Thursday February 20 2014

My wheels :Cinderella Sanyu, ‘I won’t follow people again’

By Edgar .R.Batte

What car do you drive?
I drive a Toyota Kluger

What do you like about it?
It is beautiful to look at. It also reflects my style as an artiste. My style is rough and raw in a way and my car looks that way-matte black SUV. It is also very comfortable even on a bad road and that for me is key. The music system is great and the fuel consumption is not so bad compared the Subaru outback I was driving before it.

Is it your first car?
My first car was an old RAV4 short chassis.

How do you compare the Kluger with the RAV4?
The Kluger is bigger and more expensive. It takes more fuel and more money to maintain but it gives me status. People respect me more and I do not get much trouble parking in executive places. I can drive it around town and also cruise to Nairobi comfortably. I could not do that easily with the little RAV4.

Is it a manual or automatic car?
It is automatic.

Can you drive a manual car?
The RAV4 was manual and I drove it for two years before switching to automatic cars.

Where did you learn how to drive from?
Dembe Driving School.

What would you say is the best skill you picked from the school?
I learnt how to drive on a busy road. My lessons where done on the streets of Kampala so I was not nervous when I was finally driving on my own. That confidence is the best thing I learnt there.

What is the biggest blunder you have made on the road?
I followed a friend who was driving a Mazda and he was driving at 220kph and I was in my little RAV4 that could only go till 150kph comfortably before it would start shaking and flying off the ground. I crashed into a potato garden in Nsangi. Since then, I make sure I have my own directions and I do not follow others.

Have thieves stolen anything from your car?
Many times.

Tell us about your experience
I got robbed a lot while driving the RAV4 then I changed the locks. It is devastating. Many times I cried and even blamed God. Then the mechanics would also cheat me until I learnt about parts at Kisekka Market. At Kisekka, I would find parts similar to what was stolen from my car. It hurts to buy the same thing twice especially if it is on a car because a car is not an investment.

What was the last traffic offence you committed?
Not wearing my seatbelt.
Were you caught?
Yes, the police-man gave me a Shs80,000 ticket. It was so painful to part with such an amount.

Didn’t you try to plead?
I begged and smiled but nothing worked.

What is your experience with car mechanics?
Almost all mechanics are cheats. I guess they have to because how else would they make their money if they do not overcharge you. And most of them have no idea what they are doing. I guess they do what they do then hope for the best.

Which garage do you take your car to and why?
It is in Bukoto and owned by a honest mechanic called Mustafa. He will tell you exactly what the problem is and explain how to prevent the same thing from happening again and how it happened in the first place. He does a clean job. No one notices when I repair a dent or replace a light.

Have you ever run out of fuel?
As a celebrity and a role model that is the worst thing that can happen to me because it is embarrassing. Everything else is explainable and understandable, but not running out of fuel. You have no idea how many bad front pages I would get out of that.

What is the best act of kindness you have got from a fellow driver?
Courtesy, letting me join the line ahead of them. That is very nice.

What do you think of Ugandan drivers?
Ugandan drivers are generally in a hurry. I wish we could all just calm down, the streets would be much safer for all.