Thursday January 23 2014

My wheels :Johnson Mwase, ‘Most people are afraid of my manual car’

Mwase, a professional artist and teacher

Mwase, a professional artist and teacher relaxes in his Corona that he bought from his father. PHOTO BY ISMAIL KEZAALA 

By Carol Nambowa

What do you do for a living?
I am a professional artist. I usually work on contract basis but most of the time I am teaching in secondary schools.

What type of car do you drive?
I drive a Toyota Corona ST170.

What do you love about your car?
It is very economical via fuel consumption and has reasonable space.

Where and how much did you buy your car?
I got this car in 2005 from my father. He wanted to buy another car but I wanted to keep this one in the family. I took it and topped up Shs4.5m for him to buy another car at Shs9m. It is still in good condition and its performance has not gone down. Besides, if I decided to sell it, its price offer on the market is very low.

Would you lend your car to someone?
One of the reasons it is still in good condition is because I rarely lend it out. I can sometimes drive the person to their desired destination if I have time but not allow them to drive it. However, I sometimes let my brothers drive it but most people are afraid of it because it is a manual car.

What is the worst thing that has ever happened to you in this car?
I was coming from home in Kayunga, Wakiso and on joining the main road I tried to overtake a lady in a Toyota Land Cruiser. She swerved her car to my side and the guard on her car got stuck into my car. The cars were moving together. I tried so hard to brake and succeeded but she went on driving and rammed into a signpost, a tree then into a house. When the police listened to the case, she somehow convinced police into believing it was my fault so I was made to pay for damages for both cars and to repair the house.

What is the most memorable moment you have had with the car?
I one time drove to the village in Bwenge, Jinja and I had only Shs60,000 to fuel it. With that I drove to Bwenge and back to Wakiso.

How is its fuel consumption?
I spend an average of Shs50,000 to Shs60,000 on fuel weekly. Since it is a manual car, I can regulate its fuel consumption and I mainly use Shell Fuel Save. Shell fuel gives me more mileage and I have a conviction that it is not adulterated.

How often do you service it and how much do you usually spend?
I service it every after 500km and I spend about Shs68,000 on partial service. The complete service costs me double this amount.

Which other cars have you driven in the past?
I owned a Toyota Corolla Limited and before that, I had a motor bike.

How big is the engine of this car?
It is 1838cc.

Is there anything you dislike about your car?
Yes, when I have large luggage to carry or more than five passengers, I feel like the car is doing me a disservice. Another thing I am beginning to dislike is that the spare parts are becoming very expensive and rare because the vehicles are no longer in production and importers no longer bring the parts.

What is the furthest you have driven to?
Last year, I drove 860km to Rushere in western Uganda and back. The car did not disappoint me and I gained trust in it.

What is your dream car?
A Subaru N-series.

Do you have a nickname for this car?
I personally do not have a nickname for it but my friends call it ‘Old but Okay’. Another friend of mine calls it a Benz but I do not know why.