The three-time reigning champion of the Mr Ugly Zimbabwe contest faces stiff competition from a record number of challengers.
William Masvinu is eager to hold onto his title because being the reigning champ makes him popular with the ladies.
Masvinu has held the tile since 2012.
Pageant organizer David Machowa said a record number of 36 hopefuls will compete for entry into the Nov. 20 finale. That’s up from only 5 competitors in the 1st annual Mr. Ugly contest in 2011.
He said contestants score the highest points on facial features. “We are looking for natural ugliness,” Machowa said.
“People have always seen ugliness is something to be ashamed of,” said Machowa. “Looks are God given. We should all be proud of who we are.”
The winner takes home $1,000 and the undisputed champion’s crown. The cash prize is a sign of the contest’s growing popularity.
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Masvinu won $100 and a voucher for a free overnight stay in a hotel in 2012.
He traded in the voucher for food.
Masvinu had hoped his triple wins would bring in advertising offers, but so far the offers have not materialized. He still works hauling groceries for $10 a day, but that could change as word of Zimbabwe’s Mr. Ugly competition spreads.
The contest is sponsored by the owners of Harare nightclubs, which plans to expand the contest into other countries in southern Africa.
So far there are no plans for a female version of the ‘Ugly’ competition.