Exams in progress


Two things that make school unpleasant for me: Exams, and class presentations. One can make you retake the whole unit. The other could make you want to quit school altogether.

If you screw up the exams you get a daunting GPA and a disappointed parent. If you mess up the presentation everyone laughs at you.

I had a presentation last week, in Helen’s class. I was to report on ‘Leadership and Decision Making’. At first I was worried I wouldn’t hack because I wasn’t well prepared. But I figured it out at the last minute.

I only had to read a few notes from the internet, and then, to drive the point home, I would regal the class with a leadership story of my own.

“In class five I was appointed as class prefect. And there was this girl called Cindy. She was very pretty. I had the biggest crush on her. The trouble was that she was a notorious noisemaker. I was always at a loss. If I wrote her name in the noisemaker’s list it would compromise our thriving relationship.”

I got a few laughs at that. It was by far the best presentation I had ever given, and my palms didn’t even break a sweat. My knees didn’t tremble. I didn’t stumble over my words. I was feeling pretty confident as I walked back to my seat. And for the rest of the day I felt untouchable.

But my glow was spoilt by reports that the end0-of-semester exams are two weeks away. I can already smell the impending misery. The exam room is a scary place to be, really, especially if, like me, you haven’t been studying.

First there’s the unsettling silence. The soundlessness of the exam room eats into your ears, until there’s nothing else but the sound of head scratching and clock ticking.

The hallways become deathly quiet during exams. For two weeks everyone becomes gloomy. Things move slower. Notebooks are retrieved from storage. Mwaks are scribbled. The coffee in the cafeteria tastes like wood ash, and the sun refuses to come out.

It’s also in the way invigilators walk around the room, hands behind their backs, footfalls reverberating on the walls. Sometimes they walk by your desk. And they stand so close you get the sense they’re looking at your answers, judging you, laughing at how wrong you are.

But after 20 years of exams I’ve managed to categorize the different types of students in the exam room.

First there’s the A-Type: The smart-ass. The condescending asshole. Also known as studious interruptus.

He walks into the room with a stupid grin on his face. He doesn’t put much thought in his sitting position. He strides over to a random seat and, on the way there, he passes by a familiar face and asks some silly question like, “Umesoma msee?”

Nkt. Of course he hasn’t studied, you bastard. He’s been watching ‘Family Guy’ and drinking too much vodka.

Our fellow will peruse through a few notes before getting up again. He’ll itch to talk to someone, if only to show off how much he studied. All around him, students will be doing some last minute revision. Some will be huddled together in groups, giving each other pointers, strategizing on the best cheating methods.

But A-Type doesn’t need group work. In fact group work seems like an unnecessary task. He prefers to study alone. But in the exam room he gets the sudden urge to distract everyone else from their reading.

He’ll fix himself into a random study group, where he’ll give his informed two cents on the topic of discussion. The entire group will look at him in awe and envy. They’ll marvel at his sheer genius. They’ll give him their full attention, sobering their minds in his rich insights. But they’ll soon regret it, once they realize this guy is a blatant show off.

“Oh, you don’t know the principles of communication?”

Next is the B-Type.

This one prefers to sit in the middle. He’s average. He puts on a remorseful face when he realizes he didn’t study enough. He’s antisocial. He hears the conversation going on in A-Type’s group and it dawns on him that he might fail.

He did a bit of studying over the weekend, but nothing substantial. In fact he had forgotten most of the material later that night, when he picked up the phone and set in motion the chain of events that would eventually lead him to a stranger’s bed.

He’ll sit calmly and try to contain his panic. Meanwhile, he’ll wonder whether to join a study group. And then he’ll remember he doesn’t really know anyone in that class.

Just then, the invigilator will walk in and say, “Okay, put your books away.”

And B-Type will sit back and think, ‘Damn, I forgot to look up the principles of communication.’

The handbag

The whole class holds its breath when she walks in. Everyone looks up from their notes to watch her. She wears tight jeans and a wavy weave and shows a bit of cleavage.

She sits close to the window, where she can get plenty of fresh air. The breeze blows in with the smell of her perfumed skin. She places the handbag next to her, grey leather, outlined in gold. She doesn’t engage in the usual exam chit-chat.

All Handbag wants to do is finish the test and leave. Her handwriting is neat. She answers each question carefully, without paying much attention to grammar. She doesn’t really know the difference between ‘Am’ and ‘I’m’.

She’s wise enough not to cheat. But every once in a while she looks at her fancy bag and she wonders if she could get away with slipping a mwaks in one of the pockets.

Then there’s the Me-Type, my favorite.

He arrives when the examination is taking off, when all study groups have been disbanded. The invigilator is handing out the questionnaires and a great silence is settling over the room.

He’ll take a moment to decide where to sit. He’d prefer the back bench but, as he’ll be running late, he’d be forced to sit at the front, closest to the invigilator. It wouldn’t be a problem, though. He doesn’t mind if the lecturer laughs at his answers.

Me-Type will look like he needs a haircut. He’ll seem jumpy and distracted, but that’s because his brain is still hot from the cramming session earlier that day.

He’s always been a crammer. He comes up with mnemonics for everything. And now he’s just itching to pour it all out. He starts to write as soon as the answer sheet lands on his desk. He writes furiously, without stop, and hands it in before anyone else.

The rest of the class will then stare at him in wonder. ‘Didn’t he just arrive? Damn, that one has his whole academic life cut out for him.’

But the truth is that, as soon Me-Type gave out his paper, every answer he wrote was magically expelled, and his mind returned to its usual train of thoughts – of sex and vodka.

He’ll forget everything about that exam, and it wouldn’t bother him, as long as he doesn’t get a re-take. Besides, he nailed that presentation. But if he wasn’t in such a hurry to leave the room maybe he’d have noticed he got his mnemonics all wrong.

Mike blogs at www.mikemuthaka.com

From Russia, with Vodka (and chapos)

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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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