True love is made of this

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Remember the joy of buying your own set of wheels and how soon that bubble burst when you discovered the junk that lay beneath the shiny body? Take heart, even celebrities have been deceived, thinking their first cars would be the solution to all their problems when the reality was far from the truth.

Mdu Masilela remembers his first car with a chuckle.

"It was a powder-blue Mazda dombolo 323 and though it made me the envy of the town, within a week it turned the tables on me and made me the laughing stock when it packed up wherever and whenever," he recalls.

"I had bought the jalopy for less than R5000 and I had worked myself to the bone trying to raise money for the car, only to find that I had bought a heap of junk that just added to my problems."

Masilela says the car taught him some important lessons, including who his true friends were. True friends stuck by him as he tried for the umpteenth act of exorcism to get it running again.

"In the end, I had to give up on the antique novelty and buy myself a new, modern car, a Citi golf, and all my problems were water under the bridge. But my first car will always have a special place in my heart."

Masilela's star was definitely stuck because if it was anything like Kelly Khumalo's, his first car would have been a Toyota MR2.

And so cool does Khumalo look in her snazzy first car that she has chosen to go without the Big Red L for learner.

"Can you imagine that L in a sports car? Can you imagine the abuse at the hands of other jealous drivers?" she asks.

Asked if she had considered a Lamborghini given her relationship with boyfriend Casper Mkwaiwa: "No. I wanted this car and I love this car. I know they all say that your first car will always be like your first love regardless of its condition, but this car deserves to be a legend," she says.

To prove that women choose to wait for finer things, S'thandiwe Kgoroge's first car was a red VW Polo.

"I used to think it made me the hottest chick in Gauteng," she recalls. "I suppose any car would have touched me the same way.

"I was the last in my circle of friends to buy a car, so the fact that it was no drama queen made me fall in love with it even more."

The year was 1998 and in 2000 Kgoroge traded it in for a more elegant car after deciding a Jaguar was more her style.

"But I still look at Polo drivers and wonder if their cars give them as much joy."

The one car that raises music honcho, Tshepo Nzimande's heartbeat is a 1979 Ford Escort. He inherited the car from his brother and spent his high school savings to get it off the bricks it had been resting on.

"And though the car was worth R10 in value, I still had the nerve to take my girlfriend to Durban so she could see the ocean. It didn't even make it beyond Harrismith. Petrol attendants took one look at the engine and asked me to go back home so I made a u-turn," he remembers.

"Though the car was a nuisance, I never thought the solution was to get rid of her, but someone decided to steal it in 1989 and that was the last time I ever saw it."