All things lovely


Saturday, 1.43 p.m.
“Boys who say have a lovely night are suckers.”

She’s recalling a text she received from a guy. “Have a lovely night,” it said.

I imagine this text had an emoji at the end. Then I turn to her. I rummage around my noggin for instances where I might have said to a girl, “have a lovely night”. I can’t think of any. Not to say, of course, that there aren’t any girls out there who think I’m the biggest sucker in town.

“It’s a pussy thing to say, you know?” she continues. “Just say ‘good night’. Plain and simple. Why do you have to be so extra?”

She does this a lot. She rants in second person.

We’re in a rickety blue bus, Railways bound. Kiragi Sacco. Fare is 10 bob from Kenyatta. The bus reminds me of Mr. Kamau from ‘Hallo Children’. (If you don’t know Mr. Kamau we can’t be friends.)

It’s a Saturday.

The bus is dirty. The windows are smudged with what looks like beeswax. Something crawls up my leg. The roof is interwoven with maroon fabric. My backrest is straight as a ramrod. I can feel my unhealthy spine going back to factory settings.

The cushions don’t match. Some have flowery designs. Others have a sad shade of red. Sitting on them, with your ass half chewed by the softness, you feel like you’re sitting in your ol’ grandma’s couch back in shagz. Only, here there’s no musty stool, or a steaming cup of tea. What you get is zero legroom.

I damn near flattened my knee-cap on the thing.

In a few minutes the girl will face the window and retreat into silence. The next time she speaks will be at Agip, in tao, where I’ll suggest we alight because my back is killing me. We don’t alight, though, because she doesn’t feel like walking. And what is a boy to do but put the needs of the girl before his? He braves the pain in his back. He goes out of his way to make the lady comfortable. He taps his foot to contain himself whenever traffic builds up. He thinks of lovely things to take his mind off the misery. He comes from a long line of Njugunas. Like his father, and his father before him.

He likes to hang out friends. He likes to party. He likes to live boldly. (Hang on, I think I may have veered into a William Lawsons whiskey advert.)

Anyway, that Sato I saw the kind of person who’d say, “Have a lovely night.”

And I bet if they said it to you, it wouldn’t sound extra at all. It’d sound as natural as a fart. In fact if they said it to you before bed, your dreams would feel like fresh blue paint, with some sunshine here and a green meadow there.

I spotted her while walking out of school, after my class.


School feels like a ghost town on Saturdays. The halls feel hollow. The drone of traffic on Ngong’ Road is faint, making the silence seem intergalactic. The parking lot has holes, and the air inside the classroom is chilled. The air has sat in a reclining chair with a copy of Satmag and a mug of coffee.  Our lec always looks like an exhausted young dad, like he woke up at 3 a.m. to change diapers, and then he just couldn’t go back to sleep. The kind of lec who doesn’t make bones about arriving late to class – likeable, soft-spoken, doesn’t give too many assignments. He’s my type of lecturer, really. He’s also the sort of teacher who says, “Not so?” to affirm his statements.

“You care about your grades, not so?”

“I believe everyone is ready for the CAT, not so?”

“You two have been whispering during class, not so?”


Trouble is, when you have a Saturday class, your whole universe turns on its head. While everyone else is sleeping in you’re to be found at the dining table, rushing through breakfast with one eye on the clock. Sometimes you don’t even have time to make eggs, for chrissake. A Saturday class will condense your weekend into only a few moments of rest, when, previously, they were an airy stretch of time, where, if you weren’t out drinking, you could clean your room, take a nap, watch a whole afternoons-worth of football, weed the garden, masturbate, take another nap, and finish both class assignments before 11 p.m. on Sunday.

These days it’s not so.

Class ends at 1 p.m. By the time I get to Kitengela it’s already 5 p.m. There’s no weekend there. It’s been swallowed up on the highway, and on a bumpy 10-bob ride to town, and on a sweaty rickshaw whose driver is a red-eyed miraa-chewing chap who insists we pay before setting off on the road to home.

Then you blink and it’s Monday morning.


Next Saturday, 1.22 p.m.
“I need to pee,” she says.

Then she disappears around the corner. I stop outside the reception to wait for her. The front desk is unmanned. The concrete tiles are wet. I’m stepping on a chipped tile. The fault line on it looks like a jagged vein. My head is still ringing from the day’s lesson: Lexical Verbs, Ellipsis and Substitutes, Dangling Modifiers.

And then, to my left, right on the edge of the parking lot, I see her, in a pink trench coat and plaited hair.

And I think, “My, what a lovely sight.”

She busies herself with the flowers on the pavement. She traces a petal with a finger, and then she plucks a leaf. She doesn’t seem too interested in the leaf, though. She doesn’t look at it. She just sort of plays with it, absent-mindedly, rubbing it between her dainty fingers.

I felt sorry for the leaf, plucked from its plant and it doesn’t even get a look in. All that chlorophyll. Gone to waste.

Then she tosses the leaf and goes back to the car. Her pops is speaking on phone – suit, bald head, looking like a lecturer who just needed to dip into the office for a minute. He’s already locked the doors (black Nissan X-Trail), so the girl can’t get in and listen to the radio or anything like that.

She skips around the brick compound, keeping the momentum going. I figured she was having the time of her life. Maybe, at her age – at eight, maybe 10 – to be in campus grounds on a Saturday afternoon is nigh on adventure.

Ha! At 21 her idea of lovely Saturday afternoon will be to light up a joint, buy some pizza, and watch a mind-startling episode of ‘Black Mirror’ in satin shorts.

But everything about her seemed lovely, from her brown boots to the way she stared at the watchmen at the gates. She gave off the glazed vibe of a no-nonsense class prefect. Her dad looked like he was a member of the PTA. Maybe afterwards they’d roll into Pizza Inn, Mbagathi Way.

And, in a fleeting moment, their lives clasped and flashed before my eyes. I saw him hum songs to her while she was still in swaddles. At five years old, he reads Bible stories to her. Her favorite one was Samson and Delilah.

She’ll grow up around books. Her collection will smell like walnuts. She’ll read Sheldon and Grisham and Patterson. Then she’ll develop a fine taste for African lit. Nurudin Farrah’s ‘Sardines’ will etch itself in her beautiful mind. When she borrows Chimamanda’s ‘Purple Hibiscus’ from the school library she’ll find a note on page 23, from a previous reader, “Papa is such an ass.”

And then one night, as she comes home from a hot date, she’ll get a text message from him, “I had fun. Let’s do it again some time.”

“Me too,” she’ll reply, “Have a lovely night.”

And she’ll fall asleep with a smile on her face. She won’t think he’s a sucker.

Or worse, a pussy.
Follow Mike on Instagram: mikemuthaka

Love is a genre
We got rats

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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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