Lights. Camera. Action


Love can make a man do crazy things. Love can make a man run through the rain clutching a bunch of flowers. It can make him pick up the microphone during karaoke night at The Tav and take Ne-yo’s ‘Sexy Love’ for a spin. Love can keep a man awake at night. Love can brighten up a man’s face and do his laundry, and make love to him, and tell him how beautifully endowed he is.

In late 2016, while he was still in Daystar, Athi River, love made Charles Kibatha get a cat. A grey kitten called Gato. His campus girlfriend liked cats. He didn’t.

“She used to carry cats and I was like, Meh. In school I’d leave Gato in my crib. Sometimes I’d be out with the gang and I’d be like, Eh, guys, wacha nijikate. I have a cat at home.”

He chuckles.

“I became one of those dudes. I’d be out and think, What’s this guy [Gato] doing right now? Is he hungry? Is he clawing everything? Is he shitting on my bed?

“When I came in [to the relationship] I was very rigid. I was uncomfortable about expressing myself emotionally, but being around somebody like her, I was able to mesh and get out of my comfort zone and not be afraid of showing that I care or saying how I feel. Yeah, fucking is nice, but if you grow it’s better. You know?”

Charlie is 25. He’s sitting in a booth at Java, Westlands, under a chrome yellow chandelier. It’s after 2 p.m. on a Sato. Charlie’s haircut makes me think of The Weeknd. He speaks with a self-assured drawl, and, just beneath his sleeve, a greenish tattoo sticks out.

I ask him what it is.

“I got this before my 18th birthday. It’s a dragon and a rose,” he says as he lifts up his sleeve. “I wanted to mark it. It had a meaning when I got it. The rose was meant to be beauty and innocence, and the dragon was a protector. Protector of purity and innocence, basically.”

He’s having a glass of iced coffee with milk. He’s no longer dating. And he hasn’t seen Gato in two years. Now he works at Ogilvy as a content manager. He’s an ad man.

He stirs his drink with a straw, making the ice cubes clink, gazing over my shoulder, telling me how tired he was in campus, doing a bachelors in computer science.

“I was like literally in the endgame, like ‘Avengers’,” he says with a chuckle. “I was like fuck it. Let me finish it. Let me make the folks proud. I’ll graduate. But I remember just struggling that last year. Like is this shit even worth it to be honest? I was doing attachment at this software place here in Westlands in fourth year.

“I was on the verge of depression, ‘cause the job was doing nothing for me whatsoever. We were working on a mobile app that tanked. It was complete bonkers.”

Did you always know you wanted to make films? I ask.

“There was no inclination to even start film,” he says. “I think all I was focused on was going to school.

“In hindsight I should have probably done something communication wise. I’ve always liked film. Growing up I watched a lot of movies and shit. I was drawn to the basic ones, like ‘American Pie’, those fun, cool high school movies where’s there’s someone trying to bust a nut.

“I was like oh shit, I wanna be like these guys. I wanna be like Stiffler, even though Stiffler wasn’t getting much action to be honest.

“I liked fantasy. I liked anything superheroes. Sci-fi stuff. Funny enough I haven’t watched ‘Star Wars’. And ‘Lord of the Rings’. Me I just don’t fuck with them. But I’ll get around to them. I think I have them on my hard disk or something.”

So what kind of films do you want to make?

“I think I just wanna tell good story. A good story can translate into a good film. For me I want to write good stories and turn them into film. That’s it.

“I write my scripts in prose. There’s a flow to stuff, and you can explain it deeply. I feel like scripts can be very…” He rubs his fingers together. “Like you cut out things. There’s a lot of context when you’re writing in prose form.”

The way Charlie came to the film idea was this: He couldn’t find a job. All the IT departments in the world couldn’t stir him the way he was stirring his iced coffee. He was “chilling at home” watching Wrestle Mania. He’d always been a fan of wrestling. And he thought maybe he could write about wrestling.  So he started a blog and called it Gobsmacked.

“Then from there I got into more entertainment stuff then I just decided I’m going to be writing short stories. And from the stories I got the idea for the films. I was getting mad reception. I wasn’t expecting people to read my shit, like 200 hits in less than a week. 200 was very encouraging.

“One thing people don’t realize is wrestling is a form of storytelling as well. ‘Cause how do you think of someone like The Undertaker? He’s like some mystical wizard guy. He comes and fights your favorite wrestlers. I remember there’s a time he crucified Stone Cold. And it was like a whole thing. I remember watching as a kid and I was so scared. This guy is the real deal yaani. He’s out here doing this bullshit.

“To evoke an emotion is somebody, that’s the point of storytelling. People like Stone Cold, The Rock, these are characters. That storytelling aspect of is what bambad me. ‘Til today I watch wrestling but I don’t know what the fuck is going on anymore. The stories are iffy iffy. They’re just doing things because.

“I’ve worked at three IT places. But imagine working at three places and not feeling anything. Like you can do so much better. So the writing kinda felt like it was more my suit. Like it was flowing more than whatever else I was doing. And joining the ad world, I don’t feel hindered. I feel like I can be creative at home and at work.

 I’d want to be known for my films. I’d want to work on a big project with a budget and marketing and shit. I think I just want to put myself out there but more than that I just want to work on good stuff.

I feel like the only facet I wouldn’t want to be part of is production. I don’t want to be, Oh we need to get budget for this’. I feel like I’m very creative-minded, not business-minded. I’d make movies even if it won’t make me cash.

Being employed has taught me that you need to get your shit together. Things cost money. For you to get money you have to spend money. You have to invest. You have to make sound business decisions. Like, I can get my salo and drink. If there’s no plan, if all I’m doing is drinking, I feel like I umiza whatever movie aspirations I have.

There’s a way especially in this Nairobi life you can get lost in the partying, but you have to have a solid foundation for what you want to do. For me it’s the movie stuff. Like, do I want to keep drinking till I’m a 35 years old?

I’d give up drinking if it meant making movies. I could give up a lot of things. Even my job. If it fikad a point where I was stable enough, I’d leave. Just do films full time.

It’s going to 4 p.m. The restaurant is a bit louder and Charlie’s voice has become slower. He finishes up the last of his iced coffee. Then I ask him for a final word to the millennials:

“Failing is not inherently a bad thing. That’s how you learn. Failing is a fact of life.  Everybody does it. You can’t go without failing. That’s one thing I didn’t realize until later on.

“Late last year I went through a low period. There was a lot of friction. My work life and home life clashed. I felt like I was being suffocated. Work was coming in full force. I was stressed. I’m the man of the house at home. So there were a lot of things dependent on me being there and being responsible.

“I feel like I needed to get to the lowest of my lows. Whatever ounce of strength I used it. I was hanging by a thread. I felt like there was no one I could turn to. I dabbled with drugs. I did my fair share here and there. I’ve come through a lot of shit. I’ve been really low. I can say….”

He sighs and looks out the window in silence.

“Whenever I get a chance to talk to someone about it I usually tell them like, Eh, my friend be careful. Because the next step after that you, start thinking suicide, man. And I’ve thought about it. It gets really blurry. And this was despite having a job, after me being stable, having a film out, after everything. You can have everything and still feel like shit. And that’s just life, man.”

The aforementioned film was showcased at Shorts, Shorts, and Shots last month. It’s called ‘Everything Comes to Light’. Charlie says he has a hard time explaining what it’s about.

But you can watch it here:
Follow Mike on Instagram: mikemuthaka

The Agency

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to our content

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