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Impressive collection of beer cans earns Kenyan man recognition in America

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Peter Macharia, a 44-year-old Kenyan man, has turned discarded items into a lucrative personal venture in the Unites States.

During this merrymaking season, garbage collectors are at full throttle, with discarded beer and soft drinks cans among their principal cluster.

But while the rest of us instinctively toss these cans into trash bins as we fuel our bodies with party liquor, Mr Macharia – popularly known as PK – is making a lucrative career out of collecting them.

The crunching sound of a beer can being destroyed is probably his worst nightmare as he has, so far, collected of over 5,000 used beer cans from around the world.

He stores them in a well thought-out, personal basement museum in New Jersey, USA, that was early this year given a seal of approval by the Brewery Collectables Club of America (BCCA).

It is at the “man cave”, as Mr Macharia has nicknamed this basement museum, that you will find him relaxing during his time off work, arranging and taking stock of the collection.

“It’s an interesting hobby and a unique one at that,” says Mr Eutychus Kang’arua, Mr Macharia’s friend who runs Latha Foods, a nyama choma business, in New Jersey.

“He amazes us all with how patiently he collects these cans.”

Mr Macharia travels far and wide to collect the cans, although he mostly purchases them on the e-commerce platform, eBay.

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Mr Macharia grew up in Murang’a County, schooled at Ngamba Primary School, Kamacharia Secondary School and Kirinyaga Technical Training Institute before moving to USA in 2003.

He is currently on a full-time job as a technician at a Mercedes Benz dealership in New Jersey, but his passion for collecting beer cans is as deep as his love for automobile engineering.

“I got my first can in April, 2005, although I actually started my collection in 2011,” he told Sunday Nation in an interview last week.

“I was inspired by the beauty of beer cans. They are an amazing work of art and they are collectibles with wild, eye-catching designs — exotic and gaudy. I started with just one can and I now have over 5,000,” he said.

“I collect special beer cans and anything to do with beer, including advertisements, beer mirrors and everything else that comes with beer,” he added. Mr Macharia got the collection idea from a long-time landlord at a previous residence in the USA.

“He realised I had a few cans that I didn’t throw away, and that’s when he told me I could actually turn beer can collection into a hobby and business.”

“At the time I had nowhere to display the cans and I could just collect them and put them in a box. But now, God has been good and I have a place where I can display them. I value the cans as every can has a beauty of its own kind.”

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“I joined the world’s biggest association of brewery collectors that collects beer cans and breweriana, or anything related to beer, and I now have my BCCA personal number which cannot be given to anyone else worldwide.”

His collection of cans from over 90 countries includes some as old as 83 years of age, dating back to 1935 when the first beer cans were produced, thus catching BCCA’s eye, with the world’s biggest association of brewery collectors recently awarding him a certificate of compliance and recognition on May 25 this year.

Such recognition means Mr Macharia joins a distinguished club of brewery heritage preservation and can exhibit at brewery trade fairs for free. He also gets to meet other collectors and executives of brewing companies.

He is currently the only collector from Africa registered and certified by BCCA. The hobby of collecting beer cans is a lucrative one too, as collectors get to sell the cans from as low as one dollar (Sh100) to up to as much as $1,000 (Sh100,000), depending on the age, historical value and aesthetic considerations of the cans.

Mr Jeff Lebo from York Haven, Pennsylvania, is on record as having the largest beer can collection in the world, with 87,000 cans neatly stacked in his Brewhouse Mountain holiday home that doubles up as a $500 (Sh50,000) room-a-night hotel.

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His collection’s value is an estimated $1.9 million (Sh190 million) and it took Mr Lebo 40 years to collect the cans and two years to neatly put them together at Brewhouse Mountain.

Married with two children — Beatrice, 13, and one-year-old Briana — Mr Macharia hopes to, one day, ship his cans to Kenya and open a museum of collections.

“In 10 to 20 years, I see myself with the biggest brewery museum in Africa.” Interestingly, with all his collection, Mr Macharia isn’t an avid drinker of beer.

“I’m not a beer drinking fan, but one for the road is not a sin!” He says. As they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and Mr Macharia is setting himself up to make fortunes out of his beer can collection hobby.

Should he decide to trade, his collection could fetch anything between Sh500,000 and Sh3 million, as the cans are a fine blend of old and new. And by the way, did you know there is a “National Beer Can Appreciation Day” in USA?

It falls on January 24 in remembrance of the thirst-quenching day beer was first sold in cans, and is definitely distinctly marked out on Mr Macharia’s calendar.

Sunday Nation

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Africa

VIDEO: Now DP Ruto, Aisha Jumwa tell Matiang’i off and call for his resignation

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Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto has said all those mentioned in the latest fake gold scam should carry their own crosses and desist from dragging the name of the president into the scandal.

Without dropping any names, Ruto said that “the political conmen had now tuned to gold.”

