Shabba Ranks


It’s a few weeks after our honeymoon that GB tells me one evening, “Please don’t come to bed wearing that.” He’s propped up against the headboard on a pillow, he’s reading from his Kindle. I love when I see him read.

I look down at what I’m wearing: a black oversize t-shirt branded ‘Huawei’ and my very happy, very stripped socks that go halfway up my legs. A bandana covers my hair. Throw in a pair of faded ngomas and honestly I’ll look like a local comedian doing stand-up on Churchill Live.

I chuckle, “Kwani what do you want me to wear?”

He returns to his book sighing, “Wear something nice.”

It isn’t the time to pick a fight. I’m knackered. So is he. I have an early morning. And it’s Tuesday, it’s too early in the week to cavil his appeals. This isn’t what Shabba Ranks meant when he sang bedroom bully. I’m also smarter, I don’t want to sweat the small stuff. No matter that the small stuff is an oversized t-shirt.

I say sawa and pull the covers over my head.

I think of my other sleeping tees before he turns the lights out. I think about the navy blue one written ‘iHub’, the one that has an ‘*’ for the dot in the ‘i’. My kid bro got me that one. It makes me think of donor funding. I also think about the red one for Johnny Walker whiskey. It’s in size extra extra large, has plenty of breathing room. And the red old-ish one with the ‘Ralph Lauren’ logo on its breast pocket. That one was GB’s. I remember wearing it on the weekends at his bachelor pad; the bachelor pad I didn’t particularly like but which now, when I pause to think about, has the fondest memories of pre-Muna weekends.

Then there’s the ‘I Love Egypt’ one, the one in a dull beige, the one I got as a souvenir from my first boss at my first internship in senior year. I also think about the black one from EABL, the one that says ‘Friends don’t let friends drink and drive’. I particularly like this one because the cotton’s heavy and the colour hasn’t run. I’d won it some night in Tamasha when I was out drinking with my pals. Those days when I liked my double vodka and tonic. I was having Smirnoff Ice on the night I won that t-shirt. I’d scratched under the screwed cap of the bottle and it showed a t-shirt. My pal had scratched hers and said, “I won us more free drinks!” We all shrieked back.

Oh, the abandon of my days of youth. Days when I’d go to bed tipsy and fully clothed from the hang, makeup running down my sweaty face, and no one would passively-aggressively ask me to wear something ‘nice’ to bed.

Saturday, I’m at Toi market shopping for ‘nice’ nightwear. I find this mama hanging them on the wall that separates the market from the primary school. There’re many things I’ll confess to in this life but I won’t confess to buying nightwear from a wall.

Her nighties are in mint condition and soft strappy polyester. They feel luxurious against my skin. But they’re dull. And suggest a lack of adventure. They’re in solid colours like white, beige and lilac. The most exciting colours in my size (size 98) are champagne red and navy blue, the most exciting pattern is polka dots. I want some in the colours I like – green, orange, yellow, with silly doodles and drowning motifs – but the fun ones are all in small (size 10 and below). I can’t squeeze into them even if I hold my breath all night.

This mama also convinces me to buy two polyester robes in white and blood red. Robes to wear over my new nightwear, she says. I swear. These robes make me feel a little like Hugh Hefner, the old cat lady who lives in the apartment below ours, a washed-out country musician backstage, and for some reason I can’t explain, like Orie Rego Manduli.

I bag my purchases and head back to the digs to have them laundered. And just like that, I’ve crossed the Rubicon and joined an old wives’ club, a club that dresses properly, thoughtfully and nicely to bed. I want to be anything but nice, thoughtful and proper in bed.

What’s worse, I can’t even wear my damn socks with them.

I wear the red one the next night after my shower. I admittedly feel sexier. Almost naked. Raunchy. A pre-political version of mouthy Manduli.

I get under the covers and before I can say my prayers, I feel on my neck the real bedroom bully. I feel the hot breath of the wild animal I’d been caging in GB. Like he’s…OK, I’m about to go into excruciating detail of how he and I are like animals in the savannah – me the nimble gazelle, he the feral cheetah – but I’ve exhausted my word count.

Tough luck.

An edited version of this story first ran in some old edition of True Love magazine.

Chef Les: “Food is better than an orgasm”

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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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