• One Kaizer Chiefs fan won a Toyota Corolla - the Kentucky Rounder - customised in the soccer team's colours.
• The winning car was sponsored by Vodacom.
• Toyota South Africa adds to the prize by sponsoring two services and a new set of tyres.
• For more motoring stories, go to Wheels24
'Win a car' competitions are one of the biggest competitions in South Africa, with thousands of entrants taking a chance at victory. In 2021, the most prominent of these competitions was the Sisonke Siya Winna car giveaway competition. The reward: one of two legendary cars in South Africa's car culture, one of which is a Toyota Twincam GLI Sprinter - better known as the Kentucky Rounder.
To celebrate South Africa's affirmation and love for soccer, Vodacom gave two lucky soccer fans a car each in a unique competition. The restoration and customisation of this Twincam GLI Sprinter was the prize for a Kaizer Chiefs fan.
Legendary South African actor Darlington Michaels summarised the Sprinter as such: "We loved the Toyota because it was the most affordable car for us. The petrol consumption was great, en ons het nie baie geld nie so that worked for us (we don't have a lot of money).
"This Toyota became known as the Kentucky Rounder because it was the car to take your girl out with. And the best place you could take your girl was to the KFC. It was a beautiful car - the kind of car you wanted to show to your future mother-in-law so she could see you had class, and that jy's nie net enige ding nie. (you're not just anyone)"
More than just winning the car
On 10 June 2021, Oteng Mekgwe joined Vodacom and Kaizer Chiefs at a special event in Johannesburg. At first, Mekgwe was under the impression that he would only view the Toyota covered in special Kaizer Chiefs livery. The soon-to-be winner received the necessary information about the car and what went into the production and customisation process.
After a round-up of the Kentucky Rounder, Abey Mokgwatsane, Vodacom brand managing executive, informed Mekgwe that he was indeed the winner of this one-off car.
An elated Mekgwe said that he couldn't believe his luck to have won this special vehicle: "To be honest, I was shocked and very happy at the same time. I didn't know how to react because I didn't think that I'd win a competition of this magnitude, but I won it at the end of the day. My family and friends were very happy and proud. They were rejoicing when I arrived with the new Kentucky rounder at home. And that made me very proud and happy."
As part of his prize, Toyota South Africa offers Mekgwe two Toyota Genuine Services on his Kentucky Rounder, as well as a set of brand-new tyres. Mekgwe adds: "It made me very happy because their assistance will help me keep the car fresh and roadworthy for a long time. I appreciate Toyota Motors South Africa for their very kind gesture."
More than 1.1 million competition entries were received.
Rich South African history
The Kentucky Rounder is not the first Corolla to have struck favour with South Africans. In fact, the Corolla's love story with locals began around 1974 when the first model went on sale. However, the Corolla's inception started a decade earlier when the Japanese automaker saw a gap in the market for an affordable, family-orientated sedan. The moment local sales commenced, the Corolla immediately shot to stardom and established itself as the best-selling vehicle in the country.
As the years went on, South Africa received every Corolla model since the third generation in 1974. And with each passing year, the car grew in popularity as it continued to offer affordable mobility without compromise.
The Kentucky Rounder, the sixth generation Corolla, went on sale locally in the late-1980s and, without fail, became even more popular than anticipated. So successful was the car that it was voted the 1989 South African Car of the Year, striking even more favour with local buyers.
Glenn Crompton, Toyota South Africa vice president of marketing, credits the Corolla's success to not moving away from tradition: "One of many reasons South Africans have always loved Corolla is because it has continually delivered on being an affordable, reliable, family car over the past 40+ years."
The Toyota Corolla is sold in 150 countries - including South Africa - and accounts for around 20% of Toyota's global sales. More than 45 million Corollas have been sold since 1966, with one in five Toyotas sold being a Corolla.