Mashudu Rantsana of Maraxwe village poses with his reliable 1978 Toyota 12R bakkie.
“I am always stopped by people wherever I go. Most of them ask me to sell this vehicle to them. I will never sell it, because it is the only valuable property I ever owned in my life. This bakkie is now 42 years old. It was built in 1978 when most of the young people were not yet born. But despite its age, it is still roadworthy, strong, and very reliable.”
This is what Mashudu Rantsana of Maraxwe village says about his Toyota 12R bakkie. He explains that the bakkie is the centre of attention wherever he goes. “There are few cars of its age around here. In fact, it is the only one in our vicinity. That is why everyone wants to buy it from me, even when it is not for sale. Even if someone brings a bag full of money, I would never part ways with it. This is a very strong car which does not disappoint. Hei goloi ngoho i ya fulufhedzea (loosely translated: this car is really faithful).”
Rantsana says the roads in his area are gravel, bumpy and in bad condition. “It loves these types of roads because it was made of hard steel. When going uphill, I sometimes wonder what is happening because it does not show any sign of pulling hard. One other thing I like about this car is that it does not consume a lot of petrol. If I put R150 worth of petrol in the tank, I would travel for days without minding about any refill. Hedzi ndi goloi dza zwisiwana (this type of car is for the poor).”
He said he had previously owned a similar bakkie, but he had sold it years ago to acquire the present one. “Although it needs some repainting, everything is in a perfect condition and I never feel intimidated when I take a trip. Just one kick, then it goes like a bullet. I can even go to Johannesburg with it and come back today without any problems. It is a work horse that does not need a lot of maintenance. As a farmer, this car comes in handy because I use it to carry my products that I sell to the public from village to village.”
Asked if he would give it to someone to drive, Rantsana said: “That can be very difficult, but it would only be possible in emergency and unavoidable situations. This car is part of my life and giving it to someone else would be like cutting off one of my body parts while I’m still alive.”
Date:02 October 2020 - By: