Thursday January 30 2014

My wheels :Sylvia Namutebi,‘I have driven at 180 kph before’

Namutebi, popularly known as Mama Fina cuts a

Namutebi, popularly known as Mama Fina cuts a pose outside her cherished Toyota Land Cruiser Prado. PHOTOS BY EDGAR BATTE 


Which car do you drive?
God is good all the time and I am thankful to Him that I can drive any car that I like. I like driving the Land Cruiser Prado. It is a beautiful car.

What do you like about the Prado?
I am not a fan of diesel cars because they are a bit of a problem when it comes to servicing them. Prados are my kind of car. They are fast and reach almost everywhere I would want to go.

Do you drive it yourself or are you chauffeured?
I drive myself. I enjoy driving myself.

What model is this Prado?
It is a 2004 model.

At how much did it cost you?
It cost me Shs140m. I have been driving it for some time and it is still in good shape and it is very stable on the road

Where did you learn to drive?
I learnt from another person’s car. There was a gentleman, the late Colonel Semakula and he taught me how to drive, but before that I was very keen on seeing whatever taxi drivers would do. I almost memorized every step of what the drivers would do.
So one time I had gone to Jinja with some friends and on our way back I asked to drive. They did not know that I did not know how to drive. I drove them from Namawojolo to Kampala and they only learnt later on that it was the first time I was doing it.

Have you been to a driving school?
Yes, I had to join Charzio Driving School to get a driving permit. In fact I spent less time there and then I had my permit processed.

What was the biggest challenge you faced while learning how to drive?
Balancing on the road. I was very poor at calculating the distance between my bonnet and the car next to me. I was always braking in fear that I could knock the car in front or behind me.

How many cars do you have?
Ha ha ha…men say that they do not count the number of children they father so I also do not count the number of cars I drive but among them all I love the Prado most.

What does it feel for you, a lady, driving a big car?
They are cars that can be driven by anyone. I can afford it so I drive one.

Are you a fast driver?
Yes. I have even driven at 180km per hour.
Where were you driving to?
I was going to Rwanda but I went beyond Rwanda because the person I wanted to meet was at Butale the border of Rwanda and Burundi.

How much did you spend on the journey?
I put a full tank. My car consumes a lot. The tank gets full for Shs390, 000. We did refill the tank four times.

Have you been knocked before?
Yes by someone with a smaller car and when I got out I felt it would be a big hustle trying to haggle with him because he had already started uttering out annoying statements.
He told me I was in the wrong and asked that if I could not drive properly on the road then I ought to buy a plane and start flying since there is hardly traffic up there. I was lost for words so I got into my car and drove off.