Take me to Spain. Or not


I’ve been toying with the idea of learning Spanish. I don’t say it out loud though, I don’t want my ancestors getting hot under the collar over such drivel.

“The boy has lost his head,” they’ll say, “twarũĩire wĩathi nĩguo waragie Spanish?” 

I should be ashamed of myself because I don’t know Kikuyu (I got my Mum to write me that Kikuyu line you just read). I’m not planted to my roots – my ancestors think I’m an abomination, my lecturers call me ‘a colonized mind’.

What business do I have learning a foreign language when I can’t speak my own?

I knew I had the hots for Spain since I started watching football. Or maybe it was when I watched Spanglish? I don’t know. I’m one of the rare chaps who prefer Spanish LaLiga to the English Premier League. I’m a Barca fan. I’m used to free flowing, fast-paced crisscross-passing football. And during the World Cup I always put my money on Spain.

In fact Spain has always been one of my dream destinations, right under Greece and Rome. I even know a few Spanish words, like ‘policia’, and ‘piensa’, meaning to think (I think). Perhaps the only Spanish thing I wouldn’t dig is Sergio Ramos. He has to be the biggest asshole in Spain.

Then there’s ‘Narcos’, the TV series. I’ve watched ‘Narcos’ all of four times. The first time I only wanted to know Pablo’s story, to follow the plot, getting familiar with the demons of a drug lord. The other three times were simply because I found the dialogue so damn sexy. Mexican Spanish is only slightly different from Spain Spanish.

And then I watched ‘LaCasa De Papel’, aka Money Heist. A Spanish flick. It was suggested to me by a friend, about two weeks ago, and I’ve been using every bit of my free time to catch up on an episode. I can’t get enough of this show. It’s filled with intrigue and various attractive female characters. I’m hooked on the sharp edge of its plot. LaCasa twists and turns, leading me down a rollercoaster of drama and sweet Spanish tongue.

The story is this: A man, known as the Professor, comes up with a plan to rob the Royal money mint. He has worked the plan for years. He envisions the biggest heist in European history. So he rounds up a group of thugs to help him: Tokyo (narrator and all around bad girl), Berlin (group leader and pretentious orator), Helsinki and Oslo (Serbian muscle-heads), Moscow and Denver (father and son), Rio (computer whiz), and my absolute favorite, Nairobi (tall, pointy-nosed brunette, on a mission to reunite with her son).

The Professor didn’t want any real names, or personal relationships. But then Tokyo sleeps with Rio. Feelings are involved, opening a can of worms that will knock the first card out of the carefully laid-out stack.

If only the police knew how peaceful the operation was meant to be, then nothing would have gone wrong. But plenty of things go wrong. People get shot. Hostages escape. Chaos reigns. And then here comes the Professor to save the day with his cunning. He takes the policia on a wild goose chase, dancing around them, always two steps ahead. The guy is orchestrating a heist whilst sleeping with the police inspector, for chrissake.

They don’t get any smarter than that, folks.

I’m up to season two. I stop after every episode to walk around the house, taking time to digest what I just watched, thinking: Man, the Professor really thought of everything. And how about that Nairobi chic? She’s a bloody goddess. 

The trouble with my copy of season two is that the subtitles are a bit wonky. It’s like the guy running the subs didn’t have a good handle on the Spanish language. So that instead of saying, “Take her out of the room” it says, “Take it out of the room.”

Am I the only one with this problem?

Sometimes ‘LaCasa’ feels like a soap opera. Other times it feels like it’s about to be a goddamn bloodbath. I really can’t tell what will happen next. The police are hot on the Professor’s tail, and it’ll be interesting to see how he gets himself out. I also don’t know the characters’ facial expressions very well. My eyes are trained on the subs half the time. It’s like an audio-book with pictures.

By the time I was done with the season one, I’d decided Spain should occupy the top spot in my destination bucket list. Forget Rome and Greece. Llévame a España. Take me to Spain.


This semester I’m doing a unit called RET 321: Theology in the African Context. I have class on Tuesdays and Thursdays. For the term paper we were divided into groups of four, each group to write about a particular African concept. My group got Polygamy.

The deadline was to be last Thursday, but the lec – God bless her soul – pushed the due date to Tuesday (tomorrow). Naturally I fancied writing the paper on that Wednesday, one day to the deadline, but the lec’s announcement cleared up my schedule considerably. I now have time to get on with LaCasa.

I watch two episodes over lunchtime. The last thing I see is Nairobi hitting Berlin over the head with an M-16 rifle. Then she picks up the phone and says, “Hello, Professor. Berlin isn’t feeling too well. I’m in charge now.”

The camera goes to a bewildered-looking Professor. Then back to Nairobi. And she says, “The matriarchy begins.”

Roll credits.

My jaw drops. The angels sing. Feminist Twitter would clink their glasses at such a scene. And I’m happy too, because Nairobi looks like the only robber with a level head. Of course it’s too soon to say, but everything seems to be alright with Nairobi.

After that episode I sit back and stare at the ceiling, wondering if I’ll ever set foot in Spain. It’s 3 p.m., and my RET exercise book is lying open on the floor. From my room I usually see little sparrows leaping along the fence.

Today there are no sparrows. The sun has turned up its dials. The compound is quiet, save for a bell ringing in the distance – hung about the neck of a cow, trampling over the vast weather-beaten Kajiado soil.

It’s a peaceful moment. But what I really want is to be in Spain. So what I do, I jump onto Google and look up Spain. It’s stunning.

There are stone castles and snowcapped mountains. My eye widen at the sight of Valencia’s medieval structures. I gawk at Catalonia’s grape and olive fields, against the backdrop of deep blue skies. I imagine walking along the winding streets of Madrid, and getting lost in its bookshops, and touring its museums, and then slipping into my swimming trunks, and dipping into a pool full of some Spanish vixens.

I come upon a picture of half-naked men sitting by a stream. The caption says, “Residents of Camarinal cooling down by a river.”

Turns out Spain is experiencing extreme temperatures. Last Wednesday, weather experts issued some warnings: Avoid the midday sun. Apply high-factor sunscreen. Move towards the coastal areas, where temperatures are a bit cooler.

Spain hasn’t seen temperatures like these since the late 70s. Forest fires are becoming the new normal. The needle is predicted to go up to 45 degrees Celsius, and so far three people have died from heatstroke. The weathermen say all this is caused by ‘a plume of dry, hot air coming from Africa’.

Hehe, who would have thought? Mother Earth is playing the old tit for tat. The Europeans are about to pay a hefty fine for colonizing our Africans.

Anyway, to contain the fires Spanish authorities have sent out water dropping planes. They have deployed nine helicopters, 115 fire fighters, and military troops. The task at hand is only made difficult by winds moving at 55km/h, spreading the inferno over 25,000 acres of land.

This isn’t the best situation for what should be Spain’s peak holiday season, especially after taxi drivers in Madrid and Barcelona went on strike, protesting against Uber and other similar companies.

Now I’m wondering whether I really want to go to Spain. How do tourists move around? Do they walk to the hotel from the airport? Ama they take a mat? I can’t imagine walking around in that heat.

I reckon it’s much better to remain in Nairobi, where the sun doesn’t kill you and the girls don’t have long and difficult names like Monica Gatambidze, and where, at least, I’m closer to my roots.
Follow Mike on Instagram: mikemuthaka

Crying fowl
Chin up!

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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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