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Saturday, November 28, 2020

Isolation trivia; The rise and rise of Rasta Rob

The Millenials won’t understand the name Robert Ogwal until you mention “Rasta Rob”.

Rasta Rob is a Ugandan celebrity who enjoyed a socialite lifestyle in yesteryears. He came to limelight in the mid-90s during his youthful days as a DJ in Angenior currently club Govnor and radio presenter on CBS FM.

Rasta Rob picked interest in rallying after watching WRC series on UTV channel currently UBC, and some of the drivers inspired him Wolter Rohir, Makku Allen, Juha Kankunnen as he states.

He became more passionate about the sport, which forced him to look out for Ugandan speed merchants to cheer them on as he gets to know more about rallying. Among the locals he loved to watch were Jimmy Dean, Sam Ssali and Karim Hirji.

He would go to Lugogo or Sherato hotel whenever there was a rally, and time came when he could not stood it anymore to watch.

He decided to buy his first rally car and this was a Toyota Levin supercharger from Moses Lumala which he nicknamed baby kiboko translated [little whip]. “It was a fast, reliable, solid and cheap car by then”, said Rasta Rob.

In 1997 Robert made his debut on the Ugandan rally scene with Nippon Rally Team led by Lumala Moses by then. “Since I was a celebrity I enjoyed the sport because I had sponsors like Nippon, Total Uganda, Coca-Cola, Charlie Lubega and Pepsi which signed me later, among others. Lumala too sponsored me yet he was my trainer.

“I went to sportsman Rally team later which had Emma Katto, Hajji Hamidu Gombe and Charlie Lubega, Rob asserts.

Rasta Rob did rallying for only three years 1997, 98 and 99. Some of his best moments is when he won Lunko Maya sprint, Nabugabo Sand beach sprint, yet outside Uganda he won Bukoba and Mwanza sprints in Tanzania.

The worst moments in his career is that he never finished Pearl of Africa Uganda rally. He last drove a Mitsubishi Mirage and went Overseas for studies. On his return Rasta came back with a subaru impreza N4 though wasn’t competitive and used to run sprints only.

He sat with Zayed Tibesigwa for one year, later Sulah Mugera came in and called notes for two years. And in the Subaru he sat with another celebrity called Toplex Makanga.


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