Crying fowl


I can’t imagine sharing a roof with my cock. I wouldn’t be able to stand the racket my cock makes, especially in the morning. Two cocks can’t stay in the same house. My cock is black. Its neck is so thin sometimes I worry it’ll snap any second.  Still, I love my cock. I love how big it’s grown over the last few months, and now I’m wondering how my cock would feel about moving into the house with me.

Get this, a woman in Karachuonyo is counting losses of up to 26,000 shillings after 52 of her chicken were stolen. Cases of chicken theft have been on the rise in Karachuonyo, and farmers have taken to keeping the birds in the main house. Some have given up chicken rearing altogether. Complaints to the area chief have been fruitless.

Apparently the thieves break in at 3a.m., grab the chicken, and then transport them to Kisumu, where the demand for chicken is higher. What’s surprising is that the burglaries are noiseless. One farmer suspects they use some kind of chemical to keep the birds quiet.

My heart bleeds for the Karachuonyo folk. And if I was to meet them I’d pat them on the back and say, “There there. You’re not alone, donge? I know how you feel.”

I also keep chicken. I started off with 50 chicks and one mother hen. I got them last October. Old man and I drove to some chicken farm in Thika, where we were promised poultry of the finest breeds. Genetically improved. Kuroiler chicken. Origin: India.

The guy manning the farm walked us through. Before going into the coop we had to step on some sponge to disinfect our shoes. The coop was divided into sections, each announcing how old the birds were. There were two-year olds and six-month olds and three-day olds.

There were birds in every corner. The chicks squealed and the cocks flapped their wings, and leaped this way and that. The air inside was warm and musty. The guy picked up the chicks and packed them into boxes.

Then it was time for the mother hen. I thought he’d have to chase her around for a while. But he snuck up behind her and grabbed her like it was child’s play. Then he tied up her legs and carried her to the car.

I was trailing behind with the box of chicks. Old man carried the other box. I could hear their confused mummers. Some stuck their beaks through the ventilation holes. They were so cute. I whispered to them, and told them I’d take care of them, never mind that I had zero experience in poultry.

But how hard could it be? I thought all I had to do was feed them, and then watch them grow into big egg-churning machines.

Back home we built a spacious coop. We spread sawdust on the floor so their talons could stay warm. We covered the mesh with some light material, because even chicken need curtains. It’s basic decorum, really.

We put planks of wood in the coop as well, so the birds can perch. I’ve never known why, but boy do chickens like to perch.

I looked after those chicks like my life depended on it. I put them on a diet of store-bought chicken feed and left over ugali. I even gave them some buttered spaghetti once. My favorite was a grayish chick I christened Falcon.

I watched them while they ate. Some were bullies. They wanted all the food to themselves. Those ones would promptly get some time-out. I’d shoo them away until the weaker ones had had their fill.

I refilled the water trough with careful efficiency. I whistled to them in the morning. And at night I went to bed wondering if I had done enough.

Then they started dying. Almost each morning I’d wake up to dead bird. The first casualty was a brown chick. I found it buried in a heap of saw dust, like the others had decided to bury it. Like they had given it a requiem mass and eulogy. And as I carried it outside I thought, “Well, at least I have 49 left.”

The next day I thought, “48 isn’t such a bad number.”

By the end of two weeks and 19 deaths, I was like, “Who brought this damn curse?!”

After a while I developed a sixth sense. I’d know a bird had died as soon as I opened the coop door. The air would be different. The atoms would feel rearranged, and there’d be a deathly silence. The chicken would look bewildered, except for the mother hen, which was so nonchalant I thought she had a kind of emotional disorder.

It didn’t matter how much I whistled to them. The chicken still died. And died. I could have given them some quality Italian pasta, for chrissake, but it didn’t keep them from breaking my poor heart.

Was it a contagious bird virus? We gave them vitamin boosters for their immunity, and it worked for only about ten minutes before we were back to mourning.

The day Falcon died I genuinely shed a tear.


It’s been 11 months now, and only two birds have survived – a cock and a hen. Time has simply flown. I didn’t think they’d grow as big as they have. The cock can let out a loud cluck, and the tips of its feathers are flame red. The hen is black and it has a graceful sway of the bum when she walks. We slaughtered mother hen for Easter cause she refused to lay eggs.

I’ve since stopped fussing over them, though. They’re old enough. In the daytime I let them wander the compound, where they peck at leaves and forage for worms. It makes me proud to see them hunt. I feel like I’m not a complete failure. In the evening they troop back in, and go back to perching, ready to turn in for the night.

I wonder what they talk about in there.

“Do you remember when this place was so cramped you couldn’t get some decent food?”

“I know?” That’s the hen. “Kwanza that Falcon was such a bully. Gosh.”

“By the way, is it true they cooked him?”

“I heard he died under ‘mysterious circumstances’.”

“Why are you saying it like that?”

“Saying what like that?”

“’Mysterious circumstances.”’

“Like how?”

“Like that. ‘Mysterious circumstances.’ Like you know what happened to him.”

“Sshh. Do you have to be such a loud cock?”

“We’re the only ones here, you halfwit.”


Cock says, “If you won’t tell me then at least make yourself useful. Lay some eggs or something, or else you’ll also be dinner soon.”

I pity the hen, really. She has to share a roof with a mean cock. I bet she thinks his colorful feathers have made him vain. When I open the coop in the morning she usually walks out first, like she just couldn’t wait to get away. Or maybe she’s playing hard to get. Maybe the cock has been shooting his shot and she wants to see how long he can keep it up. She looks like the kind of bird who just loves the attention.

I wonder if the cock has any dreams of escaping. Maybe he tells the hen how he’ll one day get her out. “I’ll take you out into the world, babe.”

“Like Chicken Run?”


“You know, Chicken Run. The animated film?”

He’ll cackle. “Hehe, something like that.”

“But where will we go? You know I’m not big on spontaneity.”

“Don’t worry. I hear Karachuonyo is nice this time of the year.”
Mike blogs at www.mikemuthaka.com

Sankale’s minivan
Take me to Spain. Or not

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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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