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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

BREAKING: Legendary jazz musician Oliver Mtukudzi has died

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Veteran jazz musician Oliver Mtukudzi has died, TshisaLIVE can confirm.

Mtukudzi’s record label Gallo Records confirmed the news on Wednesday afternoon but said there were no details available.

The musician’s family is set to release a statement later this afternoon.

An outpouring of tributes has already flooded social media.

During an interview with TshisaLIVE a year ago, Mtukudzi spoke about his excitement of releasing his 67th album.

He said the most significant thing about his upcoming album, Hanya’Ga (Concern) was the message.

“My 67th album is meant to share a message of introspecting and I’m hoping people learn a thing or two from it. It’s an album I wrote last year after I realised that the world keeps getting tangled up in ‘unnecessary’ problems.

“All because we are focused on competing and being better than the next person. In so doing we keep stepping on each other’s toes but that is not how God created us. God meant for us to compliment each other, that’s why he didn’t duplicate talent,” he said at the time.

Source: www.timeslive.co.za

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

FBI agents arrest three Kenyans in US over links to Isis

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Three Kenyans were on Tuesday arrested in the United States for their links to terror group Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS).

The three were nabbed by Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) agents. They were identified as Mohamed Salat Haji, Mohamud Abdikadir Muse and Muse Abdikadir Muse.

The three were arrested in Lansing, Michigan. They are said to have pledged allegiance to the Islamic state.

Mr Muse Abdikadir Muse was nabbed while on transit to Somalia.

“He was checking in for a flight on his way to Mogadishu, Somalia when he was arrested,” a statement by the FBI released on Tuesday stated.

Mr Muse Abdikadir Muse had earlier this month purchased air tickets to travel from the Gerald R. Ford Airport in Michigan.

CO-CONSPIRATORS

The US Department of Justice said his other two friends, described as co-conspirators, had assisted him in getting the ticket.

“They aided in the purchase of the ticket and drove Muse Abdikadir Muse to the Grand Rapids airport, each knowing the true purpose of the travel was for Muse Muse to join and fight for ISIS,” read the statement.

According to the FBI, the three recorded videos pledging allegiance to the group where they narrated their desire “to kill non-believers, and even to potentially use a car for a martyrdom operation to run down non-believers in the USA.”

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

Despite their arrest, the American Government is yet to find them guilty of the charges.

Their arrest comes exactly a week after terrorists led by a Kenyan identified as Salim Gichunge attacked dusitD2 hotel and killed 21 people.\

NairobiNews

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Africa

‘Please help me return home,’ Kenyan legend runner living in the US pleads

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BY OLIVIA MUNGWANA

Kenyan distance running legend Henry Rono a broken man. He has been living in the United States of America for the last 32 years, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Rono who is now 66, on Tuesday reached out to Nation Sport and sent a passionate appeal:

“I wants a ticket back home, please.”

“Yes, I would like the government to help me get back home by getting me a ticket… I can’t afford living in the USA. I’m getting old… Also, being away from home for over 32 years is too long,” added the legend.

The legend is currently a security guard at the Albuquerque airport.

“Yes, I did retire, but these other jobs are stressful and I’m too old,” he said. “Like now, I’m sick from working hard. Many of my fellow Kenyans are dying from stressful hard working jobs,” said Rono, who was given a lifetime achievement award by the International Association of Athletics Federations in 2008.

“I have been given another award in Belgrade but I’m able to attend because of stressful work. Like now, I’m in the bed and I’m unwell.”

But Rono’s daughter Maureen confirmed she had spoken to the legend, and that he has been unwell since last week. “He has been coughing for the last week, and I’ve been in touch with him. If he asked you to send out an appeal for help, you can go ahead and publish,” she said.

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Athletics Kenya President Jack Tuwei, meanwhile, said his association would be ready to help the legend.

“He did a lot for this country and we can’t fail to get help for him,” said Tuwei. “We need information such as costs of tickets, who he could be travelling with and other details, and then see how we can support.”

The Washington State University star alumnus had taken up coaching after his running career, this after alcoholism dented the highlight years of his spell that saw him shatter world records in the 3,000 metres (seven minutes, 32.1 seconds), 5,000 metres (13:08.4), 3,000 metres steeplechase (8:05.04) and 10,000 metres (27:22.47), all within 81 days across USA (California and Seattle) and Europe (Vienna and Oslo).

Source: nation.co.ke

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