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‘I drove in labour’

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Claire Kawenja says she had to self drive to hospital during

Claire Kawenja says she had to self drive to hospital during her labour pains because her husband was away and she pulled off the gamble successfully. PHOTO BY DOMINIC BUKENYA 

By  Brian Ssenoga

Posted  Thursday, May 29  2014 at  09:59

In Summary

From an old Toyota Corona to a Nissan Terrano Astroad, fashion designer Clare Kawenja’s journey with cars is that of from glory to glory.

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I thought women love bright colours but why did you choose black?
To tell you the truth, I wanted a yellow car and one day I will get one. However, black is not bad. I like black because it is bold and it kind of intimidates. As for the Terrano Astroad, the machine commands respect on the road.

The challenge is that my small body size compared to the car so boda boda men keep teasing me, in fact one recently shouted, “Gwe Kawala zzayo emotoka yabandi” (Young girl return the car to the owner).

You sound passionate about it, is it your first car?
It is actually my fourth car, who in the world would buy a car they do not like? Not me. Honestly, it is a macho machine. My first car was an old Corona. I called it Lubalusewa (laughs) it had a lot of issues including overheating. The wipers were not working.
I remember one day I was driving to Luwero but Lubalusewa could not make its maiden journey without breaking down. We stopped at Wobulenzi to cool down the engine. The windows could not adjust so on a hot day it was literally a moving sauna. Then I bought a Suzuki Escudo followed by a Gaia.

So what car are you driving currently and do you have a nickname for it?
It is a Nissan Terrano which I bought Shs25m, from a bond along Jinja road. The nickname is Amazon Kushona.
Most people buy cars considering a number of factors, including fuel consumption, did you consider that?

I know it is a fuel guzzler in fact I use Shs30,000 a day but that is not a problem. Where there is a will there is a way. We are supposed to grow progressively and the bigger and better the car is, the more fuel it consumes.

It even gets worse for petrol cars. One other reason I love this Terrano is the wide space of the boot, in that it can carry enough cargo. It has full off-road capabilities, all these weren’t in the Gaia despite its being able to carry more people.

What is your best driving experience?
One would say it is the worst but in March this year, I was in labour pains but I drove myself to Rubaga hospital, gave birth and drove back home the next day. My husband was not around and I did not want to bother anybody with my personal issues.

What do you hate about driving?
I hate long distances and driving sleepy people. But on a smooth road like the Northern Bypass, the ride becomes fun and I end up speeding.

By the way, when did you start driving and have you ever been involved in an accident?
That was 2002, my husband taught me how to drive in a Toyota Starlet but as I was still learning, I knocked the Bulange fence down and the car became a wreck. The trainer scared me. I was pregnant and I vowed never to drive again.

How often do you go to the garage?
I can neither tell when because my husband does all that. My duty is to drive and report the fault on the car.

bssenoga@ug.nationmedia.com