Dirty little feet


“We look like we’re on a bad date, Mike,” Bett says.

She’s seated across from me at Java, Kimathi Street. She’s tapping some things on her phone and I’ve resigned to checking my Twitter. She’s awfully busy, she says, and she has to apologize each time her phone rings.

“Please don’t hate me today.”

“Don’t worry,” I say, “I can’t possibly hate you more than I do now.”

“That’s reassuring,” she says giggling, and then goes on to take another phone call.

It’s a slow Thursday evening, rush hour, foot traffic galore. We’re here to discuss Craft It: marketing strategies, where we are so far, stories to pursue, maybe even a torrid love affair.

Bett is coming down with the flu. She has ordered a Dawa, and once in a while she blows her nose on a piece of tissue. I’m on passion juice. It tickles my tongue as it goes down my throat, smooth and sweet.

Bett is rocking a bright purple sweater top and a boyish look. Her dreadlocks are gone, and her eyes are tired, which is probably why, when she first walked into the shop, she went right past me. She went up the stairs and only saw me at the last minute, when she was on the top step, when she peered over the balustrade. She looked in my direction for a solid minute before actually seeing me. Then she came back down, with a girly smile on her face.

“You’re getting old,” I say.

“Have you been waiting long?”

I’d arrived 15 minutes earlier, but it felt like I’d been there for only five. I was seated facing the entrance and I was distracted by the painting beneath the stairwell – a painting of a woman on onne knee blowing a trumpet. And then there was the coffee machine on the counter. It was full of coffee beans, packed and piled together like loamy soil.

The air inside the restaurant is warm and toasty. The coffee beans sit undisturbed as the night falls on the town. Bett is on another call as two couples walk in. Boy and girl, boy and girl. Young folk. No older than 24. They go up the stairs and, perhaps finding no table, come back down. Then they take the booth next to the painting. I imagine they’re on a double date.

Seconds later I notice one of the girls is looking in my direction. Her date has gone to the washroom, and the other couple is busy flipping through the menu. Every time I look at their booth I catch the girl, idly staring, slowly rubbing her earlobe between her fingers.

I thought if I looked at her long enough she might look away. But she didn’t. She just continued to glare, with as much expression as a toothpick.

I only stopped looking at her when Bett had rung off. But I wondered whether she thought the same thing, if Bett and I were on a bad date. Maybe she thought I was uninteresting, and that’s why Bett was constantly on her phone.

Maybe in her head Bett and I were having a torrid love affair. She’d look at my scruffy look and think I was just another bad boy, going out with other women. And to tell her Bett is my boss would only stoke her fiery imagination.

“So you’re dating your boss? Cool beans.”


Dirty Little Feet
I’m walking her home. Today she’s wearing a skirt. It’s the first time I’m seeing her in a skirt. The fabric holds on to her hips, and ends a few inches above her knee. She has legs for days, smooth and chocolate-colored.

We’re walking along a dusty Kitengela path. The sun is slowly sinking behind us and our elongated shadows stretch out in front of us. I’m looking at our shadows, shoulder to shoulder, the gentle curves of her legs, swinging on the rough terrain.

None of us can afford a bottle of vodka. Today we’re having sober-minded conversations – school, the meaning of life, and the meaning of the bloody Cyber Crimes Bill. And then the focus shifts to our relationships. Then she says that thing that all girls say: “I’m not like most girls.”

She tells me she has more guy friends than girls. And that it’s always been an issue with the boys she’s dated; “I prefer to hang around the guys. But I’d never sleep with any of the boys in my circle, I don’t feel those vibes.”

They go out often, and they paint the town and, sometimes, when she’s in the mood, she might play wingman to one of the guys. That’s just how it is with her. She never really understands girls. Also, if she runs into trouble, she can call them, the guys, because they can throw a punch for her.

“Every girl has a guy she can call when she’s in trouble,” she says.

We’re slowing pace now. The sky is gorgeously blue and her face beams as we near her door. She has remembered there’s githeri in the fridge. She can’t wait to get to it, she says.

And then two small school-boys walked past us. One was taller. Their sweaters hung on their bone-thin bodies. They wore short shorts and their feet were soiled to the shin, like they had been running on a dusty field all day.

The taller boy threw an arm over the other’s shoulder, and they walked like that until they were out of sight. The girl had turned to look at them. And then she said, “Aw, look at them. They’ll probably remember this when they’re old, how they used to dirty their feet. It’s so cool.”


Hans’ Lens
They sit on the same row in class, against the wall. The taller one sits in front. He carries a red bag and participates in class. His name is Eli.

The other one is called Hans. He likes to wear beanie hats and has a bushy goatee. Hans is slim. He doesn’t talk much, and when he speaks his words never quite reach your ear, which is why, when I tried to eavesdrop, I only caught what Eli was saying.

It’s our last class of the semester before exams. Helen’s class, but she couldn’t make it. There was to be a sub but that one didn’t show up either. So class was officially cancelled.

The previous week I had walked out of class with Eli. He towered over me as we walked down the stairs. He had a deep voice that bounced on the stairwells. It was the first time we were talking, and I soon found out he’s into film.

He watches lots of movies and he’s shaking bushes as a videographer. His mentor carries him along to events where they shoot videos. Then he has to sit at a computer, open Adobe Premier Pro, and edit the videos. Turns out we both wrestle with deadlines. Only, he doesn’t drink vodka. And he doesn’t think about breasts all the time.

“I’m a boring guy,” he says, smiling. He’s one of those guys who are quick to smile. “I want to go into mainstream media but I’m afraid I won’t have the artistic freedom.”

It’s a legit fear, I totally get him. I ask, “So what’s her name?”


“The girl who said you were boring.”

“Haha, there’s no girl,” he says.

“There’s always a girl.”

I get the sense that Eli isn’t one to spend his daylight flirting with girls. He’s more interested in getting his degree and earning his bread. We walk to the cafeteria and sit at a table. His next class is in 10 minutes. I’m done for the day.

“So what will you do now?” he asks.

“I don’t know. It’s still early to go back home. Maybe I’ll find a girl to flirt with.”

He laughs and says, “You like girls, eh?”

“I can’t help it.”

He asks me if I’ve watched ‘The Hitman’s Bodyguard’ (no), and ‘Mr. Robot’ (Not yet). And then we talk about ‘Game of Thrones’ for a while. The sun is peeping out. The cafeteria is filling up with student, bantering, coming out of class like a catalogue of colors. Glass cups clink in the kitchen. The air smells like chocolate donuts. A car horn blares in the distance.

“You know Hans?” He asks.

“Hans who? Hubermann?”


“You know, ‘The Book Thief’?”

“No, I don’t know who that is. I’m talking about the one in our class. He sits behind me?”

“Oh yeah. He’s called Hans?”

“Yeah,” he says. “He’s into photography.”

“Eh? That’s cool beans.”
Mike blogs at www.mikemuthaka.com

The Croatian Affair

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to our content

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

Seraphinite AcceleratorOptimized by Seraphinite Accelerator
Turns on site high speed to be attractive for people and search engines.