A short and useless story about my fingernails


I’m writing this from the new Java on Lenana Road, Kilimani. It’s not really new in the sense that an establishment would be new. If I’m not mistaken, it has been here for longer than I’ve been rocking my short natural hair. Which is just about, what, three months? Four months? I don’t know, I stopped keeping count.

Last Monday though, I got a haircut. It’s a haircut which makes my head look longer and like a lightweight female boxer’s. And like I’d be attracted to Terry, one of my best pals. It was my first time in a barbershop. I remember as the barber wrapped that hideous silk cloth which smelled of methylated spirit around my neck and shoulders, I told him, “Don’t give me those common haircuts I’ve seen on most chicks in this town.”

He chuckled. “I’ll give you a haircut which suits the shape of your head.”

Well he did. But guess what he also ended up doing?

This Java is new because I only started coming here early September. I’ve come here all of about five times. Each time to work. Each time I sit in the same booth. Each time I’m served by the same waiter. I won’t tell you his name but I’ll tell you that he looks like a short lunje version of Tyrese. Like he’d play Tyrese if a movie about Tyrese would be shot in Kenya. (Don’t ask.)

This Java is spacious and airy but the draught tends to make it chilly. I have socks on my feet and a kikoy wrapped around my laps. I’m comfortable. And cosy. And jealously settled in. There are fleeting moments where I feel like a primary school teacher. Like my Mum, I can see her in the same cosy position in her 1B class at Kilimani Primary.

The booth I’m settled into has a large painting on the wall adjacent to it. It’s a canvas painting of a black family watching TV in their living room. I can’t make out the name in the artist’s signature. It’s full of colour, the painting, the individual brushstrokes are a violent yet mindful ebb of thick layers of acrylic paint.

I wouldn’t hang it up on my walls at home though, I’d go for something more minimalist.

The blog story I’ve been working on isn’t coming together as I like. Regretfully. I thought about it all weekend. I drafted it Monday. Poked at it again yesterday. I’d scheduled it to go up today at noon but alas… I had a paltry and disjointed 858 words only by sunset yesterday. It got me restless and anxious. Panicked. I ended up on YouTube watching Shakira belly dance, later I watched Brick and Lace and wondered what became of them. Much much later, I watched JLo then stalked her to her Instagram. How is she 49 with such a banging body? How?

I like the idea of the story. I really do. I don’t want to tell you the title because I kinda love the title more than I love how the story is shaping itself.

I got here to Java at 7.30am. My plan was to have been here by 6.40a.m – to catch the early creative worm and rescue the story, before the heat of the day and the din of suburbia invades the innocence of the breaking dawn – but Muna woke at around that time. She was in sour and needy mood. She wanted to be held. I dropped my bags at the door and sat on the couch to hold her. I hold her when she wants to be held because she’s a girl (like me), a needy girl (also like me), who sees pasts its exhibitionism and readily decodes the messages in tactility (also like me). And besides, what’s a day without being held for a few minutes by the person you love?

I held her tight the way she likes. And I squeezed her feet. And pulled at her chubby fingers one after the other. Rubbed her cheeks, tagged her earlobes. I kissed the top of her head and whispered in her ear that she’s a good girl and Mummy loves her very much. She burst into more tears. Hahhha. You can never win with these kids. Or with girls.

I came here hoping to spur my creative juices and panel-beat the story way ahead of my noon deadline.

But nothing happened. My mind was drawing blanks. And terrible punch lines.

That’s how I ended up writing you this useless story.

I don’t want to say I’m suffering writer’s block, I really don’t. But if kinda feels that that’s what it is.

I’m not fatigued (I’ve been sleeping by 10.30 and getting up without the alarm at 5.10, 5.20. Sometimes I get up to run, other days I stay in to read from my Kindle. So no, I’m not fatigued).

I’ve been reading. A lot (I’m rereading Nora Ephron’s ‘I Feel Bad About My Neck’ (the most impactful, wittiest, relatable, goal-shaping, career-changing book I’ve read this decade. I’m not reaching for hyperbole when I tell you that); I’m also reading another book I got for $2, I don’t remember the author but it’s titled ‘Life And Other Near Death Experiences’. I think. It promised to be full of satire but I’ve not laughed once. What I thought was an opportunity for humour turned out to be a pivotal plot device. When Tom, the protagonist’s husband for eight years, told her he was gay the same day she found out she had cancer and had six months to live. Yawn. Cancer is such a lazy plot device. It’s too low hanging a fruit. Like breasts. (That doesn’t make sense, ignore it.) Anyway, she sold everything they owned and took a trip to Puerto Rico. She’s met a hot Spanish dude. I know what’s going to happen next).

And I’ve been getting inspired by other artists as well (GB and I are listening from the car stereo to Jay Z’s album from last year, ‘4:44’. Tight album. Tight tight album. It’s his thirteenth studio album and he’s still fresh, as fresh as… as fresh as Eliud Kipchoge. (Jesus, what’s happening to me today?) I’m still baffled, how the hell has Jay Z managed to do that, to remain relevant and fresh after so many albums, so many years? I’m listening and relistening to the album hopeful that the answer to my bafflement is somewhere between his lines).

I think I’m bored with the routines and predictability of my days, that’s what’s up.

Or maybe I need to get laid more frequently? Heehe.

I haven’t had a staycation in a long time either. A staycation, for those of you that were the last to understand hashtagMCM and hashtagWCW, is where you stay a day and night at a hotel – or Air BnB if you’re on a budget, as I usually am – and you cheat your brain into believing that you went on a vacation. The last staycation I had was in July. It was an overcast day and the place was shit, it didn’t have me look forward to the next one.

I’m beginning to think my creativity is suffering also because of my finger nails. They’ve grown out. I’ve let them grow out. I never let them grow out. I usually clip them down to the bone every Sunday night. I like them short and filed because I work a lot with my hands. The length of my fingernails determines my work – and word – output. (And how much I serve him in my love portions, wink wink.) I remember last February, we’d just returned from our honeymoon, my mind was resisting the work flow of getting back into the grind. I didn’t understand it. It took me more than two weeks to realise it was my long acrylic nails cock blocking this maneno.

Speaking of which, I don’t know what my toenails look like without gel nail polish. The only time I see them without nail polish is when Elizabeth – my waxist and pedicurist – has scrubbed, clipped and filed them, and has given me the ring-chain to select the next shade. It’s a small window to see them naked. I think they’re now shy of being seen naked, my toe nails. This what happens when you don’t see something naked enough times.


It’s noon now. I have a meeting in Karen at two.

Let me publish this – despite myself, I really think I’ve nailed it (hahha, get it?).

This chick was a fox
Hunt like a hungry lioness

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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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