Breaking bad


Imagine you’re 25.

You live in South B with your aunt because your folks retired to Naks and someone in the family had to stay behind to tend your raggedy millennial ass. Your siblings – two big sisters and a bro – are out of the country raising their own versions of a modern family. You miss them.

It gets lonely in the digs with just your aunt sometimes. Most evenings she’s asleep by the time you get home at eight. She barely eats yet she fixes elaborate dinners daily and leaves for you to find them in these large Tupperware glass bowls with plastic lids that have a lingering whiff of garlic. You usually spend the rest of the evening alone, in your bedroom upstairs, overstuffed and roosting in your own sins.

You intern as a brand strategist for a kiosk on Ngong Road. It doesn’t seem like a kiosk when you see it from the highway under construction, then you walk through its front doors and see the cracks in its veneers.

Everything in here is under construction. Even their goddamn website.

You can’t wait for the day you’ll get the hell out of there. What keeps you walking through those doors every morning is your boss. A pleasant Kale chap whose family is from the edge of the Mau Forest. He wears badly fitting khaki pants and seems like a distant relative of Belio Kipsang, that education chap. He smells like some soapy cologne.

You like your boss because he’s invested in you as a person, not as a brand strategist (whatever the hell that means). He’s always probing you about what you want for yourself. What are your goals for this quarter? What’s that you listen to on your ear buds? Hook me up with some of your weed? He sorta reminds you of your Ol’Man back in Naks.

What you tell no one is that you have a habit that has grown into a wild beast you can no longer contain. So you contain it in a locked room in a corner of your mind. You can hear it growling ferociously behind that door. Pacing. Seething. Gnawing for a way out.

It frightens you.

It used to be like a pet, this habit. It was a puppy you loved to roll around the grass in your backyard with. You’d smoothen down that tuft of hair at the top of its head that stubbornly plonked back up again after rubbing it. It would nuzzle its nose to the back of your ear; that tickled you and made you feel like a mum, in some twisted unexplainable way.

Sometimes you’d sleep with it. Anyone can guess you’d showered with it a couple of times but you’d never say that out aloud. One time it began to rain while you guys were out for your evening walk. The pup sneezed and you took off your hoodie and draped it over him. You said ‘aww’ and brought it closer to the warmth of your chest; you didn’t want him shivering and catching a cold later.

The puppy grew because you fed it when it needed to be fed. Pavlov’s dog of conditioning.

Now it’s a vicious hungry lion. A lion you can neither tame nor tether to a leash. It has the aura of Scar from ‘The Lion King’ – two-sided, potent and unpredictable.


A devil when provoked. A killer when confronted.

One day, you show up on my WhatsApp without warning and say, “I have a problem, Bett. I need help.”


You say it in one word. A word that captures the ugliness of your indulgence.

Let’s give this bad indulgence of habit a name. Let’s call it Beetle Juice.

“Why can’t you just… stop?”

“ I’ve tried stopping.” You exhale into the phone. I can picture you holding it in your limp hands, defeated. There’s an emoji for exhaling but no one exactly knows which one it is on WhatsApp. You may use it and the person on the other end imagines it means you’re constipated.

You carry on. “I’m still trying to stop. I go four days then I backslide. I’ve tried journaling and praying and keeping myself occupied but eventually I go back. I’m identifying the triggers, though.”

You go on to list the triggers. It’s seemingly innocuous stuff. Stuff that you and I encounter and engage with every single day, you’re probably engaging with it right now. Sometimes I go out of my way to find these triggers because I tear into them as a loose pastime. The only difference here is, it’s meat to my person, but poison to my pal.

“How have you been able to go four days?”

“Sheer will,” you say. “Long hours at work.”

“And you can’t sustain this?”

“Apparently not.”

I hear your voice tremble in the chat. You append your ‘apparently not’ with a sad-face emoji. It’s a real sad-face emoji. I don’t think you’re holding back a fart.

“How come?”

“Because I’m addicted. I look for excuses to have it. It becomes an itch I have to scratch. I tell myself, ‘Look, you’ve had a long day, release the tension. Maybe one hit will release the creative juice. It’s healthy. You need this. It’s OK. Just have one more minute of Beetle Juice. Just one. You can have weed later. You’ll use it to numb the guilt.”

I leave the chat hanging there.

What would you do? How do you break this bad habit, how do you tame this ferocious beast in the wild into a pet? Tame it so you can cuddle it on the couch in one moment then smother to death in one fell swoop, in the next. How do you kill this bad habit?

I’ll go first.

Everyone has had a bad habit they’ve had to battle with at some point in their lives. Everyone. Even The Pope.

I had a bad habit at 24. I had another when I was around 13. I won’t tell you what they were because I’m still embarrassed about them.

I’m realising now that the bad habits germinated and sprouted as I was coming of age and into myself. At 13, adolescence was about to rap at my door. At 24, the quarter-life crisis was looming in the horizon.

I suppose I’ll pick up another habit as I get closer to 40, Inshallah. It won’t be a bad habit though, it’ll be an extreme one. Something so out of character, so perplexing that they may not recognize for a minute there.

Now I’m 34 and I still have some terrible daily habits.

