Letter to my 25-year-old self

Dear Bett,
I am writing you from the future. You just turned 38 and life looks nothing like what you envision now at 25. Easy there, don’t kick up a fuss – you’re still blessed, just not in the way you imagined.

You’re living a rich life now, not a money-rich life but a rich one nonetheless. It’s a life you fall in love with every day.

You don’t make partner at the audit firm where you work right now, you had wanted to smash this goal by the time you’re 35, well… you don’t. You actually quit the firm when you’re 28.

You quit because you realised – and accepted bitterly – that you don’t belong in the corporate world.

You’re an artist, Bett, you’re a creative mind with an artistic soul, you can hear the music of colour. So your troubled spirit left the comforts and certainty of audit to go find yourself in the creative arts. And you do, after several tumultuous years of roaming the wilderness rudderless, you eventually find your true self in writing.

Imagine that, your private journaling matured into a public career. You’re now paid to tell stories, how cool is that?

You write for the biggest newspaper in East Africa, you also write on the Internet. You have a growing community of fun, intelligent and mature readers who have turned the journey into a never-ending road trip where everyone is just the right degree of tipsy.

You feel very safe with them.

Writing gives you freedom and the ticket to live an abundant life on your own terms. I told you – you’re wealthy.

You’re also an author, you published your first book in December 2021, it has a gorgeous blue cover, a cover you want to indulge in with a glass of chilled chardonnay.

‘Should I?’ is supposed to be a book about money but it’s really about money and life, emotions, identity and urbanity.

It’s a delightful book because you poured yourself into it. All the things you imagined would be unwelcome about it are the most welcome: the number crunching, the stories, the silliness of your personality. Kenyans buy it and love it, their recommendations on social media sell it for you. Their word is like a candle flame that fans into a roaring forest fire.

Becoming an author translates into recognition – and respect – as a writer. It feels good. Earned. You feed off this nourishing energy to begin writing another second silly book.

You love writing books because there is a flow of creative energy, you feel most connected to God.

You’ve turned 38 but you still weigh the same as you do now, you’re also the same dress size. You’re stunning for your age, never mind the two kids you carried and birthed, and the plump-with-content husband at home.

Yes, you marry a fantastic village chief called GB and have two children together, a girl then a boy – she steals your heart, he steals your soul.

You’re a great mum, child-like. You’re present and empathetic, gentle. You hug and kiss your babies a lot, even when they don’t want to be hugged and kissed.

Your skin needs extra moisturising and your hair has refused to grow, actually… you’re balding. (Sorry to laugh, ha-ha, just that this balding is very sad and very funny.) But you’ve accepted this genetic mishap as just another thing that makes you you. Besides, you’ve always been a glass-half-full girl, you style your balding avocado head with funky fedoras and wigs that evoke different personalities. Head wraps make you feel African and dignified, like you’re the goddess of prosperity.

Your girl group of best friends breaks apart. First, Terry relocates to another country with her husband and children in August 2021. Then Pepe dies in April 2022. I am so sorry, Bett. I am so sorry.

You sometimes feel alone here. And lonely. You keep the expanding void at bay by giving more time to your family at home, more time reading novels and writing stories, swimming.

Also to piano.

That’s right! You learn the piano and it’s beatific. Your spirit aligns when you play, it’s like dancing with your own soul. Speaking of, you’re still an excellent dancer with grind and rhythm. Nigerian music does it for you. So does South Africa’s amapiano.

Oh, you also drop vodka and take up whiskey. Two doubles of Singleton is your sweet spot, you chase it with water and it has no hangovers.

At 38, you understand yourself better than you ever have. There is immense peace in understanding yourself. You now know that you hunt best when you hunt alone, you eat best when you eat with others.

You’re a good writer but a better teacher. Every few months, you must discipline yourself by adopting a no-buy for your wardrobe (yeah, you’re still a clotheshorse).

Mothering two children teaches you that parental love is the purest form of love, and that the most foolish sacrifice is the sacrifice of self.

You also learn that money is wholesome only when you fulfil yourself and uplift others with it.

You still struggle with religion but you’re now embracing spirituality. That’s why you gravitate towards the poet and teacher Rumi. He says pithy things that pluck at the strings of your wistful heart.

You borrow from Rumi, these words will guide you until you turn 40, Inshallah.

Rumi said, ‘Don’t believe what you’ve heard, the stories of others. Unfold your own myth.’

Unfold you own myth, future Bett.

With love,

An edited version of this story first ran in the Saturday Nation on October 29, 2022. It ran under my ‘Culture’ column.

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

A Nasty Hangover
Life Lately

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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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