Playing House


I step out of the shower without a towel. I don’t need a towel. I’m home alone. Water drips from my scalp, down my back. It feels like someone has emptied a bowl of spaghetti on my head.

My shoulders tremble. The stained glass window distills weak skylight on my butt. I reach for my crotch. The cold shower is more painful than refreshing. But a cold shower is all I could think about when, 30 minutes before, I was on the shoulder of Namanga Road, and my big toe felt like it had been dipped in a vat of acid.

I’ve taken up walking, and it’s still weird to hear myself say it.

The first time I went walking out of sheer boredom. I slipped into sandals and went all the way up to New World Gardens, some six k.m. away. The path is flanked by hardware shops and flower farms and timber yards. I didn’t realize how far I’d gone until it was time to turn around. The sun suddenly seemed hotter. My left thigh became heavier. I got dust all the way up to my ankles. But, when I got back home, and took a cold shower, I felt so relaxed I was on the brink of nirvana.

The second day I went with my earphones and listened to Chainsmokers. I wore my old Nike shoes. Instead of going right – towards New World – I went left, towards Luqman petrol station. I walked to KAG University and turned around. It wasn’t as blissful as the first day.

The third day – today – I blistered my big toe. But the pain tastes like a small victory. So until someone invents a way of feeling this calm without the blisters, and the dusty feet, and the aching muscles, and the sweaty loins, I’m now to be found on Namanga Road every morning.

I walk to kill time, mostly. I walk to expose myself to new sights and sounds, to new meanings, new joys. No two days are ever the same. My little heart turns into a kaleidoscope when I walk, drinking up the shiny fragments of dawn. I walk for tranquility. I walk to be away from the keyboard. When I walk long enough I start to feel empty, like I’m in the wooden underbelly of an unplayed violin. On sunny days the sky looks like the inside of a blue porcelain bowl. Cloudy days bring whistling winds and the fresh smell of earth. I walk because running is far too tasking. And I walk because my old routine doesn’t work anymore – I no longer feel like sitting at my desk first thing in the morning, walking is how I get the blood going.

Anyway, from the shower I limp to the bedroom. The blister throbs with every step. A CD lies face down on my bed: season two of ‘House, M.D.’

You know Gregory House, right? The grumpy man on a stick, no?

I’m re-watching ‘House’. When it first aired on TV I was too young to digest the intense drama. House’s jokes whooshed past me. But I liked his walking stick. I envied his bad leg because of that stick.

In school I’d fake limp and be rude to my classmates. “No, I’m not giving you my sharpener. You always blow inside.”

In the furthest corner of my imagination, I was Doctor House.

The pain in my leg after my walks reminds me of House.


It’s closing time at Gravity Entertainment movie shop. They shut down the computers and clear out the popcorn machine. One member of staff, Dennis, makes a mental note to buy more caramel tomorrow. It’s Saturday night. A purple bulb burns on the ceiling. Movie posters jostle along the walls. Solo says a word of prayer before we leave.

“May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ…”

Solo and Dennis pray with their hands crossed behind their backs.

“…be with us now, and forever more. Amen.”

Outside, Dennis locks the door with a huge silver padlock. We walk to the main road while talking about girls, and 2 Chainz, and what Solo will have for supper. I rummage inside my bag for a pack of gum to mask the smell of vodo.

The last shop to close will be the gaming arcade next door, a dark room with large screens and cheery joystick-wielding youth. Some boys bring girls along with them. But the girls quickly get bored and come into Gravity for some popcorn.

Songs will someday be sung about Gravity’s popcorn.

There’s a boutique next door, where vests go for 100 bob. Another boutique on the left sells dresses and some sexy lingerie draped over peach-colored mannequins. Non-tenants of Milele Center are required to pay 50 bob for using the washrooms at the end of the corridor. Nights, no one really gives a damn.

When I ask Solo for a copy of ‘House’ he asks, “Where were you when other people were watching House?”

At 10 p.m. I’m the last customer at Gravity.

I go to Gravity for the friendship. I haven’t found a place in Kitengela with the same level of chum as Gravity. There’s always a laugh to be shared; a sandwich to be sold, an underrated series on the menu that’ll keep you up all night, a girl to flirt with, a friend to make.


Gregory House doesn’t need friends. He’s addicted to pain medication. He suffers nerve damage in his leg. He wears blazers. He’s sad and miserable. He’d rather lie on his office floor and listen to jazz records than meet most of his patients. He’s a cruel, heartless bastard but he’s the best at what he does. That’s why he can get away with objectifying his boss. And be rude to his team of doctors. And make it plain to patients that they’ll die if they do so much as doubt his diagnosis. The word ‘unorthodox’ was made for Dr. House.

The show started in 2004 and went on for eight seasons. During this time, Hugh Laurie, who plays Dr. House, had to regularly commute between his home in London and Hollywood, LA. The show made him the highest paid TV actor in the US, earning something of about £250,000 per episode. He won two Golden Globe Awards and got nominated twice for an Emmy.

Hugh plays House so well that, when I read about his life, and what he’s like as a person, I was genuinely astounded at how different they are. Hugh doesn’t strike me as crass monster. He’s not an emotionally detached insufferable wiz. He’s just a kawaida guy. He wakes up and goes to work. He has a sense of humor. If ‘unorthodox’ is for House then ‘genial’ is for Hugh Laurie. (This sorta explains why, after ‘House’, he released two blues music albums and took up boxing.)

I watched one of his acceptance speeches at the Golden Globes and he was so charming it brought a tear to my eye. He started by saying, “Wow, I’m speechless. I’m literally without a speech.”


In an interview with ‘The Telegraph’, Hugh admitted he battles insecurity as an actor. The Dr. House I’m familiar with doesn’t have a trace of insecurity in him. Hugh also struggled with depression early in his career.

And at the end of eight seasons of House, Hugh was asked if he’d be starring in another show soon, to which he said, “I’m not sure that I could physically do it, to be the lead of a thing, to be in every scene and to take responsibility for something. It’s hard going if you care about it. You know, brain surgery is easy if you don’t care whether the person dies… That’s what hard means. It’s an expression of how much you care about the result. And if you’re proud of it, or you believe it can be good and you want it to be good, then it can be sort of infinitely hard, to the point where it can drive you a bit bonkers.”
Follow Mike on Instagram: mikemuthaka

We got rats
My heart is in Belgium

Comments (1)

  1. Lynn

    Fun fact: Hugh Laurie was originally into comedy, not drama. Spotted Rowan Atkison aka Mr. Bean at his fact show and worked with him developing sketches for a while in the 80s. I just can’t reconcile the image of Hugh fooling around with Mr. Bean and Hugh being grumpy House.

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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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