Next Monday


Those were sad days. Everyone else was as jolly as Christmas would allow but you were holed up in your room, missing the festivities, going through an existential crisis. Nothing made sense. Or maybe you were being paranoid. Maybe it was just the pot.

Either way, you couldn’t wait for 2018 to come around. You needed to start a fresh. Your two closest friends had gone through similar stuff, and you always wondered what they were banging on about. Relax. Have a joint.

You never thought you could get there. You never thought there’d be days when, out of nowhere, an overpowering melancholy would crash over you, relentlessly, chipping you off at the base until it seemed easier to toss yourself into the abyss.

You didn’t think there’d be days you’d question of every angle of life. You didn’t think one day, even getting out of bed would be a chore. You’d wake up and you think: Ugh, are we still here?

Everything was okay. For now. You had steady routines. You went to the gym, and then you went on a diet. Every morning you’d look outside the window and see the mango tree in the compound. And you’d wallow in the fresh serenity.

You went to school four days a week. You drove there. You drove everywhere. The folks had pretty much handed you the car keys since they used the other moti.

Your two siblings were still in high school. They only came home during the holidays. And so, when your parents were off to work, and you didn’t have class that day, you’d be left home alone.

Wasn’t that the most liberating thing? To be left home alone? You strip all your clothes away. You walk around the house like that. It feels neurotic but you love the way your feels skin against nothingness.

The freedom is mysterious. Your thoughts linger on your own nakedness. You feel aroused. You look into the mirror and it’s all beautiful to you. Your own roundness appeals to you. You start to notice every spot and line and curve.  Your hips have bloomed and the years look good on you. So good, in fact, you decide to start a movement. And you aptly name it: Uchi Kenya.

You had a boyfriend. Sometimes he came over when you didn’t have class. You cooked for him. You played loud music. You were 20 and in love. Your relationship was two years old. You were content with foreplay. You never allowed it to go any further because you weren’t ready. He understood, and you got on perfectly until you didn’t anymore. And you’ve been single ever since.

Now I’m sitting at Bonjour, Hurlingham. You say you’re at Nairobi hospital and that you’ll be here in five. I wonder what we’ll talk about after so many months, although, knowing you, we’ll probably discuss some weighty stuff that neither of us understands. And there will come a point where I feel out of my depth.

Not too far away, I see a woman in a short dress is standing by a fuel pump talking to three fuel attendants. Car keys dangle from her hooked finger. She gestures a lot, like she’s issuing orders, and her long legs have dark spots in them. Old scars perhaps, like an active childhood with too many falls.

And then you emerge from a corner and I stand up to hug you.

“You’ve become so tall,” you say.

“Me? What about you?”

“I’m tall?”

“You’ve always been tall.”

You ask if I’ve had lunch. But I have no appetite. You want to buy something from the store. You grab your purse and go inside. I’m left staring at a town-bound Citi Hoppa at the roundabout, menacing over the tarmac.

Two traffic cops are standing sentry on the periphery, talking about something or the other. Their banter stops as soon as a driver makes the wrong turn when exiting the petrol station. They wave the car down and one of the cops gets into the passenger seat, the car drives off towards Argwings Kodhek.

When you come back I will tell you of a traffic offence of my own:

I was heading to school after dropping mom at the office. My phone was hooked up to the AUX cable, and sweet reggae jams were oozing from the speakers. Such were the Axela days – pieces of early 2017 when we fell out of contact.

I was pressing ‘Next’ on my playlist when a lady cop spotted me. She was bottom-heavy and black as night. She carried a walkie talkie close to her shoulder as she inspected the insurance stickers. Then she came round and asked me why I was using my phone while driving, and, having no excuse, she plunked  herself in the front seat and ordered that we go to Milimani Police Station, then to court, where I’d be required to pay a cash bail of 10,000 bob. Imagine! The nerve on her.

You slide back into the seat with a box of chocolate-flavored milk and a brown-bagged samosa. The samosa is nice, you say, but you’ve had better.

You tell me your dog is turning three, “that’s 21 in dog years.”

“They grow up so fast,” I say, and a chuckle escapes your lips. I didn’t even know you had a dog.

Then I tell you about the stray cat that birthed in our compound:

The result was a black kitten with the cutest eyes. I don’t even like cats, but seeing that little ball of fur made me all warm inside. I’ve never see the mother but the kitten likes to hang around the kitchen. He doesn’t take to humans. He runs away if I go close to him.

But this morning I ran into him in the verandah. I had just read Bett’s piece about Muna turning two and I was a bit soft around the edges. She makes motherhood seem so fun. Gosh! I can’t wait to have a baby.

Anyway, this time he didn’t scamper away, the kitten. He just stood there, looking up at me with those gorgeous eyes. He seemed cold. He was softly purring. He inched slowly along the wall, coming towards me, and then bending his head as if begging for a meal: Got milk?

You tell me you had an existential crisis at the turn of the year. I don’t know what that means. You say you questioned everything, and that the act of living seemed like one big tragedy. There were days the black clouds of your existence swept together to make a secret dread inside you, and you despised the world and everything in it.

There were nights when you’d pull back your curtain and you’d see a half moon hanging outside, draped in shrouds of mist. You felt like the whole dark world inside you had fallen into silence. Nothing moved. Nothing breathed.

You curled yourself in bed, choking on hopeless sobs, slowly sinking into depression. You stewed in the solitude of your cream-colored walls. The pot didn’t help much. You listened to a lot of Kendrick Lamar. It felt like he understands what it means to go through such a thing.

You often sat in bed unsure, clasping your wrists as if they were broken. Until one day your mom walked into the room and saw you like that. She settled in beside you and stared into your dull face as you told her everything you felt. She assured you it was a part of life, that she had a crisis of her own once, and that you have to make the best out of life’s circumstances.

Then we sit in silence. We become like two heads on a pillow, ear to ear.

But you don’t want to talk about the past. You’re finally getting some answers and your purpose is less foggy. You want nothing to mar the clear-headed ecstasy. You’re building an all-round defense with a sacred absolute centre. You’re submitting to life. You’re moving on. You’re even working to launch a website for Uchi.

Then you get a phone call from your mom. You need to go. We’ve been sitting there for just over half an hour.

“Let’s do this again,” you say.

“Next week?”

“Yeah, come over on Monday.”

And when you walk away I’m left with a crisis of my own: Monday what time? Will you be home alone? How does your dog take to guests? Will I have to take off my shoes at the door? Do you have any bud left? And are there ripe mangoes on the tree in your compound?

Will you ask me to pose uchi, for Uchi?
Mike blogs at mikemuthaka.com

Uncle Buck
Boys just wanna have fun

Comments (6)

  1. Ian

    hahahaha lmaaao that ending had me dyiing!! but that doesn’t drive out the fact the fact that you left me in suspense again with the traffic officer. Man how did it go? Oh and i’m sharing this bet!!

    • Mike

      Hehe, well I certainly didn’t bribe her…

  2. Mwamburi Maole

    This was a nice read Mike. Say hi to Bett!! ‘chipping you off at the base until it seemed easier to toss yourself into the abyss.’ That got me.

    • Mike

      Thanks, Mwamburi.
      Bett can hear you loud and clear from here. Isn’t that right, Bett?

      • Bett

        Hahha. I’m one up on you, Mike: I’m sniffing in on this convo as if I’m the CIA.

        Hey, Mwamburi!

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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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