I’m surrounded by nomads. One of them is in the living room, hanging above my favorite couch. Ol’ Man got him for 2K at some beach-side hotel in Mombasa.

It’s a cool painting, really, an abstract; a herder, standing on one leg. He’s watching a herd of dark brush strokes. A spear is planted next to his lean body, and a lonely acacia tree sits in the background – blotchy and colored like milk glass. The nomad has bony legs. His face is turned away, so you can’t really tell if he’s in a good mood or not. The reddish canvas gives the painting a gloomy cast.

The artist signed his name on the bottom right corner: Kiama.

Sometimes, when I’m on the couch – with a book and a mug of coffee – I think about Kiama. What could he be doing right about now? How many pieces has he sold today? My thoughts about Kiama usually run along the fault lines of my own artistic insecurities. Does Kiama have a morning routine? Does he wake up at crickey o’clock to beat on his craft? What about his women? What sort of lady is attracted to a man that paints abstract nomads? How long did it take him to sit and back and say, “Aah, this nomad is finished”?

A nomad, essentially, is a person without a permanent home. Nomads go where the grass takes them. They walk great distances so the cows can have some nourishing cud. The goats and the sheep bleat along to the nomad’s whistle. Together they trample the earth looking for water to irrigate their throats. If you Google the word ‘nomad’ you’ll find a bunch of establishments by that name before getting to the actual definition.

There’s Nomad Beach Bar & Restaurant, in Diani. The Sands at Nomad Hotel, also in Diani. And Casuarina Nomad, a night club in Mtwapa. It’s like everyone in Coasto has a thing for nomads.

Here in Kitengela we have our own nomad: Hotel Nomads, recently renovated, and then renamed Nomads Platinumz Lounge. (Shish!) I don’t know why they had to rename it, for chrissake. Hotel Nomads sounds far much better than Nomads Platinumz Lounge. What sort of name is that, anyway? Platinumz. Sounds like the sort of place that’d play kwa ngwaru every 10 minutes. Or where, by 11 p.m., the only people on the dance floor are big-bellied landlords and skimpy-dressed women in their late 30s, clinging on to some misspent youth.

Maybe Nomads was bought by someone who has a crush on Diamond Platinumz.

But I’m certain no one calls it Platinumz. I bet if you hopped on a bodaboda and say to be taken to Platinumz, the rider will look at you and say, “Hiyo iko Kitengela kweli?”

Until two weeks ago, I’d never been to Nomads. I’d pass there on my way to the movie shop, or to the tuktuk stage, or while walking a lucky girl home, but I’d never wanted to know what goes on behind its dark glass walls. Nomads’ parking lot is usually a stew of sleepy-eyed cab drivers, butchers in white coats, and a cigarette-smoking man around the corner.

Nomads has Reggae Night on Sundays, which is a bummer because I have to be in class Monday by 8 a.m. Surely, why can’t they have reggae on Thursdays like everybody else?

Once, while walking past Nomads, I saw an arm reach out to close a window on the second floor of the building. It was 2 p.m. on a Monday, after class, and that arm kept tugging at me long into the evening – the small wrist, colored like coffee beans, the elegant movement as the fingers clasped the handle. It couldn’t have been a guy’s hand.

Then the window was shut, locking away any chance I had to catch a glimpse of the damsel. I wondered what sort of convo was going on in that room.

“Does it have a name?” she’d ask.

“I haven’t named it yet.”

Her head would be resting on his chest. With the window closed, the sound of his breathing – fast and primal – is even more amplified. A used condom lies carelessly on the floor, along with jeans and socks and lace panties.

“We should give it a name,” she says, stroking his receding shaft.

“Any suggestions?” He’s staring at the ceiling, smug-faced, holding her waist, coming down.

“It’s your thing,” she says, “you should be the one to name it.”

He mulls this over for a moment. Then he says, “Ama we call it Nomads?”


Anyway, a standard room at Nomads goes for 1,500. The deluxe is 2,200, and a conference room is a whooping 8,000 bob. Nomads dabbles as a watering hole, a restaurant, and a breezy haven for daytime dalliances.

I went there on a Saturday night. Nomads’ din poured into the dusty street, and I was just drunk enough to get curious. My company was a girl I’d just met at the movie shop, where I was having a tipple with my movie guy. I bought her some popcorn, she revealed she’s also loves vodka and we instantly hit it off.

Her name was Sylvia.

She didn’t have a curfew, and she’d never been to Nomads either. So I held her hand and we went in.

Nomads’ reception was a cage. Grilled window. Mpesa till number. Accommodation prices engraved on a shiny silver plate. A pudgy-faced lady sat behind the desk. And, upstairs, Nomads was a seething cauldron of beer and Premier League madness. Little rotund men sat in high bar stools, and white-uniformed staff waltzed around the tables. The only spot we could find was one next to a blaring speaker. It was pointless trying to hold a conversation. A waiter came to take our order: KC citrus and a bottle of Krest, I told him. The purple neon lights bounced around Sylvia’s eyes. Her face was sharp and strange and mischievous. I could see her lips move, but I couldn’t hear jack. The DJ was right in the thick of kwa ngwaru, for chrissake.

Finally, I got a sterling idea. I fished out my phone, opened the MemoPad, and wrote: “We can pass notes like naughty children.”

She smiled, and typed, “What am I supposed to say?”

“Why you’re in a pub with a complete stranger, for starters.”

She typed: “Do you want me to go?”

I don’t know why, but I found that funny. I simply couldn’t tell the tone of her question. Her face didn’t betray any emotion. Or maybe I was too drunk to notice, but at the end of the night – just 10:30PM, really – Sylvia made sure I was safely inside a tuktuk and that I had my fare. She said to let her know when I got home, which I also found funny because the people I drink with never say shit like that.

There was something cute about the whole thing. And I promised to text her.

I never did, though. I woke up the next morning and I barely remembered anything. If it wasn’t for my MemoPad I’d have no recollection whatsoever. I thought I’d wait it out. Maybe my memory would wash back after the hangie. But it didn’t.

And when I do the math I should be 450 bob poorer. But I’m not, which can only mean that Sylvia paid the bill. Or the waiter is really forgetful.

No wonder there’s another Memo entry with the line, “I’ll pay you back.”

Now Sylvia probably thinks I’m the biggest asshole in Kitengela. Could it be that love found me at Nomads but I was too drunk to notice?
Follow Mike on Instagram: mikemuthaka

Eggs and Balls
A Man and his Hat

Comments (5)

    • Mike

      It’s that easy, and that hard.

  1. Brian Nanai

    n am geussing your movie guy is called Solo..😁😁..awsome piece by the way

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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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