The Hunt


I am at Toi Market hunting for a bedside rug. (Can I still refer to it as a bedside rug if I intend to place it at the foot of the bed? I think not.)

Today is Saturday, the day most purveyors here ‘open the bales’ they have just brought in from Gikomba market. Gikomba is like a sin city that never sleeps; most about anything second-hand in Nairobi traces its source to Gikomba.

I am the stall of some Tanzanian chap called Dennis. Skinny as a reed, his tight t-shirt against his ribs reminds me of the word ‘thorax’. Dennis has a Kiswahili accent so heavy you can see it weighing his shoulders down.

His congested stall is no bigger than a toilet stall. The noon sun is directly above our foreheads but it is dinghy when Dennis and I stand inside to go through his selection of new rugs. They have the distant whiff of damp Europe. As though you would see them as interior decor props on that Netflix indie series, ‘Dark’.

I am buying a bedside rug from Toi Market because the rugs here sit in the intersection of my Venn diagram. The Venn diagram I drew to help me narrow down my purchase based on functionality, price point, aesthetics and tactility. More so functionality.

I am a 35-year-old urban mum with a toddler who is yet to understand that her muddy bike should only be ridden outside, and that bowls of beef stew should not leave the dining table.

I could buy a rug from the tile and carpet people on Mombasa Road, as I did for the living room. And dining room. The rugs here are imported from Asia. They are woven using artificial threads in large factories that spew them by the second. They weave them in all sizes and all colours, any motif your mind can imagine.

These rugs are built to last. I can tell you this because they have survived my toddler and all those riotous guests we are constantly hosting in house parties and family get-togethers. They have survived the harsh detergents Nanny Viv scrubs them with. The purchase does not leave you bankrupt, either.

Thing is, you cannot convert a living room rug to a bedside rug. (OK, well you can. Really. You can do anything you want.) The rugs were not built for the function of these two spaces.

The store stocks bedside rugs. I did not want them, though, because they were neither soft under my feet nor playful with their motifs. Yet at less than 5,000 bob, the price was right.

The other option would have been to have a bedside rug handmade for me. One with custom colours and custom design. There are boatfuls of such weavers along Ngong Road.

The weavers set up in their workshops large wooden frames and weave the rugs here using a traditional Ethiopian craft. This craft was taught as a vocational skill here in Kenya, to financially empower communities in low-income areas.

Some of the rugs are woven using cotton threads, most from 100 per cent natural sheep’s wool. The wool is harvested from sheep farmed in Kinangop, Limuru and Narok.  The wool balls are span into wool threads for weaving. The threads are then washed by hand, dyed for a variety of colours and dried in direct sunlight.

Weaving the rugs by hand is an intricate time-intensive task. (But it is beautifully soothing to watch. Goodness. The weavers’ hands are driven by a muscle memory that turns this craft into an artsy dance of the gods.) The intricacy of weaving and the cost of natural wool turn the purchase of a bedside rug into a small financial investment.

You could shake hands with the person who wove that rug, though – you can hear in his fingers the echo of every knot he tied and every thread he wefted.  There is a story to the rug. And you are not just buying this story, you are also taking this weaver’s child to school.

Their bedside rugs measuring about two and a half by four feet sell for between 5,000 to 8,000 bob. Much more for the more intricate patterns. You can use both sides of the rug, though. Something like happy hour in the bar – a buy-one-get-one-free offer. Your toddler spills hot chocolate on one side of the rug, and you simply turn it over and carry on with life.

My hunt is what brings me here to Dennis’ stall at Toi Market. The rugs of the bale he has just opened are like a very heavy, very soft blanket. They have constellations of little anti-slip dots beneath them; they look like something someone in the US has patented.

The motifs leave me spoilt for choice – he has them in polka dots and zebra print, kitschy floral and clean contemporary lines. I settle for a burnt orange one with a mix of tribal and geometrical shapes in off white, olive green and navy blue.

I have to be honest, it has plenty of character I love but it is a tad too busy to look at. Something about it says Native Navajo Red Indian rug. It also has some boho vibes. Hmm. I dunno. This one will take some getting used to. Beautiful thing is, it measures four by six feet – same dimensions as my dining room rug but costs a fraction.

I am headed back home now, a happy mum with a happy rug.

I only hope I will not think of the word ‘thorax’ each time my feet touch it.

An edited version of this story first ran in my Crafts and Culture column in the Saturday Nation

What the monks say
Post Malone

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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