Third, and this is the most important, is my change of attitude.

I realise this may read abstract but it isn’t.

Here’s a story: Nanny Viv has been having a difficult time in the mornings getting Muna ready for school. (Muna started school in January, and had just turned three, so it only seemed natural that she’d have a not-so-easy transition into her new school routine.)

Anyway, it got to a point, toward the end of the term, when Nanny Viv told me she was considering leaving my house because Muna had become unmanageable. And not just with the tantrums in the morning, but her behaviour and manners in general.

We talked at length – that day, and the day after, and the day after.

I listened to her, and empathised; Muna was also pushing me to the edge.

I told Nanny Viv she first needs to change her attitude.

She asked, “Hiyo nikumaanisha nini?”

I shared with her a truth I’ll share with you here: respond to all situations with positivity and a mind to make a positive change forward.

With Muna, for example, she should ask herself: Why is Muna throwing tantrums in the morning? Maybe she’s not well rested, so the solution would be to go to bed the night before, 30 minutes earlier. Or to make sure she gets her to nap in the afternoons, when she returns from school.

Another one, why doesn’t she usually finish her breakfast in the morning? It’s probably that she no longer likes her uji as much as she did before. So, how about we remove uji from her breakfast menu, and do more oats and more ngwace?

Maybe she needs to wake Muna up 15 minutes earlier than usual, so there’s more time to manage the tantrums and she gets to school on time.

Positive solutions to move forward.

I’ll applied the same to my own situations. Let’s take this Money Talks column. I used to write it with a different attitude. I wrote it imagining that it was only me and my editor reading it.

Until one day in mid-February, when a reader – Maurice, a Kenyan living in London – emailed with a financial pickle and asked for my two cents on it.

The game changed for me after that first email from a reader.

My attitude took a 360-degree flip. I can pick up from my reading own stories the ‘before Maurice’ and ‘after Maurice’ approach to the column. 

A change of attitude means I’m growing as a person and writer.

I’m making more money. I’m learning plenty about managing money. Doors I didn’t know existed are opening. New opportunities are around the corner. I’ve been looking to go back to school but I didn’t know what to sit for. Now I know it’s professional course around personal finance.


It’s been a great start to the year, I can’t complain. (That’s how Kenyans put it when you ask them how they’re fairing. Ha-ha.)

To wipe the sweat off my brow and pat myself on the back, I’m planning to take GB somewhere nice and romantic. It’ll be a surprise, so I hope – really hope – he’s not subscribed to this column. I hope he’s not reading this as I write it.

Easter weekend would have been ideal but it’s not the best time to travel – rates have peaked, getaways are crowded.

We’ll do something small as a small family, then a few weeks after, he and I will do something grownup (wink wink).

It’ll be my treat to him and to myself. Mostly to myself.

Because what’s money if you can’t spend it on the experiences and people that are important to you?


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