By Titus Kakembo
I was at Toyota Nissan headquarters during the launch of new wheels comprising Nissan Navara and a cool Magnite. But what made my day during the occasion were the three Ws that stands for wine, women and wealth that graced the display hall to capacity.
Time check 5:00pm and the finest wines from all parts of the world were at the bar. Petit and beefy ushers clad in frocks that fitted like second skin ushered the guests in with smiles hidden behind face masks. Bowls of groundnuts, glasses with chips of carrots and cucumber submerged in mayonnaise were the starters. Then came meatballs, minute chicken thighs and breasts followed suit.
The climax was when the MC announced the entrance of a saxophone smooching Michael Kitanda. He switched off his smile and ballooned his cheeks to kiss ears with improvised notes of songs by the best musicians in the world. Feet began tapping the floor as he perfectly improvised all-time classics by Calvin Harris, Mike Posner, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston hits and folklore tunes with his shimmering saxophone.
The whisky and wines made the feet taps and finger-snapping louder as the sun went down. Some masks were removed to expose milk-white smiles as some guests fought the temptation to wrap arms around waists. The banter got louder.
Kitanda’s face was matted with sweat beads as he closed his eyes to balloon his cheeks and blow the saxophone harder. The barman connived with a ripe bogoya (banana) complexioned waiter tagged Diana from Riders Lounge along Acacia Avenue to change the climate in most throats of car lovers. With flooded throats, an observer could tell who had sipped Amarula, Uganda Waragi, VAT 69, Black Label, Four Cousins wine or fruit juice.
The climax of the evening was a screen display of what the new Nissan Navara and Magnite are capable of doing on Uganda’s roads. The rev of the engine made some potential buyers leave business cards for follow up. They were designed with Japanese technology for the African terrain.
Motorists who know what their money’s worth were told about price tags ranging between $25,000 (sh90,000,000) for the saloon Magnite and between $45, 000(sh161,000,000) to $60,000 (sh215, 000,000) for the replacement of the reigning NP300 Hard Body.
“Electric vehicles are coming,” the managing director Lawrence Sempebwa announced. “Nissan after 20 years since its inception in Uganda is still here to ease and comfort your connectivity. There is now more than a warning as a driver over speeding.”
The price varies depending on the engine capacity and management monitors their performance on the road. NGOs, farmers and salon car buyers there is enough in stock.
“If the Hardbody was good for Africa,” paused Sempebwa for the point to drive home. “You can imagine how the first Nivara to be built in South Africa will roll on African terrain.”
“Jazz stimulates my mind to think better and bigger,” a girl with a skirt smaller than the New Vision centre spread said. “It enables me to concentrate and think better. I love a man who plays jazz or blows the saxophone like Kitanda?”
Snacks were a combination of meatballs, chicken thighs and breasts. They were served, put in the mouth and disappeared with the speed of an ATM card. The ushers finally got rid of their masks triggering onlooker’s eyelashes to touch the hairlines.
“God is such a perfectionist” commented one Roscoe. “I see the equivalent of Hardbody and Magnite among the ushers.”
His tablemate nodded in the affirmative and whispered something about vehicles being referred to as she.
“Imagine God creating billions of people without a replica of fingerprints,” Joseph responded. “Cloning of human beings is yet to succeed. I have seen people who deserve cloning. I wish like Nissan a particular person could be massively produced.”