Thursday April 3 2014

‘Traffic police waste my time’

Dennis Katongole likes Toyota Mark II cars

Dennis Katongole likes Toyota Mark II cars seeing that this one is the third among other Toyotas . He, however, does not stay long with them. PHOTOS BY RACHEL MABALA 


Introduce yourself
I am Dennis Katongole a.k.a Katongole Omutongole, a radio and television presenter and programmer.

Which car are you driving?
I drive a Toyota Mark II Grande. It is unfortunate that I don’t know the model. It is something that I am not keen on provided the car has what I want.

So for how long have you been with this car?
It is a year now.

Apart from the Mark II Grande, which other car(s) have you driven and where are they?
I have been with three Mark II (s) and some other two Toyota cars. But the fact is that I like Mark IIs, because of the speed. They are very fast.

What was your first car?
It was a Toyota that I bought from a friend in 2004 at Shs1.5m. Since it was my first car and my first time to drive, I made sure that I exhaust all the knowledge about cars with it. But later it developed problems, I sold it, topped up the money and bought a Toyota Corolla in 2006.

Why would you put your car up for sale?
Nothing much, it is just a principle. I don’t spend over a year with the same car. Cars depreciate and the more it depreciates the more the value goes down. I want to sell a car when it still has value. The other thing is that I always focus at a better model.

How is the fuel consumption?
It is convenient. Many people say that a Mark II consumes a lot of fuel but they tend to forget that the way one drives is the issue and not the car. For me, I drive from home to work, park it till I am done. I drive to another station, park it and finish what I need to do and later drive home that is if I have no concert to attend. I don’t move anyhow.

So why do you think they perceive it that way?
It is because they move without directions, they drive to unplanned journeys. Just because one has a car, he or she loves to go to visit friends in Nansana, Kakiri, Najjanankumbi, with the aim of showing off forgetting that they are wasting fuel.

While on the road, what kind of challenges do you normally face?
It is the traffic cops. Seriously, you don’t expect me to drive without a permit but they will stop you. The most annoying thing is that they normally divert me to different conversations away from the traffic issue. They want me to send them greetings on air. I find this as wastage of time. Again, people who cross the road when absent minded annoy me.

Have you ever knocked someone ?

What about any accident?
Yes, it was my first time to drive a car, it was a friend’s car. I had gone to the village in Kayunga with the purpose of proving to my father that I could drive. Unfortunately, the car overturned for about five times. Thank God I wasn’t injured though my cousin broke his arm.

How did you feel?
It is so funny that when I got out, I instead started banging and blaming the car, asking it why it overturned. I was doing only 20 kph. I learnt how to be more careful because I paid Shs1.2m for repairs.

Where did you learn driving and how long did it take you?
I taught myself including the few lessons I got from my friend acting as an instructor. I only went to a driving school to get a permit because I thought I knew how to drive.

Would you shout at anyone if they happened to scratch your car?
I normally want to settle the matter on humanitarian grounds but if the person seems to be stubborn, I beat or slap them no matter who they are. It happened when a police officer knocked me. It didn’t take me time to box him after reacting so weirdly. He was so unfortunate that he had to pay me later because he was in the wrong.

If you were to get another car, which one would you go for?
I would go for a Toyota Mark X. It is so comfortable, low and fast. I love low cars so much.

Do you have time for your car?
Yes, it is when I take it for servicing over the weekend. I don’t wash my car because I have no time though I know how to do it.

How far have you gone with your car?
I have gone to Mbarara, Kabale, Lira and normally I use between Shs80,000 – Shs250,000.

Has this car ever disappointed you while on the road?
No, apart from fuel. However, with the mechanical bit, I call up my trusted mechanic to check it and establish whether everything is fine before I travel. I have been advised to always move with a jerrican in the car.