The Observer (Kampala)

17 January 2013

Uganda: Bafana's Second Hand Curren Raised His Status

interview

Budding dancehall artiste Ziza Bafana of Mpitaba fame prides in his second-hand 1996 model Toyota Curren.

He opened up to Polly Kamukama about his craze for the car.

How did you acquire this car?

I bought it at Shs 6.5m from a certain lady about a year ago. I am not sure how long she had had it, but I found it in perfect shape. You know how women can be keen with their possessions.

Couldn't you have bought a better car?

I had long admired this car. I love sports cars. Its price was also affordable. So, I don't think I could have made a better choice. I used to own a RAV4 but sold it after it became unmanageable. It had many issues yet I used to visit a garage on a daily basis. I promised myself I would move on to a Curren. I was also very desperate at the time.

Why were you desperate?

It is kind of hard when you are in showbiz. People always expect you to live a flashy life of cars and good houses and nice girls. So, when I l sold off my RAV4, haters started talking of how I had run broke. It bothered me so much I started saving for this car. As an artiste, a car enhances your swagg.

Do you have a nickname for it?

Very many. Nearly every friend of mine has given it a name. Most of my artiste friends call it Palapase because it is stable on the road. Others call it Sudi, the name of the town where I used to stay in South Africa. But I like to call it Killer because it silenced all my haters.

What do you love most about Killer?

Killer is such a darling vehicle. First, I like its flat shape which gives it a sporty look. I also love its silent engine, which has by the way never had any problem. I also like its black, sleek colour which portrays my tough but gentle image. I also love small cars [Killer is a four-seater].

It is also a very fast and stable car. I love its music system which I use to play loud dancehall music while driving. Its consumption rate is also affordable, not like my RAV4's.

How has Killer changed your life?

I cannot imagine myself without this car. First, it has eased my mobility, especially when I am going for up-country shows. I was tired of hiding my face; so, fans don't see me while travelling by public means.

This car has also won me lots of friends; most of them simply love me because they know I will drive them back home after a night out. Most importantly, this car has earned me status in music circles. Artistes who don't own cars are ridiculed by colleagues and fans.

Any fond memories of Killer?

They are many, especially whenever I have to drive long distances to perform up-country. But the one reason why I share a special attachment to my car is because it silenced my critics, raised my status and gave me swagg as an artiste.

Anything you don't like about the car?

They are about three or four things. One, its anterior is small yet it only has two doors. This makes the back passengers uncomfortable because there is not enough leg room. The black colour is good but it attracts too much dust; I have to wash this car every day.

Killer also has a strange problem with its front tyres; they keep wearing out so fast and so does its injector pump. Otherwise, it's a hardy car.

Would you consider selling it off?

If somebody offered me Shs 7m, I would gladly see it off. I need that money to buy a Noah to help transport my crew when I am going for shows. But I would also love to buy my dream car, which is a Subaru. I have always been crazy about sports cars since childhood.

My father Lailand Kakumba introduced me to speed driving when I was 12. He is a mechanic and former rally driver.

How do you care for it?

I have a vast experience in cars so I know how to maintain them well. All these scratches you see [Killer has several ugly scratches on its front side] are a result of my girlfriend's poor driving skills. Once in a while, I let her and my friend Ray [an artiste] drive it.

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