Monday, 28 October 2013

R&S: Takataka an ode to Meja Ngeti

Bottle cap necklace
When I was in east Africa anytime I went out friends they would always ask with a look of slight disgust "why are you picking garbage up off the floor?" without confidence and shifting eyes I would reply "...I want to make something..."  In reality I had no idea why I was picking bottle caps up off of the floor when I thought no one was looking, but it really did seem right at the time. On my trip back home I was acquainted with a rather strange but charismatic major in the Kenyan air force who we always addressed as Meja Ngeti. Now Meja Ngeti while obnoxious in his own right was whole heatedly generous, when we hadn't eaten and were hungry he fed us, he provided advice to young men and challenged them to think seriously about themselves, he avidly demanded that I was respected as a lady but mostly he bought us drinks...a whole lot of drinks. Now that I think about it, I am actually not sure if his obnoxiousness can be attributed to him having a few too many, but none the less his company was always a pleasure.

On one of our many encounters Meja Ngeti taught me a really cool trick, how to open a bottle of beer with another beer bottle. With every round that would come to our table he would tell the barmaid to leave them all closed and insist that I open everyone's beer. You might wonder why this newly acquired skill mattered so much to me. Well, as soon as I mastered the skill I was from then on able to collect bottle caps in a discreet fashion! I no longer had to pick them up off them floor, I just popped the caps off and put them in my pocket free of disgusted looks. Sadly, not long after I returned to Canada I heard that he had passed away, so to Meja Ngeti, asante sana kwa chaluka tamu, moto ama baridi tutakunyuwi White Cap, Sumit, Tusker, Pilsner na Amarula kwa wewe. I am sure he would be proud to see how far my beer-on-beer opening skills have come.

Yesterday as an ode to Meja Ngeti I felt inspired to make a R&S takataka 'garbage' necklace with all the bottle caps I collected on my many adventures with him, as well as some random ( and delicious) beer drinking adventures I had on my own facilitated with the help of the bottle opening skill he passed down to me. 

It was a really simple process! I recycled an old link chain in my box of stuff and used my jewelry making supplies (pliers, jump rings & hole punch) to get this project popping.You can buy all the materials at the dollar store or your local beading store. You can get like me and sneak bottle caps from the floor into your pocket at the pub when no one is looking, or...drink dozens of beers for their caps? You'll have to get creative with that part and figure out what works for you. 

1. Assemble all materials
2. Flatten bottle caps with mini pliers
3. Use one hole punch to punch a hole at the top of the bottle cap
4. Use mini pliers to open jump ring & attach the bottle caps to link chain 
5. Fiddle with it to get it to sit how you want it to
Thats it!

Final Product!
I now get to wear all of my favorite beers on my neck! I was told it makes me look like a drunkard, but this simple project that costed me nothing but time to make means so much more than that. To Meja Ngeti, where ever you are thank you for your kindness and welcoming nature. It was a pleasure knowing you and may you have found peace and an abundance of blessings. 

Smiles :)

Tuly Maimouna