fitness looked perilous. I had half the mind to go back to bed.

I thought she might have seen me first. And that she would look up once we were close enough. I imagined maybe she’d want to establish some sort of a commune, by nodding or waving or some such thing. She would be the perfect running partner, I thought.

But she didn’t look up. I might as well been a pebble on the pavement. She walked fast, a forward-leaning walk that was strangely alluring. It seemed like one of those moments for her, in the early morning, when she’d come into herself, when all the small frets vanish and the beauty of life stands out of the blinding fog.

I dropped pace. The dawn lay heavy on my chest. My forehead was warm, and my knees knocked inside their caps, I could taste blood at the back of my throat. The speeding trucks on the highway brought a cold blast of air to my face. And I started to wonder about that spandex.

The devil in my loins egged me to look back, if only for a second. Just to know.

I went along. But soon I was too exhausted so I turned back for home. Being in a cave would certainly be cozier.

Then I saw spandex again. We were still on opposite sides of the road. Always walk towards oncoming traffic. She was still looking down on her gadget, unbothered and detached. She hadn’t broken a sweat but she glowed like kryptonite.

I hoped to God she’d look up at me. I was ready as hell to wave back, if only to acknowledge a mutual trust in road safety.

There was a prowling element about her. And I still didn’t look back, even though I would have liked to see the shape of her bum. Maybe she could tell I was lazy, and that I’d only run for two days before giving up entirely. Maybe she wanted to see if I could stay on the saddle before we communed.

Then again, what would we talk about? She was certainly older than I was. What would I possibly say to her after we had wrung dry all the fitness talk?

When I got back inside the house, all sweaty and sniffling and breathless, as I went into the mild darkness of my room, aching for a shower and something for my throat, I thought of the perfect opener:

“Kwenyu iko stima?”

Follow Mike on Instagram: Mike Muthaka

Some Moments. Some Questions
Uncle Buck

Comments (3)

  1. Muchai

    Sophia and the gangster from the 80’s…….. Always a good read, write a book already :-)

    • Mike

      Hehe, writing a book certainly seems easier than running. But I cant figure what the opening line will be….
      Thanks Muchai :-)

  2. Ian

    Man life is slowly happening, i’m catching up with your posts today! i’ve promised myself i’m not sleeping on you…never…So tell me Mike did you shoot that stima vibe on her? How did it go? you have a bad habit of leaving me in mad suspense

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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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