[dropcap]C[/dropcap]lassic FM’s Programme Director, Chukwuma Aligwekwe never attended a driving school. He started driving at the age of 12 by watching his father driving. Then whenever latter stepped out of home, he would start his father’s car and drive it around neighbourhood.
Recently, in an exclusive interview with Senior Correspondent of Motoring World International (MOWI), ROTIMI ASHER, the Classic FM programme Director disclosed his dream car, likened how he fell in love with the car to how love relationship builds up between two humans. Asked which car he would take to the moon, had he only one choice, his answer was that the question was wired. But his answer to the question of making a choice between his wife and dream car was weirder.
MOWI: Since when have you been driving?
Chiko: I’ve been driving since 1978. That has been a long time, isn’t it?
MOWI: 1978? This is 2015. How old are you now?
Chiko: I am 49; next year, I will be 50.
MOWI: What does a car mean to you?
Chiko: A car is an extension of a person. You can tell a lot about a person just by looking at his or her car. A car would reflect his or her personality, dominant emotion.
MOWI: If money were no objection, what car would you love to have?
Chiko: If money was no objection and I can have a car that I want, it would probably be the 2014 Range Rover Vogue…yes, yes.
MOWI: What’s so unique about that particular car?
A: It’s the shape. What gets me most about it is how the car looks. And when you now go into its features, it is like a car that was just made for me-its off-road capabilities, the power in the car, the impression that the car creates. You drive the car somewhere and you come down from it, no matter where you are in the world, you are a force to recon with.
MOWI: Have you actually test-driven the car?
Chiko: Of course, I have and I’d probably get one.
MOWI: Assuming you are to travel to the moon and you have a choice of going with only one car, which car will you choose?
Chiko: (lol) That’s a wired question. That question is not about the cost of the car. I look at that carb(Range Rover Vogue), it’s a bit expensive, but if I have my way, I’ll choose it.
Chiko: It has got to do with my perception of the car than anything else. Even in life, before two people meet, date and get married, it always starts as a visual thing. You see a person you like. At that point, you don’t know if the person is intelligent, dull or simple. But you like what you see. And so you decide to explore further. And it is in that process that you get to know if he or she is an interesting person or not. Then, you say to yourself, ‘Oh I like spending time with this person’. And from there, you cement it and relationship begins. It is similar with cars.
MOWI: So if you were to choose between your dream car and your wife, what choice will you make?
Chiko: (Quiet for about 10 seconds) I plead the 5th
MOWI: That means?
Chiko:You know the Fifth Amendment is in the constitution of the United States. And so when someone pleads the fifth, he declines to answer that question on the ground that ‘your answer may incriminate you.’
MOWI: You mean you don’t want to offend your wife
MOWI: You once sowed a seed to buy a BMW, yet your dream car is Range Rover Vogue. How come?
Chiko: I support Manchester United. I love MAN United. But as a Londoner, if I have to pick a club in London, I will support Spurs, especially if Spurs are playing a football match against anybody else, except MAN U, I will support Spurs. That is not without any prejudice to the MAN U, who I will support if they were playing Spurs.
It’s similar, when it comes to the cars. I like BMW. And in the BMW range, I like the X6 the most. But talking about number one car to pick, it would be that Range Rover Vogue. Funny enough, I don’t like the Range Rover Sports or Evogue or Landrover. The only car I like in the Range Rover group is that Vogue, the new one. I don’t like the model before it. I don’t like Mercedes-Benz. I will never buy one. I just don’t like them.
MOWI:Why don’t you like Mercedes-Benz?
A: I don’t like the car. It’s got nothing to do with its performance. It’s just the look. If you give me a chance to pick between Mercedes-Benz and BMW, I’ll still pick a BMW.
MOWI: Could you recall your worst driving experience ever?
Chiko: I used to drive a Toyota Supra. It had a 3-litr engine. It was in the UK. And it’s a quick car, very fast, powerful engine. And there is a road called the North Circular Road in London. It’s a really long road. As I was on that road in the night, there was this guy in a Porsche 911, driving quite fast. We were sort of racing. And those guys were driving very erratically.
So eventually, I just took off. I really put my foot down, and I could see this headlight coming. And I put my foot down even more, because I thought it was those guys. At a point, I was doing about 140 miles an hour, not kilometre. And that was very fast. This car just kept coming until it was side by side with me. And I turned and saw the person inside the car, police. Ahhh.
So I said to myself, ‘Chiko, you are finished’.
They pulled me over. I stopped. And they parked, partially blocking me so that I couldn’t take off again. They didn’t even come down from the car. They asked me to wind down and I did. And they said, ‘You are in a hurry young man?’
I was genuinely shocked and said: ‘So it’s you guys; honestly I did not know it was the police, I thought it was some guys in a Porsche, as they were driving, and I didn’t know who they were and I was a bit scared. Honestly, if I knew it was you guys, I would never have driven that fast. I’m not crazy. I’m not drunk or anything.’
So the driver, who was on this side started laughing. And he just said, ‘It’s ok guy, take it easy, alright? Take it easy. Off you go.”
And they let me go. So I suspect that they must have seen those other guys and asked who they were after or something. They just believed my story, and they let me go, because they could have done me in.
MOWI: As a radio personality, who is always on air, how do you relax?
Chiko: I call my Saturdays, lazy Saturday. I do try a lot not to go out, stay home. And then I get this hotel on the Island, which offers me a complimentary stay on weekends. And I go out there over the weekend, do some swimming, and watch my movies. That is what I do to unwind a bit.
[tabs type=”horizontal”][tabs_head][tab_title][/tab_title][/tabs_head][tab]”I don’t like the Range Rover Sports or Evogue or Landrover. The only car I like in the Range Rover group is that Vogue, the new one. I don’t like the model before it. I don’t like Mercedes-Benz. I will never buy one. I just don’t like them…” – Classic FM Programme Director, Aligwekwe[/tab][/tabs]