HARARE – The winner of this year’s edition of Mr Ugly, set to take place at Mtangaz Hide Out in Ruwa, will walk away with a bull, the pageant founder has said.
Pageant founder and organiser David “Apama Styles” Machowa is convinced that the prize will make the contest even more competitive.
“Our anchor sponsor has pledged a beast for the winner and am very sure the competition will be tight,” said Apama Styles, an award-winning dancer who is popular for his comical dance styles.
When the Mr Ugly pageant was last held two years ago, at the City Sports Bar in the capital, Harare, the winner Mison Sere pocketed $500 after being controversially adjudged to be uglier than previous winner William Masvinu.
According to Machowa, 15 contestants have so far pledged their interest to wrestle the crown from Sere who hails from the Harare suburb of Mabvuku.
“The interest has been overwhelming and we are confident that this year’s edition will be the best to date.
“Our last edition was a success and we also received overwhelming coverage globally.
“Despite the economic challenges that saw us failing the contest last year, we are determined to host an event to remember this year,” he told the Daily News.
The 2015 Mr Ugly pageant will be best remembered for almost degenerating into a brawl after Masvinu refused to concede defeat.
He argued that Sere’s ugliness was not natural since it was based on missing teeth.
He accused the pageant’s adjudicators — Sharlene Nyakurai, Abigirl Mataranyika and Denzel Masawi — of bias.
“That was not fair. How could he (Sere) win when he was number four the previous year? What has changed all of a sudden for him to win this time around?
“You made him the winner simply because of missing teeth. But does that define ugliness? Do you want me to remove some of my teeth to reclaim my position?” Masvinu said then.
The judges, however, stood their ground.
“We were looking at the appearance, confidence, body structure and the zeal in contestants.
“All the contestants — top three — were ugly but Masvinu was overconfident and that complacency on his part failed him. He lacked the zeal,” said Masawi, who was the head judge.
But Sere’s failure to land any corporate endorsements over the past two years probably lends credence to Masvinu’s argument that the 2015 Mr Ugly winner “is not ugly enough.”
Unlike Masvinu who landed some corporate endorsements, Sere has been totally ignored by companies.
Sere’s manager Tawanda Nyikadzanzwa told the Daily News that sponsors were not warming up to his charge.
“Apart from the winning prize of $500, we were hoping to attract corporate endorsements but nothing of that sort came our way.
“Mr Ugly Zimbabwe is wallowing in abject poverty. He is struggling to put food on the table, and he can’t even afford a mobile phone,” said Nyikadzanzwa.