By Bongani Ndlovu
It is probably only in Zimbabwe where being very ugly gets you banned from a pageant that seeks to find the most hideous looking man in the land.
This is the story of William Masvinu, a perennial Mr Ugly contestant winner who was last year banned from entering the ugly pageant ever again in order to give others a chance after he won the 2017 edition for the third time since the inception of the pageant in 2009.
Masvinu scored 98 points, four ahead of Fanuel Musekiwa who came second while the man who pipped him in 2015, Mison Sere, could only land third place after scoring 91 points.
After winning Masvinu was reported to have said he lost to Sere in 2015 because of complacency and in 2017 he came prepared.
How prepared can one be to win such a pageant? Is there a secret boot camp that teaches one to be ugly?
It is interesting to note that Sere came third last year while Masvinu came first meaning that Masvinu had become uglier than Sere. This is the stuff of legends.
That story made international news with many people bewildered that there was such a contest in the world that searches for the ugliest man in the country.
It is only in Zimbabwe where such a weird contest was held and that it generated laughs and condemnation in the same vein during its inception.
Obviously those who laughed at the pageant were amused that a group of men would put their hands up and want to be adjudged to be the ugliest person in Zimbabwe while others said the contest brought ridicule to the country.
It’s only in Zimbabwe that someone is proud to go around with the tag that they are the ugliest looking person in the land.
So for Masvinu who has won the title for the umpteenth time, it came as a surprise when he was banned from contesting.
In football terms it’s like Barcelona star player Lionel Messi being banned from winning the Ballon d’Or because he has won it for a record five times.
With that analogy Masvinu is the Messi of ugliness in Zimbabwe and no one can match that but he has been banned.
Imagine Miss Zimbabwe or Miss Tourism saying a contestant isn’t allowed to enter the competition because she is too beautiful.
The mistake made by organisers of Mr Ugly is that they did not have a clause in the contract that if one enters the competition and wins a given number of times then the person is banned from contesting. The Chronicle