Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Meet Uganda’s Kyembe The Rally Driver In South Africa

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By Rob Styles

Dan Kyembe Mugalu is a Ugandan born now who does his trade from South Africa as a business man and rally driver the sport he loves so much and grew up knowing.

He goes by “Dusty” as his nickname and known by many of his fans. Dan joined Motorsport in 1995 as he was staying with one of Uganda’s daredevil veteran rally driver and rider Mr Wycliffe Bukenya who also retired from active motorsport in 2016.

Dan started as a rider and kept on exchanging from motorbikes to cockpits and the very first rally car he sat in was the Nissan PA10 of late Fred Kawuki as he asserts, and this was the East African rally from Uganda to Kigali being his first international event after a few sprints at home.

Dan standing beside the PA10 as a navigator

Being young and ambitious Dan got many friends and among them he landed on now the two-time Ugandan champion Ponsiano Lwakataka and it was Dan who introduced champion Ponsiano to the sport starting as a rider also as later they formed a motorsports club called Southern Motor Club [SMC].

Dan never sat, he kept on switching cars as a navigator calling notes for Ben Koyesiga, Peter Nyanzi, Issa Numba, Jamil Ssenyonjo, Ronald ssebuguzi, Ponsiano lwakataka among others.

Dan turned a professional rider in 2004 in Japan and once was on the team for a while before he returned home [to Uganda].

Later Dan relocated to South Africa in 2010, then in 2013 participated in the national motocross championship of South Africa under veteran category and enduro events. Later in 2014 saw him joining South African regional motorsport under WOMZA in a subaru N12B with a full sponsorship package from Subaru south Africa being navigated by James Thompson and a sponsorship of the Subaru was secured by Bruce a father to Thompson. before he took a break in 2017.

Dan and Thompson beside the subaru N12B Photo by: Eve and Black

He came back in 2018 – 19 seasons in the short boot Subaru N14 being navigated by another co-driver called William Morgan.

Dan negotiates a bend in the Subaru N14

Currently Dan switched the car from N14 to the short ratio Toyota Run x which he will be using the whole of season 2020 and confirms of being number 1 entrant of the 6th ARC round which will be in Uganda though expecting to do Rwandan round too with another co-driver Pirella who once navigated Ismael Shermohamed.

_Dan’s new Toyota Run x for 2020 season_

Dan promised to do more events in Uganda to widen his fan base at home as he shared his moments with fly-sideways and as a reason to why he will be doing pearl of Africa Uganda rally 2020 though on South African licence and team sponsors have confirmed his participation. Dan in his final words thanked his fellow South African Rally driver Cobus Groenold who inspired and guided him through out his Rallying career in South Africa and he’s really grateful.

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