Friday, June 3, 2016

Simon Kaheru, Me and The Honda

My first car was a Honda Vigor. I bought it from Kevin whose surname I can’t remember, but he used to sing in a band in which Jonathan Nsubuga the architect, was drummer. Cauvan I think was his surname and the band was called Necessary Noise. Like is said, I think. The only other person who I knew and who owned a Honda that was exactly like mine was Robert Kabushenga – except, his was a Honda Inspire.

I deliberately chose to buy Honda Vigor on a Friday, because it had to make its grand appearance at TFI night at Club Silk that night and also get parked in the parking bays reserved for the club’s directors - Elvis Wava, Aga Sekalala, Isaac Mulindwa and Steven Kavuma.

After paying for it at Kings Auto Bond which then used to be opposite Shell Kabalagala, off I drove to have the sound system pimped. But I didn’t get far. I made it round the corner into Kabalagala proper – almost opposite Capital Pub, and that’s when Honda Vigor spluttered to a halt. Attempts to re-start it were futile and that of course, led to a bout of busungu.

Of all people, Kevin selling me a dud ride? But how? He’s a muzungu and bazungu don’t sell their friends dud cars. Thoughts raced back to how I should have listened to what people had told me. ‘Go with Mechanic to check it over. Are spare parts in plenty?’ I didn’t take that into consideration when I bought the car. I simply bought it because of its colour, the way the air con blew out a cold air and the rims.

With busungu still raging, I trudged back to see Kevin. “But TB, do you really think I would sell you a dud car?” Anyway back at the ride, Kevin tried to start it over and in ten seconds had diagnosed the problem. “TB, it would have helped if you had put in fuel.” Ouch.

I felt sheepish because I had cleaned out my account to pay for the ride and with barely 5k on me, Kevin had to loan me 100k of the money I had just given him to buy a jerry can and fuel. I was even more sheepish because I hadn’t factored in insurance and road tax which was still in operation back then, so Honda Vigor was grounded for almost a month till payday.

One night in Kansanga, Boda rode very close to me and ripped off the wing mirror. Peeved, I sought advice from Simon Kaheru (below), my Sunday Vision mentor at the time. For all who know Kaheru, you know he doesn’t dillydally about. He was very explicit and to the point when he told me what to do when I got to Kisseka Market. “Go to shop 20, speak to so and so and make sure you bargain.”

I should have done as told, but didn’t even though I had never been to Kisseka. No sooner had I parked and mechanics were all over the ride. But I held my ground, locked the ride and strolled up and down the street a couple of times until I saw him. Joseph he was called and who looked all innocent that his face read: “Look at me TB. Don’t I look like a mulokole? I promise I won’t rip you off.” I did bargain and brought the price down from 180k to 150k that I felt all smug with myself.

Two weeks later and again the mirror gets ripped off – this time by Woman walking without plot or is it walking fwa? Together with Kaheru, we made the trip to Kisseka. No sooner had he parked, and he was out barking orders and assuring all. He commanded such a presence that the way Hajji scurried off to bring him a Coke and airtime was comical.

In the meantime, his ‘chap’ had appeared and been dispatched to bring a mirror. Then there was the negotiating. The first figure Chap threw out was met with a brusque slap on his back. The second figure – 20k was met with smiles.

On the way back to the office Kaheru asked how much I paid the previous time. After the brusque slap he gave Chap, there was no way I was going to tell him I paid 150k. I looked out of the window and lied point blank that I paid 25k. I had to. 

And when he reads this article, I can already see him getting out of his sofa to come looking to slap me – except, ha, ha, ha, I am not home Simon Kaheru, I am holding out in Arua until you simmer yourself down...

Pictures: New Vision, Internet