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Item of the Day: Maridadi Designs

'Maridadi' means anything beautiful, tasteful or pleasing to the eye in Swahili. Which makes it a pretty apt name for world-renowned bronze sculptor Allen Hallett’s range of pewter tableware and gift items. We particularly love the unusual chameleon cheeseboard and knife, and grabbed at the opportunity to chat to Allen about the inspiration behind choosing this little reptile. 'Ever since I was a small boy growing up in the highlands of Kenya I was fascinated by all things reptile, and so I was thrilled that my bedroom window was home to numerous chameleons. After I left school I became assistant curator at Nairobi Snake Park and later a game ranger in Zululand. In the last 25 years I have been a full-time artist and the chameleon was definitely high on the list of sculptures I wanted to create,' explains Allen, who is now based in the KwaZulu Natal Midlands. There is a wide selection of items and characters to choose from in Allen's Maridadi range – you could have a meerkat standing sentinel in your sugar bowl or the wide-eyed gaze of a bush baby watching you open the jam jar. From cake forks to keyrings, Maridadi has something for everyone and you are certain to find one of your favourite creatures sculpted with exquisite attention to detail perching at the end of a utensil. Maridadi creations also make practical yet special Christmas gifts and their products are sold countrywide. The chameleon cheese knife retails for approximately R250. For more information on stockists see