The turbulent millenial


In the last 36 hours I’ve taken about 10 mugs of water with lemon, ginger and honey. I have a flu, a flu that makes me lazy and woozy. I rarely get flu. My head feels like a vessel of mucus. On Monday I bent down to wash my underwear and my noggin felt like a sinking Titanic. I don’t know what day it is. I lose track of time. My nights are sweaty, and I’m woken up every few minutes with a cough that makes me feel like I swallowed some thick fabric. I blow my nose and my ears hurt like hell.

This flu comes at a time when I’m just joining the corporate pool.

I’m writing this on the balcony of Mirage Towers, along Uhuru Highway. It’s my second day of work, and I’m nursing a hangover. My contract says I’ll be on probation for the next three months. If anyone has noticed my puffy cheeks and baggy eyes, they haven’t mentioned it.

When I staggered home last night, at 11 p.m., I found Ol’ Man in the living room. He was watching the match between Man-U and PSG. He noticed I was drunk. He said, “Siku ya kwanza? Uta survive probation kweli? Ukianza kuenda job na macho nyekundu.”


It’s an open-plan office. My colleagues are a bunch of young folks like me. Millennials. Nairobi millenials. (Ha! Ati colleagues.) There’s Ken and George and Danson and Maxine and Nectar and Gloria and Francis and Maggie and Patrick and Muluvi.

They have huge headphones and fancy phones. They’re disruptive and cool and hip, and they’ve all made me feel terribly welcome. My boss is a tall guy with a deep voice and a toy car on his desk. (You want to know how laid back this place is? I’m sitting next to an empty bottle of Famous Grouse.)

I’ve come on as a copywriter. When someone forgets my name, they call me ‘Copy Guy’. And I’m starting to like it. Copy Guy. Yesterday my supervisor introduced me to the team by saying, “This is Mike. He’s our new copy guy.”

Earlier this morning I wanted to take a picture of the view from up here, but I’m afraid my phone won’t capture all the magnificence.

Speaking of which, I’ve had the same phone for four years. It’s a Samsung J1 Ace. The top left part of the screen is cracked. The storage capacity is truly shit, and a 30% battery level is as good as 5%. My wallpaper is a picture of (wait for it…) Hugh Laurie. He’s holding up a bunch of balloons. One balloon is yellow, and has a smiley face.

I never put a password or pattern or any of that crap, partly because I have nothing to hide. Partly because my phone is so dull no one would want to rummage around. My gallery is filled with screenshots of sexy paragraphs of Internet articles, and one selfie with my sister, and the picture I took of Bett during our office Christmas party last year.

My memory card has a virus. And Instagram can’t install because of the dismal storage space. If I switch on the Battery Saver mode for more than 10 minutes, the installed Apps – WPS Office, WhatsApp – become obsolete.

Still, this phone has served me well. All the stories I’ve done on this column began on the notepad. I’ve taken nudes with this phone. I’ve drunk dialed with this phone. I’ve read gut-wrenching texts on this phone. (“I can’t do this anymore. I think we have to break up.”)

Over time it has become less like a phone and more like a gross testament of a destructive cycle.

Every month I get salo, I tell myself I’m going to invest in a new phone. Then I think: “It’s far better to spoil myself with some vodka.”

I don’t want much from a phone, really. I don’t want a phone with the storage capacity of a mainframe computer. As long as I can browse and call and take some quality nudes, that’s pretty much all I need in a phone.

Anyway, back to the office. (Ha! The office. This is going to take some getting used to.)

I have a swivel chair, and I share a desk with three other people. There’s a landline on the table, too. And I simply can’t wait to hear it ring. I hope it rings when no one else is around, so I can pick it up and say the company name, and then say, “How may I help you?”

I imagine any call coming through the landline would have to be serious. Maybe the person on the other end would have a query about the Finance Department, or Human Resources. And I’d be like: “Sorry. I don’t know anything about Finance. I’m just the copy guy.”

