A Thirsty Performance


I have a feeling he doesn’t like me too much. In his eyes I’m nothing but trouble. Each time he sees me I’m always in a flux. I say a cheery hello to him but he sees through my bullshit.

He once stopped me at the door and asked me to open my backpack. I paused and looked at him. He had never asked me to open my bag before, so why now?

Turns out he had seen the empty bottles of vodka when he ran my bag through the X-ray detector thingy.

“Where are you taking these?” he’d asked.

I had forgotten about those bottles, never mind that my pals and I had polished off the lot only a few minutes earlier. I thought I remembered to throw them away.

“I forgot,” I said, trying to steady myself.

Then he asked me to leave the bottles at the door. His gaze stayed on me as I took them out one by one. If I’d have been sober I’d have felt ashamed. But I wasn’t, so I didn’t.

And if he would have asked me where I was heading I’d simply say I was going for French Class.

But I wasn’t. I just needed to pee.

I’ve been to Alliance Francais all of four times, that one time I needed to pee, included. The big-bodied guard at the door now calls me Brother.

I was there last Sunday to watch my sister perform in concert. The whole thing was slotted to begin at 7p.m, and I didn’t get there until quarter to eight.

It was 7.20 when I got off at Railways. I had to leg it, otherwise I’d have missed Krystine’s performance and she’d never forgive me. I had the camera in my backpack, and a biro, and a bunch of notes from school.

By the way, have you ever run in town on a Sunday night? It’s a bloody rush. The streets are deserted and the pavements are cold and you hear your footfalls bouncing off the walls. It feels like something from I Am Legend, with its glass and steel towers glowing against the black sky.

But it makes you feel silly as hell. The only people who ever run in town are pick-pockets and hawkers. But it’s hard to stop once you start, though, not least because you feel like there are eyes watching you from the shadows.

I ran past heavy-clothed watchmen and sleepy cab drivers. I ran past old women seated on the ground. I ran past street kids, huddled together in inconspicuous corners, all braving the cold. I could hear their voices in the darkness as I went along. And I wondered if they were talking about me.

“Why is that one running?”

“He’s scared we might steal his shoes.”

“But they’re not even good shoes.”


Anyway, I was panting when I arrived at Alliance, and sweaty, and afraid I had already missed Krystine’s performance. Then the guard ran the bag through the X-ray thingy (I really don’t know what it’s called), and said, “Brother, mpaka wapi?”

“Hapa Auditorium,” I said, wiping the sweat off my brow.

He gave me a long look. “Uko na ticket?”

I showed him the ticket and he waved me through. I gave him a friendly smile but he just blankly looked at me.


We were brothers for chrissakes. But maybe he’d forgotten me. Maybe I’m not the only one who turns up with empty bottles of vodka at Alliance Francais at night. Maybe he deals with my kind every day. And he already knows the ones that lie about going to French Class, when they only want to use the washroom.


In the auditorium, this dude came on stage with a black trench coat. He was wearing eye-liner, and the stage lights soaked in his dark eyes. He had a Jesus piece running down his chest, and under the trench coat you could see his tattooed chest. He had a tattoo and a six-pack, too. And the crowd loved him.

He gave a sweaty performance. One up-beat song and a spoken word number that talked of pain and a cracked childhood. He made fists with his arms and he’d punch the air and it was all very lovely.

But I still couldn’t get over his dress. He looked gothic. Like someone you wouldn’t want to meet in a dark street. Or maybe I was jealous of his six-pack. But if I had had some vodka in my system I’d have stood up and told him to put on a damn shirt.

Geez! You should have heard girls screaming for him.

Krystine was next. She first gave some background into her song. She said she wrote it during a rough time, and I felt bad for not knowing when that was. Then I took out the camera and pressed ‘record’.

It was strange watching her on stage. She had a bit of make-up and she looked taller. She wore a short skirt and her legs were showing and I really didn’t know what to make of that. I wasn’t sure I was meant to be noticing the curve of her hips.

But I did. And if I had some vodka in my system I’d have stood up and pulled her to the side and said, “Are you sure Mom would approve of this outfit?”

The last act of the day was called MaryAnne. And she caught my eye long before that. I had first seen her when she was supplying background vocals to another performer. She donned a little black dress that revealed long cream colored legs.

It was her movements that drew me to her. She had big beautiful eyes and a lean body that swung this way and that, from somewhere deep within her waist.

She performed a song titled Color Purple. And when she said “Hands up for the color purple” I was the first one to throw my hand. I was so taken by her. I couldn’t take my eyes off her, and I kept thinking of ways to get her to notice me.

The whole auditorium was on its feet, so there was no way I could get my voice across. And then I got wonderful idea. I certainly didn’t have any vodka in me but I was sure I had the guts to do at least this one act of bravery.

Would she accept? Was I being too crazy?

In my bag I had a biro and a piece of paper. So I did what any smitten chap would do.  I took the piece of paper and, in very large letters, I wrote: Marry Me.

I even moved to the front row, just in case the letters weren’t big enough. At the end of her performance she was given a standing ovation. I lifted up my sign and waited for her to notice. The whole place was a loud mess and for a moment I thought she’d never see me.

But she did. And then she made the heart sign with her hands and disappeared backstage.

I wouldn’t see Maryanne again until later, when the auditorium was emptying out. I met her at the door and said, “So?”

She only laughed and walked away. I don’t think she liked me too much.

And suddenly I wished I had some vodka in me.
Mike blogs at www.mikemuthaka.com

The Krest Files

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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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