I had – and still have, on the occasion – a terrible habit of not keeping time. I have another terrible habit of procrastination. Now I’m developing a new terrible habit of stuffing my face with sweet unhealthy things.

Muna helped me overcome the habit of poor timekeeping. She needs to get to school by 8.30. I feel horrible when she’s late to school. I know she’s late when the teacher on duty has shut the gate on that pathway that leads up to the classrooms. I feel more horrible when Muna says moanfully, “Mummy, teacher is not there to hug me.”

Surely, if I’m not going to keep time then let me not keep time for my commitments, not Muna’s.

As soon as I drop her, I’m good and ready to prepare for whatever meetings I have in the day ahead. I’ve not been late for anything (during the week) since Muna began kindergarten this year. That girl should stay in school forever.

The procrastination habit is now the Mount Kilimanjaro in my life.

Here’s a list of those things I’ve procrastinated of late.

The obvious one is posting consistently to this blog. Dusty Rugs is to go up Mondays, my copy on Wednesdays. I almost never meet my Wednesday deadline. Not because I don’t have a story to write, but because I have built the bad habit of not writing at all. I may draft it then leave it hanging halfway – like a surgeon who walks away from the OR halfway through a procedure and leaves the patient bleeding to death on the table. I kill my own ideas and my stories when I leave them incomplete.

I have newspaper and magazine columns and I never miss to file my copy. Ever. I’m the same person who writes the words that go to those pages, so what’s the play with Craft It?

I’m the bookkeeper for my chama. I haven’t sent the books in dinosaur years. I keep telling myself that no one bothers to read them, anyway. That my chama mates see my email and scroll down in fast forward. Or if they open, they can’t make heads or tails of the balance sheet and profit & loss account.

I also tell myself that I’m on top of things – I’m aware of the contributions that are coming in monthly, and the investment-returns cheques I have my PA deposit to the bank. Mostly, I study the bank statements when DTB emails them monthly. So yes, I have a rough idea of where we stand. No one has stolen anything from us. Money hasn’t been swallowed into a crack in the ground. DTB hasn’t used our money to fund global you-know-what.

I’ve procrastinated my morning runs.

I procrastinate responding to emails and WhatsApp chats. An email is OK because you can open it, ruminate on what’s in there then mark it back as unread so you can action it later. I wish WhatsApp would introduce this feature. I wish I could unblue-tick a blue tick, then have a chat as unread. That way I know to return to it later, when it’s time to be on WhatsApp.

I procrastinate posting here, to the blog. I’ve said that already. I’ll say it again because it’s a really really terrible thing. Craft It will make money soon but by letting the procrastination get in the way, I’m gluing us with inertia to retrogressiveness. I’m delaying reaching that cash destination. Actually, I’m procrastinating my own payday.

The Zanzibar post (from my July trip) is quarter way done. Some weeks back I told myself to cut the bullshit and post stories daily as I wrote them in the morning. Lower my high standards and fling them out the window, really just write stories with the first-draft standard. I had fun. A lot of it.

What fascinated me is that I was done with my week’s jobo by Wednesday. Thursday I began jobo for the week that followed, Friday afternoon I took Muna for a swim.

What else? We moved house recently and there’s stuff I’ve been meaning to buy for the kitchen and bedrooms. Silly interior decor items that these days give me such oddly immense delight. I began with steam, now the steam has fizzled out.

There were baby pictures for Muna I’d intended to print, mount and hang up on our photo wall. I wanted June of Frames Kenya to to the job for me, as she has all the other of our family pics. Shit went so badly that someone I’d lent my SD card to (ahem, Wangui, ahem) misplaced the card with the photos. I was a genius for not backing them up elsewhere. So there goes my baby’s pics.

Oh, and there’s invoicing. I run a couple of biasharas where I’m the finance head and part of my JD is to invoice our clients. It’s such boring work, Jesus. Listing quantities, yawn, doing the math of this item by these quantities then summing up to get the total. Yawn. Amending the invoice. Checking it for accuracy and completeness, yawn, then sending it through. God. B.O.R.I.N.G.

What else? My passport. Goodness me, my passport. I’ve missed a work trip to Cape Town with Google Maps because my new passport isn’t ready. GB had been singing the same song since January, “Renew your passport. Renew your passport.” And I hit back with the same chorus, “Kwani where am I going? Where am I going?”

So yeah, it’s not stuff that can cause a heart attack but it’s all feeding the procrastination habit. Spoonful by spoonful. Little drops into the large ocean of inefficiencies, unreliability and slack. I’m missing opportunities and losing time.

I know what my problem is – I like to have preludes to an event. Mind and mood prep. Pre-gaming. I want foreplay. I read yesterday from someone wise that said foreplay is overrated.


I need to breathe. I’m reading this e-book titled ‘Practical Personal Development’; it’s a seeker’s guide to conscious living. Couple what I’ve picked up from the book and listing down my bad habits here, today, something in me has shifted. There’s been an awakening. Ha-ha.

Let’s pause this here so it can simmer. I’ve exhausted my word count, anyway.

Next week I’ll suggest how we can smother Scar to death and discard his Beetle Juice.

As I exhale, it’d like to hear from you. Think you could share some of the terrible habits you’ve been battling with a while?

What the monks say

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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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