Mazda Change Your View Trip 2: Wild in the Eastern Cape

Posted by Anita Froneman on 13 December 2021

In the second of three films in the Mazda Change Your View series, Getaway and Mazda tour the Eastern Cape with artist Buntu Fihla in the latest BT-50 4×4 doublecab. The goal? Hunt down the unusual and the curious – and make some great art. Here’s what they found.

Stories are the mainstay of Gqeberha-based artist, photographer and social commentator Buntu Fihla’s life. They inform his work and give him the inspiration to take to the streets and create art. And for Buntu, aka @bief37, stories and inspiration are what the Eastern Cape is all about.

‘Growing up in the Eastern Cape, the area’s rich history and culture really inspired my love of art and photography.’

Only right then that Buntu’s art journey in the latest BT-50 included the hidden backroads of that most intriguing, curious province.

The team headed first to the coast, down the N2 and R72 out of Gqeberha. This time of year the pods of bottlenose dolphins are close to shore and visible in huge numbers. It was also an opportunity to test the highway credentials of the big doublecab, sporting Mazda’s muscular 140kW 3-litre diesel mill. That engine proved excellent at effortless cruising, the 450Nm of torque a real boon in overtaking the inevitable slow truck traffic on the less used R72. Sophisticated, quiet, efficient too.

Peddie was next, inland, away from the dolphins and wild shore, to reacquaint Buntu with the Fingo Milkwood, an ancient tree, important to the Xhosa Mfengu clan because it was the place where they came together to decide a history that would have major consequences years later. Most years he returns to photograph the tree, documenting its evolution, just as his clan has evolved since the fateful meeting.

December is storm time in the Eastern Cape and on the trip deep into the Amathole Mountains, the heavens opened. The team, headed for the hilltop kingdom of Hogsback, was grateful for the 4×4 aspect of the BT-50 – roads turned to rivers, sluicing rain the order of the day. Happily, the Mazda’s 4×4 drive system is operational from the cab, a simple process of selecting the desired mode. In the storms on the backroads, High Range 4×4 was the ideal fit. The skies cleared and Hogsback offered up extraordinary views, waterfalls in full spate and a tight weave of unexplored forest roads. The big Mazda’s Hill Launch Assist and Hill Descent Control were vital in the mud as it worked its way down the mountainside. Huge fun.

Almost as unknown as the Amathole’s backroads is a work of architectural magnificence hiding in the hills outside Dimbaza. The Ntaba KaNdoda National Monument celebrates the 18th Century Khoi chief Ndoda, a legend in the region. Designed in 1981, the extraordinary Brutalist memorial includes an amphitheatre and event venue. Stand in the middle and the acoustics are crazy. Lots of fun.

Finally, Phakamisa welcomed the team and Buntu’s art found a home on colleague and fellow creator Yanga Mgabadeli’s home turf. Buntu’s tag is famous and instantly identifiable throughout the Eastern Cape for its complex colour associations. He’s much-loved in his hometown and the crew arrived to safely celebrate, tell stories and reconnect.

The charge home after a packed itinerary was a chance to sit back and enjoy Mazda’s next-level luxury. It’s the roomiest doublecab on the market, carefully designed for added elbow and legroom, and stylish too. And the Infotainment System, with its 9-inch display screen, is a total joy, easy to use, complete with Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ for simple connectivity.

Back home finally and the size and scale of the trip became obvious.

‘Unbelievable time,’ said Buntu, ‘what we’ve seen and done, it’s extraordinary. ‘But the exploring doesn’t end here. We owe it to ourselves to keep feeding that curiosity.’

Cheers to that brother, see you in the rough stuff.

Watch the film:


Win with Mazda, Getaway and Legacy Hotels and Resorts

Follow the Mazda Change Your View series and stand a chance to win one of two Legacy Hotel and Resorts weekend getaways for four.

Indicate one of the destinations of the three Mazda Change Your View trips and stand a chance to win one of two Legacy Hotel and Resorts weekends away for four.

How to enter, below

List one of the three destinations in the Mazda Change Your View series.

Provide your name, address and contact details.

Indicate which of the two prizes you would prefer.

The Prizes

A weekend at Bakubung Bush Lodge in the Pilanesberg.

A weekend at the Portswood Hotel in the Waterfront, Cape Town.

WIN: One of two Legacy Hotel and Resorts weekends away for four

Terms and Conditions:

  • The prizes include accommodation on the basis stated, and the stated extras for four people.
  • The use of a Mazda for the weekend.
  • It does not include airfares or other travel expenses.

The competition closes on 23 December 2021.






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