It’s not often that buying your first car can simultaneously change your social life, help you soar to new international horizons and even benefit a member of the family who has been a central part of your life.

For Bongiwe Mokoena, however, all the above and more is true. It is all due to the Datsun GO she bought late in 2015. At the time, her social life was fairly constrained and centred on the local car wash where her friends gathered at weekends. Having to use a taxi to get to the site was not only irksome, but also prompted her to consider a new way of kick-starting her life.

Then the Datsun GO came into the picture: Her vistas began to expand, she sampled life free of taxis and took the opportunity to enter a competition in which she set out just how her new car had made life easier and more exciting.

Things really took off when it was announced that she had been one of the GO aficionados whose inspirational essay on what her trendy wheels meant to her was selected as one of the winners in an international competition to mark the sale of 100 000 Datsun GOs.

“It opened up a whole new world for me,” Ms Mokoena says. “I was brought up by my aunt and was able to say ‘thank you’ to her by taking her with me to India. She shared my first international flight and all my excitement.”

“My Datsun GO started taking me to the car wash, so I could hang out with my friends; then it took me to work; and then on to Asia and into India. It has taken me places no other car ever has. It has helped open my eyes to sights that I would never have seen and helped me meet people I never would have met,” she enthuses when describing the highlights of her trip, which included a visit to Delhi Auto Expo 2016 - the landmark car show in India where she not only enjoyed an array of impressive, innovative vehicles, but also lunched with Global Head of Datsun Vincent Cobee and the company’s Executive Design Director, Koji Nagano.

What is more remarkable, Ms Mokoena continues, is that the entire adventure unfolded within a few short months of her buying the vehicle, making the GO not only the centre of her world, but a vehicle that opened up her personal universe and kindled ambitions to see more of the globe whenever she can.

The choice of the Datsun GO was natural, says the bubbly 22-year-old. It was her first car and so had to be a brand new vehicle. Finding that the GO fitted her budget was the first plus. The second was the styling, which was backed by Datsun’s reputation for being a frugal visitor to petrol pumps and its legendary reliability.

Being one of the first 100 000 owners worldwide of the GO has meant that Ms Mokoena can now preen herself with the rest of the car owners at her favourite social spot. She also has a car to wash and knows that the days of arriving late for the regular gig are firmly behind her. No longer does she have to be at the mercy of a slow, crowded taxi when it comes to her social life.

Better still, the days of taking several taxis to traverse Johannesburg are gone forever. After all, who really cares if the streets are clogged if you are travelling in your brand new car, have the air conditioner set at a temperature that suits you and the music you want creating the right mood.

“I’m having so much fun driving my new car,” she says. “My Datsun and I are on top of the world!”

“We are delighted that the Datsun GO has more than met our customers’ expectations,” says Des Fenner, General Manager at Datsun South Africa. “Reaching the 100 000 mark was a proud moment. It was also a privilege to read the competition entries and see just how the GO has changed lifestyles and brought new dimensions to peoples’ lives.

“During the first 12 months of the GO’s introduction to South Africa, we notched up the distinction of having it lead local sales of vehicles in the highly competitive ‘A’ segment of the market. It is buyers like Bongiwe who have made the car a South African favourite.

“Our first new offering in South Africa has therefore not just been accepted - it has been embraced by consumers looking for value, reliability and fun. Datsun is now well and truly part of South Africa’s motoring scene. We look forward to the future with confidence.”



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Datsun originated in Japan as DAT-GO (the DAT-car) almost a century ago in 1914. The word DAT means ‘lightning-fast’ in Japanese but is also a reference to the three financiers who supported the business at the time – namely Mssrs. Den, Aoyama and Takeuchi – an acronym of the first letter of each name. Using the same logic, it was promoted as Durable, Attractive and Trustworthy, or DAT for short.

In 1933, Nissan’s founding father Yoshisuke Aikawa took over the business with a vision of “mobility for all”. The introduction of a light-weight, economical yet resilient car to meet the aspirations of young Japanese people in the early 1930s was named the ‘son of DAT’ – Datson - which later changed to Datsun. Local engineering and mass-production made the founder’s dream a reality.


Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. announced the return of the Datsun brand, Nissan's third global brand, alongside Nissan and Infiniti, in March 2012. Datsun will provide a sustainable motoring experience to optimistic up-and-coming customers in high-growth markets. Datsun represents 80 years of accumulated Japanese car-making expertise and is an important part of Nissan's DNA. Datsun already started sales in India and Indonesia, while sales in Russia and South Africa will commence later in 2014.


Nissan South Africa is the operational hub for Regional Business Unit South, serving Nissan’s key South Africa market and 42 other countries in Sub Saharan Africa, including Angola, Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria. In South Africa, the company offers a range of 28 vehicles under the Nissan and Infiniti brands, including the popular locally-produced Nissan light commercial vehicles - the NP200 half ton pickup and NP300 one-ton Hardbody – produced at the company’s Rosslyn plant, north west of Pretoria. In 2013, the company made history with the introduction of South Africa’s first electric vehicle, Nissan’s flagship Nissan LEAF. This will be followed in 2014 by the reintroduction of the iconic Datsun brand, as well as the launch of the new Qashqai crossover and new X-Trail sports utility vehicle. Nissan South Africa is one of the top five automotive companies in South Africa. For more information visit our website at 


Sue-Ellen Swazi


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