Love is a genre


Alternative Rock
‘Wait for me’ by Rise Against
‘Adventure of a lifetime’ by Coldplay

We drove around in your dad’s car, with ginger beer on our breaths. We cut through the southern bypass, the windows were up and I could have sworn this was love marinating to the jingles of X FM. You swear you’ll never date a writer. You like to do Sudoku puzzles. You have a thing for socks. Funny enough, I’m wearing socks as I write this.

You tell me about your dad’s gambling problem. It scares you. He drinks. He checks into casinos. He works out of town. You rarely see him.

In my head your dad looks like Mr. Decker, Theo’s dad in ‘The Goldfinch’. But when I finally see his portrait in your living room, he looks nothing like Decker. He looks just like…well, a dad; shaved head, neat collar, steady gaze.

This one has two daughters and a beautiful wife who also enjoys the occasional tipple. His eyes are the last thing I see before you straddle me. My heart skips. You press your lips to mine. I’m skipping class to be with you.

One night in September we stay up and talk till 4 a.m. Everything changes from that point. Suddenly we’re cozy enough to hold three-hour video calls. We’d talk for so long, holding the phones above our faces until our arms ached.  Your scalp would be tucked under a hair net, and I’d be shirtless.

Sometimes I dream about you. The last one was very lucid. You were in my bed. Then you rolled off and told me to wake up. I refused.

I said, “If I wake up you won’t be here.”

But you leave anyway.

On text you go on and on about a series called ‘Life in Pieces’. You insist I watch it. You promise I’ll cry. And boy do I cry.

I imagine you clutching a pillow to your chest as you watch it. You’ve put your phone away. You want to focus on the show. My text comes in but you don’t hear it. Your eyes are wet. I want to reach out all the way from Kitengela to hug you. But you’re likely to reject my embrace, because you never let anyone do things for you:

“No, don’t walk me to the stage.”

“No, don’t get me a birthday present.”

“No, don’t go down on me that long.”

Nights I pray about you. I ask God to keep you safe for me. I make peace by acknowledging that neither of us is ready for something serious. You had just got off that train when we met. You wanted to be alone for a while.

I figure we’ll live out our 20s separately, on different paths, and then we’ll meet and build a white picket fence.


I figure that’s all I have to do. Wait.

Funny enough, the classes I skip to see you are where I eventually meet Reggae.

‘No Air’ by Jordin Sparks
‘Kiss Kiss’ by Chris Brown

I hated the way you touched me as we talked. But I forgave you, because we were what, 14 years old? I was growing pubic hair and you had pointy breasts. I remember sitting at the back of the class, looking at your profile. Your cheek looked round and hideous, it just didn’t match the rest of your face.

You were a bad girl. An outlaw, taller than most. You had the guts to wear short dresses in a school run by nuns. You gossiped. You told every girl I belonged to you, shutting off any chance I had with any other ‘budding’ classmate. Take for example our class prefect. She was shorter, and her sense of humor was through the roof. Talking to her was a hoot. I bet even the nuns would have approved.

You liked Chris Brown. You obsessed over him. I imagined you had his poster hanging on your bedroom wall. But I never liked Chris Brown. His face tires the fuck out of me. Sure, the boy can dance, but everything else about him gets my goat.

You love Mr. Brown. You tell me if I want to marry you, I’ll have to bring Chris Brown and present him to you as a gift.

We make out. A lot. We make out because anything beyond that is unchartered territory. I have my doubts, though. It’s like J Cole’s ‘Wet Dreams’ – you give off the vibe of someone who’s had a few rolls in the sack.

Funny enough, sex with you isn’t all that.

‘Sexy Sandy’ by Jackie Edwards
‘Majesty’ by Chronixx

Catcallers in the street called you Empress. Maybe it’s the way you walk, how you refuse to be rushed. The world waits on you. Whenever we walk together you’re always a pace behind, one foot in front of the other with the grace of a real majesty. That walk gets me every time.

I love the way you don’t care. Unlike me, you don’t sweat the small stuff. Like me, you have no patience for my Rubik’s cube. You wrestle it for a moment before flinging it at the edge of my bed. Then you sit up and say, “Mike you’re mattress is so uncomfortable.”

You balance a plate of ugali on your laps. Your voice fuses with the sweet sounds of Chronixx, and Busy Signal, and Tarrus Riley. There’s a natural mystique flowing through the air. Then you remember we never finished ‘How I Met Your Mother’. We’ve only watched as far as season four. Barney makes you laugh. If this was ‘Game of Thrones’ Barney would be your squire. Marshall would be Lord Commander of the King’s guard.

On the ride home from school you speak to me like we’re the only ones alive. You don’t care that the man sitting behind us is listening to our stories, even the intimate ones. Then I remember I have a fire reggae mix in my memory card. (DJ Samkyd). I take out my earphones and we each take one side. The mat crawls out of the city center and onto the highway. Dusk is falling on Nairobi. And at the next traffic light you pull out the earpiece and say, “Mike this mix is boring. OK, it’s not boring. It’s the same songs. You know?”

I make a mental note to send DJ Samkyd an email.

I like charming you with my vocabulary. I use big words so you can ask me what they mean. I like that you think I have such a huge grasp of the English language.

“Whenever I’m near you, you make me feel sexy. You make me feel irie.”

Classical Music
‘Moonlight Sonata’ by Ludwig Van Beethoven
‘The Four Seasons Spring’ by Antonio Vivaldi

If musical instruments were people, the piano would be the most romantic. The guitar would be married to skinny jeans-clad dreadlocked fellows, and the trombone would get hired to play during Mashujaa Day. The nyatiti would be a notorious noisemaker, and it’d bear striking resemblance to Boni Khalwale.

I was stoned when I first heard you play the piano. You felt insecure about it. You were shy.

“It’s been years since I practiced,” you say.

I wouldn’t notice if you messed up. “Anything you play will sound like a Beethoven Sonata to me,” I say.

We’re in the student’s lounge. It’s a Saturday. You’ve never been to this room. You didn’t even know our school had a piano.

The furniture here is uninspiring, just benches with cushions on them, really. The windows have tracing paper for curtains. It’s that’ll-do furnishing, at best. On weekdays the place is packed with laptops and earphones and girls with too much make up. Sometimes someone brings a PS4 and the boys play Fifa. I only like it here because the WiFi is strong. Today it’s just us and a girl on the opposite side, we’re listening to Rihanna’s ‘California King Bed’.

You approach the piano like it’ll explode. You turn back to me and say, “Stop looking at me.”

Then you sit on the stool and place your hands on the keys. Your bra strap peeks through the back, pinching your skin, anchoring those big round breasts. I could have sworn I heard melodies each time I played with your nipples.

You take a deep breath. You push your spectacles up the bridge of your nose. And then you play. And I think: “Gosh, such talent.”

There, in the student’s lounge, surrounded by dull furniture and buoyed in a haze of smoke, you pulled my heartstrings, and it was like we were standing under the moonlight.

In bed you touched me like you were playing the piano.

Funny enough, you and Reggae are friends. And this semester we’re all in the same class.

Go figure.
Follow Mike on Instagram: mikemuthaka

Gate pass
All things lovely

Comments (2)

  1. Valerie

    Just wow!
    Writers like you make trying writers like me want to keep trying harder.
    This is beautiful. The imagery. The words so perfectly chosen.

  2. mugo

    Haha. Sexy Sandy, ngoma ya kinyozi hiyo… Good stuff.

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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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