Colours of rhythm


What do you write about on a day like today? Or in a week like this, when the trees in our backyard have been shaken and felled again? Leaves scattered into the wind.

Death in itself is a great tragedy. The greater tragedy is that its long shadow discolours and silences life after – it turns into a pale ho-hum of what you had before it struck.

What’s more, death makes most of what you’re pursuing in this life seem so frivolous, so pointless, so unnecessary and trivial, so insignificant. It makes the fervour for life itself seem so borrow-to-return-soon impermanent. As if nothing we possess under the sun – not the breaths we take or the ground under our soles – was ever ours to begin with. It’s frightening, really, yet also comforting. Knowing that I don’t have to hold on to shit so tightly frees me of the burden of worrying about tomorrow. The only moment I have to think about is now. Everything else that surrounds it is details.

The normalcy of our lives hangs by these details on a string – death severes that string.

I was going to write you about my December holiday break. That two-week break whose soundtrack is Burna Boy’s ‘On The Low’. See that chick in the video, the one in the mid-riff off-shoulder Ankara and denim cut-offs? See how she flips here hair and does that sexy thing with her waist 30 seconds into the video? Daaaang. Those brief moments best describe my December Christmas break. (This paragraph will only make sense if you watch the video. Go ahead and watch it, I’ll wait right here for you.)

Then Tuesday happened.

Do you recall where you were when you learned what the attack was about?

I was at Nyama Mama, Westy.

We’d had a meeting in school that day, GB and I. (Oh yeah, Muna baby joined school last Tuesday. More on that story another day.) It was our first meeting with the school. At 11 in the morning, an odd hour of the day because just as you’re settling into jobo you gotta get moving again to manoeuvre traffic to get there.

The kindergarten teachers drove into number work, psychomotor skills, social skills with gusto. They even had us recite the alphabet in phonetics.

You could tell first-time parents like GB and I, we asked all these ridiculous questions, as if this was the first time the school was taking in kids to kindergarten.

“What’s the ratio of kids to coaches when they’re swimming?”

“Have you considered taking them to a heated pool?”

“Aren’t white socks part of the uniform?!”

“Tell us about the Kiswahili they’ll learn.”

“On the back of his question, some of us haven’t been emailed the timetable and goals information pack. How do we receive them so we’re up to date?” (That was GB. Feeling so important, as if it were his suit asking that question, hehhe.)

“What are the safety rules in the bus?”

“I’ve been packing snacks for my daughter but the spoons and forks I pack don’t come back home. How come?” (That came from some mouthy annoying school mum. It wasn’t until I finished asked the question that I realised it’s me. Hahaa.)

Muna refused to come with us. She wanted to take the bus home with her pals instead. I suspect she likes to go to school so she can ride the bus back home after lunch.

We had no time to argue with her because it was time for lunch. We nipped in to Nyama Mama.

We had the smokehouse beef burger. Probably the yummiest thing I’ve eaten this year.

It was a fresh healthy burger with lots of cheese, it was clearly a burger that had been swimming in a heated pool with 10 coaches watching over it. (Bad joke, ignore that.) And it came with a small knife dug smack in the middle, like a dagger to the heart. A dagger which went back to the kitchen (there I go again).

Anyway, GB left later for his 2 o’clock and I settled in to get some writing done. Head Chef at Nyama Mama Delta – Chef Lesiamon – had also settled in with his laptop.

The restaurant was clearing out but it wasn’t empty, restaurants are never empty – the collective spirit of diners past hovers above like a cloud, a white smoke of indistinct flavours, once in a while swooshing around the tables and chairs in a whistle you must cock your ear to catch.

An hour later, we heard first the blast then the gunshots.

My heart has never beat harder.

Chef Les was already on phone. Minutes later, he walks up to me and says, “There’s an attack at Dusit. I have someone there. They’ve said it’s a suicide bomber.”


I’m starting a new miniseries next week. It’ll be about Kenyan chefs.

It was inspired by a very sexy grayscale photo I saw on Esquire magazine. I’m not kidding. (OK, that plus ‘Chef’s Table’ on Netflix.) The photo was of a scrawny chef – tattoos on his arms, pointy chin, his short sleeves shirt rolled up. He was placing very gently a garnish leaf or something on a meal he’d plated.

There’s an intensity chefs have when they’re back there in the kitchen. I want to capture that intensity and the story behind it, in photos and words.

I’m titling the miniseries Kitchen Confidential. (I know, it’s completely unoriginal.)

Because it’s only fair that we find again the old colours of rhythm in life’s fervour.

P.S: Pole sana to those who lost family and friends Tuesday. And pole sana to those who didn’t sleep that night waiting on their loved ones to be evacuated. Also to those who braved hours of anguish hiding from the gunmen. May you find peace.

And now, something, uhm, small to wrap up 2018
Kitchen confidential

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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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