I did three interviews to get this job. Two were on email. They wanted to see if I could write catchy headlines. For the third interview, I faced a panel of three, and stage fright gave me mad cotton mouth. Shish! Even weed doesn’t make me feel like that. My palate was drier than the freaking Sahara, for chrissake.

(By the way, my supervisor has just walked in. I’ll have to rush through this story.)

For weeks after the interview, I kept wondering if I’d get the call back. I hoped they wouldn’t call at a bad time, like when I was in the toilet, or when I was on my morning walks along the perpetually windy Namanga Road. Because how would that conversation go?


“Hi, is this Mike?”

“It is I.” My voice gets carried in the wind. A 20-wheeler truck whooshes past me.


“Yes, I can hear you.”

“It’s really noisy, Mike.”

“What did you say?”

“Maybe this isn’t a good time.”


“I said my name is Rachel.”

“You said your name was Bagon?”

“No, Rachel.”

“Oh, Rachel. Sorry. It’s a bit loud here. Hold on while I tell them to keep it down.”

Then I’d shout to no one in particular, “Hey, keep it quiet over there. Can’t you see I’m talking to Rachel?”

This would cause Rachel to laugh, and possibly even be the beginning of a flimsy office romance. Who knows?

I also took a personality test for this job, and the result was that I’m “The Mediator” and that I’m 72% ‘turbulent’, 71% introverted and 67% intuitive. My role is ‘Diplomat’, and my strategy (whatever that means) is ‘Constant improvement’, which has now made me doubt the accuracy of said personality test.

I’ve lived with myself for 23 years, and my strategy has never been constant improvement. ‘Winging it’ would have been near the mark. And that’s what I’m doing in this office, really. Winging it.

I’ve never worked in an office. Heck, I’ve never written while fully clothed. Many are the afternoons I’ve been in my room; pacing, bouncing ideas off the walls, smoking pot, rushing deadlines. Many are the nights I’ve pilfered sleeping pills from Mom’s bedroom. And many are the moments I’ve thought I’m not cut out for artistry, that maybe I’m just a garden-variety drug abuser.

But this here, this office, this job, this is exactly what I wanted when I took a break (quit?) from school in January. I’ve always thought I’d never have to graduate. I have this stubborn mentality that my art will be my redemption; from poverty, from heartbreaks, from mundane reality. And, to tell you the truth, it’s working well so far.

Last week I started a mini-series about ‘The Nairobi Millennial’. My first subject was Patoh Njuguna; 27 years old, music maker, husband, brother, father, all around nice guy.

Patoh, like most of us, is trying to make it as an artist. And not once during the interview did he seem worried if his art will sustain him. Or maybe I forgot to ask him. I’ll give him a call, then I’ll tell you guys what he said. Next week.

Maybe I should call him using my landline.
Follow Mike on Instagram: mikemuthaka

The wet rug. (And other stories from our kitchen)
The moment of Patoh Njuguna

Comments (2)

  1. The Granny's Corner

    That is a record. First day and you can call people by names. You can remember those. If it is the pot, I am doing myself a disservice. That shit takes me time. I have been here 5 weeks now and I only know a handful. And even among those names keep slipping. I should herd goats more often. Those don’t need names. I just need to make weird noises and we are in business.

    I hate the flu. My flu gives me nightmares. Can you believe that? My skin would be burning and I will be dreaming about slipping down a rabbit hole. It gets tighter the lower I go. The walls are slimy so down is only the way. I can’t pull myself up. And just like that, I will wake up drenched in sweat. Sheets tangling my legs. My heartbeat riding with the Eagles. And all I want is somebody to hand me a glass of cold water. And hold me against her bosom. Telling me it is okay. It was just a nightmare.

    • Mike

      Hahaha, funny enough I had to make weird noises to get this job. Lol

      Your flu sounds really bad. But I’d pay top dollar to have my heartbeat ride with the eagles :)

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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👇🏾
  • 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