Walipanda ndege hapa na kwenda huko Dubai na kufanya maneno yao. Wabebe mizigo yao na waache kumuingiza rais kwa mambo hayo,” said Ruto during a fundraiser at a church in Endebess, Trans Nzoia County,.

Meanwhile, Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa, a close associate of Mr Ruto, has asked for the immediate resignation of Interior Cabinet Secretary, Fred Matian’gi.

A section of Jubilee MPs havealso told ODM leader Raila Odinga to state what he knows about the fake gold scandal.

They said Interior CS Fred Matiang’i should also explain how the country’s security was protecting the premises with fake gold.

Speaking  on Saturday when they accompanied Deputy President William Ruto during the launch of various development projects in Trans Nzoia, the lawmakers asked Matiang’i to state what he knows about it.

The leaders were Governors Patrick Khaemba (Trans Nzoia) and Ferdinand Waititu (Kiambu), MPs Robert Pukose (Endebess), Aisha Jumwa (Malindi), Janet Nangabo (Women Rep, Trans Nzoia), Rahab Mukami (Women Rep, Nyeri), Mathias Robi (Kuria West), Janet Jepkemboi (Turbo), Gabriel Tongoyo (Narok West), Fred Kapondi (Mt Elgon) and Owen Baya (Kilifi North).

READ ALSO:   US warns Kenyans over fake marriages, says they won't be allowed to fly out

This as it emerged that the Director of Public Prodecution, Nordin Haji, had defended President Kenyatta and former PM Raila Odinga.

Mr Haji issued a statement on Saturday about a recording circulated on social media that suggests that some information was relayed to President Kenyatta, Mr Odinga and Interior minister Fred Matiang’i, and that discussions followed.

He condemned the release and circulation of the recording, saying, “Such claims and their circulation through social media, specifically through leaked phone recordings in today’s age of real-time, borderless publishing, are alarmist and may needlessly cause disaffection.

He warned that “unless all facts are obtained and analysed, it is irresponsible and possibly unlawful to publish such material.”

SPEEDY PROBE

Mr Haji said he had personally received complaints from victims who said the person behind the scam had been invoking the President’s name in dealings and conversations.

“Having realised that they were conned on the availability of the gold, and the misleading knowledge and involvement of the President, the former Prime Minister and CS Matiang’i, they resolved to [file] a report [with] Kenyan authorities and cooperate with law enforcement in unearthing the under-dealings.”

The DPP said he had thus directed Inspector-General of Police Hilary Mutyambai to speed up the probe; he said the file should be forwarded to him in the next seven days.

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Mr Haji also asked members of the public with helpful information to report it to authorities.

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VIDEO: Vote for our very own top Diaspora Gospel Artiste Naomi Karanja

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It’s back.

The 2019 edition of Groove Awards with Safaricom event is officially here. As was the case last year and years before that, the awards will celebrate excellence in Gospel music in Kenya and across Africa.

Celebrated Gospel Artiste Naomi Karanja from Atlanta, Georgia, is one of the finalists in the Diaspora Artiste of the Year Category. Please take a little of your time to vote for here here.

Since 2004, Groove Awards with Safaricom has celebrated excellence in gospel music in Kenya and across Africa. The awards, entering their 14th year in Kenya (and 6th in Rwanda), are this nation’s most prestigious and recognized Gospel music awards event, enjoying regional resonance and relevance.

Groove seeks to promote gospel music as a message of hope and an avenue to address issues affecting young people across the African continent with a key focus on its main objective – “Shaping culture through positive content and entertainment.”

Groove Awards has seen over 1,800 artists/groups nominated and almost 400 Groove statuettes presented to gospel musicians in Kenya and beyond.

The Venue and date for this Year’s Gala will be communicated in due course.

 

READ ALSO:   Corrupt Kenyans will not be allowed in the US — envoy
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Embassy in US writes to Kenyan comedian inviting him to perform in Baltimore, Maryland

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Apopular Kenya comedian has been invited to the United States to perform at this year’s   Makadara Day celebrations, organized by the Diaspora Baltimore Community.

In a letter by Deputy Chief of Mission, David Gacheru, the comedian is invited to The Hermes Center of St.Demetrios 2504 Cub Hill Road, Parkville, 21234 to perform to the Diasporans on June 8, 2019.

“To have you as one of our guests would be an honor to the people who will be there and the whole organization,” read part of the letter.

According to the embassy,  the event is attended by a huge number of Diasporans every year.

An excited Omondi took to his social media platforms toannounce the development.

“We need private jet guys!!! Baltimore see you in two weeks,” he wrote.

 

In Kenya, the Madaraka Day celebrations will be held at the Narok stadium, where the committee chairman, PS Karanja Kibichio, had visited over the weekend.

He was visiting the place to inspect how prepared the County was ahead of the celebrations which will be held on June 1, 2019.

The Principal Secretary assured the public that the stadium would be ready by next week.

READ ALSO:   BREAKING NEWS: Man from Kenya charged with serial-killing 12 elderly people in US by smothering them, given $9M bail [VIDEO]
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