Just, stuff


The curse of the black leather jacket
The muscly wide-nosed bouncer at Milan wants to see my ID before letting me into the club. I’m with my office mates, and today we’re celebrating the departure of a colleague.

Everyone’s a bit sad she’s leaving, not least because she gives the warmest hugs and says things like: “Where did you get these numbers from? Did you pull them out of your ass?”


This isn’t the first time I’m being frozen. And it makes me seethe. My young facial features have made it impossible for me to get into clubs with a strict 25-and-above policy. Sometimes you get a bouncer who doesn’t do the math correctly, so that when I show them my ID, they look at it for a moment, in the manner of someone with official state powers, only for them to let me in.

But the one at Milan is sharp as a whip. There’s just no fooling this guy, with his sleek black coat and pumped chest. Oh, you’re 24? Only one year below the limit? He simply couldn’t give a damn.

So you’re there, watching your mates disappearing into the din, and the girls at the reception are looking at you with their doe eyes and powdered noses, and you just know they’re stifling a chuckle because you look so silly, pleading with the bouncer.

“Boss. Nimekuja kulewa. Shida ni nini hapa?”

But whenever I wear my black leather jacket, the bouncer is less apt to freeze me. You know my leather jacket. The one I wear to feel like a badass. Last Friday the bouncer didn’t even bat an eyelash. He padded me down and said, “Vipi.”

Hehe. I almost ran into the club before he changed his mind.

Anyway, trouble is, whenever I wear the jacket, something bad happens, an inconvenience of sorts. I lose track of time. A girl turns me down. I get shitfaced and smoke cigarettes. I deplete my bank account because the girl tugging at my sleeve and whispering in my ear would like another Long Island cocktail.

Whenever I wear my leather jacket, I get home no earlier than 2 a.m.

2 a.m. in Nairobi
At 2 a.m., the leather jacket feels heavy on your shoulders. The bodabodas break the rules. They overload and gun on the wrong side of the road. The matatus play reggae. At Railways roundabout, the touts chew fat and khat. A girl squeezes a bottle of ketchup over her paper-wrapped smokie. You look at the smokie like a distant lover. Like it packed its bags and went off to Belgium.

How you’d give anything for a smokie right now. How does a smokie taste like at 2 a.m.?

The waitress at the Fish and Chips wipes tables and scrubs the floor while she endures more bloody small talk from the watchman. You’ve had too much gin. You feel like there’s gravel under your skin. You zip up your jacket.

You feel the hair on your neck rise when the girl at Kenya Cinema beckons you over, training her gaze on your person, inviting you over with her shapely legs. And just for a moment you consider accepting her advances.

It sure would be nice to have your exhausted, formally-employed, tax-paying body next to a woman’s bosom. Maybe later she’d let you to cuddle, and you can tell her about your jacket, and how your Nairobi Millennial series is going. Then she’ll say something profound that you think about for days on end.

But your Catholic-bred ass would never allow a second look at those thighs. You stagger on. It’s oddly peaceful at 2 a.m. You don’t feel scared about some bugger snatching your phone from the matatu window. Everyone is going through it. Wandering souls. Ships in the night.

The Count of Monte Cristo
I don’t read the classics. I struggle with old speak. ‘Hath’. ‘Thy’. ‘Doeth’. These words are beyond me. They’re way over yonder. What tense is ‘thy’ anyway? I don’t know how Shakespeare did it. How could he write entire plays like that?

I read that he died of syphilis. Of course he did. You use ‘doeth’ enough times and that’s the sort of death that befalls you.

But I found Alexander Dumas’s ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ on Wattpad. I’m about 17 chapters in and I’ve already decided that this will be a significant book in my 20s. I suspect I’ll read it many times. I’ll come back for the sharp, witty, philosophical dialogue, and for the French words I can’t pronounce.

I’ll come back for the “dusky, piquant Arlesian sausages, the lobsters in their dazzling red cuirasses, prawns of large size and brilliant color, the echinus with its prickly outside and dainty morsel within.” I’ll also come for the beautiful Mercedes, a rich man’s daughter with a horny cousin enthralled by a 19-year-old sailor.

I haven’t read any reviews about this book. All I have is a flimsy reference from ‘V for Vendetta’. The movie adaptation is obviously not as good, and sometimes it’s a complete slog to read it on my phone. But I’m a sucker for quotes. Here’s one:

 “Man does not appear to me to be intended to enjoy felicity so unmixed; happiness is like the enchanted palaces we read of in our childhood, where fierce, fiery dragons defend the entrance and approach; and monsters of all shapes and kinds, requiring to be overcome ere victory is ours.”

The Girl on the balcony
It happened gradually then suddenly. Maybe it happened when she stretched her arms out to explain her tattoos, or when she offered to give you her woolen sweater because you were cold and her sweater was cozy.

When you threw it on, as the fabric stretched and settled onto your skin, the smell of her clasping onto your shoulders, you knew, without a doubt, that you were falling hopelessly in love.

You’ve had many nights on the balcony, giggling like cheeky children, or sitting in a pool of silence, never wanting to prick this bubble of comfort. You meet at the balcony during smoke breaks, or during lunch, or – two weeks ago – to kiss.

She flips a coin whenever she has to make a banal but necessary decision.

She ties her dreadlocks back with a rubber band. She has three tattoos, one of which is the chemical structure for THC. Every time you hang out, you open yourself up a little bit more. You reveal one more secret, one more intimate detail.

You’re complete opposites. It’s hard not to love her, really, and vice versa. It’s hard to read her, too, and vice versa.

She says she’s into struggling artists. She has a boyish walk and you can usually smell marijuana on her hair when you hug. In fact she has this particular blue jacket that looks stunning on her.

From your desk you have a clear view of anyone going into the office kitchen. Every morning you see her fetching coffee. Most times she doesn’t see you watching her. But when she does, she smiles, or waves a hand, and it’s only after she’s gone back to her desk do you notice how long you’ve been staring. You didn’t see this coming.

And now you’re left with one all-consuming question:

To doeth. Or not to doeth.
Follow Mike on Instagram: mikemuthaka

The one with the bracelet

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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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