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Zoom zoom ne Pajero!
Taurai Maduna,
May 18, 2005

View details for the interview with Newton Jacha

Newton JachaHarare might not have any fuel at any petrol stations but there is one vehicle that continues to zoom zoom amid cheers and chants from excited onlookers.

Newton Jacha usually drives around in the Avondale area of Harare. His vehicle is equipped with a loud sound system, wing mirrors and many other gadgets that you would usually find in a car of the 21st century. It also has a very loud horn but lacks the latest anti-hijack system because . . . it's a bicycle!

Newton began modifying his bicycle in 1994 and he has not looked back since. He says that he has always loved music and he wanted to take his music everywhere he went. So that is why he decided to build a radio into his bicycle.

Newton's radio is loud enough to attract radio license inspectors from the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC). So in order to avoid any trouble he decided to get a car radio license! "I havenít been bothered by ZBC yet but just in case I bought the radio license," he said.

The bike is equipped with a steering wheel, hooters, mirrors and he is presently working on installing an alarm. The onboard radio is battery operated and a dynamo charges while the bicycle is moving. From a young age Newton played around with mechanics and electricity.

Some simple mechanics together with the help of Newton's inherent technical skills have helped him create his unique bicycles. If there are any people out there who are interested in one of Newtonís Pajeros heís happy to create one for them.

Fascinated by his dream car, the Pajero (Mitsubishi), Newton says that he decided to make his dream come true in the form of a bicycle because he realized that he could never afford to buy a car. The Pajero is driven by the nouveau riche and is one of the most talked about vehicles in Zimbabwe.

Newton, who is a soft spoken and humble man, has placed a sign on the back of his bicycle that says: "Jacha Motors, No fear". He says this means that he is not intimidated while on the road. Most drivers in Zimbabwe have no respect for cyclists and Newton hoots at them if they infringe on his right of way.

People cheer and clap hands when he travels around Harare and they tell him that his bicycle is great and he should continue to inspire them. Newton has become a colorful neighborhood fixture! He says people often ask him to stop and he jokes that even those who might have been arguing put aside their differences for a while.

Newton grew up in Chivi in Masvingo and is currently employed as a gardener. His employer is very supportive of his bicycle inventions and they regularly share ideas. His favorite music is museve/sungura (up tempo fusion of guitars and drums from Zimbabwe) and he loves Alick Macheso but his most popular artist is the late Leonard Dembo.

So, for all of you who have dreamt of owning a Pajero you donít have to look any further - step into Jacha Motors!

Audio File

  • Interview with Newton Jacha
    Language: Shona & English
    Duration: 50sec
    Date: May 18, 2005
    Recording made by:
    File Type: MP3
    Size: 395KB

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