By Makomborero Mutimukulu
The Zimbabwean team to this week’s Arnold Classic Africa competition in South Africa has chosen Soul Jah Love’s hit “Pamamonya Ipapo” as their theme track.
The choice could not have been any better for this is a track that has been playing in the headphones of most of the athletes who make up the 23-man squad.
Jah Love’s track is also an underdog’s theme song, the narrative of an individual who is determined to succeed despite the odds being heavily stuck against them.
Bodybuilders from Zimbabwe have to work twice as much for half as much as supplements are beyond the reach of many of them.
Hard work has been put in over the past few months but the results of those bench presses and squats cannot be measured by how ripped one looks.
The results will be measured when those unforgiving judges give their verdict this week. At the competition, hosted by legendary bodybuilder and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger in Sandton, muscle and fitness take a whole new meaning.
For Africa, this is the Mecca of bodybuilding.
Zimbabwe made a commendable debut last year with several athletes getting placements and improvement is what team manager Givemore Marume is preaching on.
“Last year was good for us and naturally we expect to get better results this year,” said Marume. Reigning Mr Zimbabwe is the star attraction in a team that also features the fast improving Garikai Mujuru, Eliah Samaringa and Demi Ferreira.
Regina Jonga is conspicuous by her absence from the squad amid talk that her South African sponsors want her to compete under the Rainbow Nation’s ticket.
Doors opened for Jonga after she placed sixth during last year’s event despite lacking even the most basic of supplements.
Corporates stampeded to sponsor her and the serial Miss Zimbabwe champion has made some tremendous improvements over the past year as she benefits from working out in a proper gym and having all the supplements she needs.
In the absence of Jonga, the country’s hopes will be carried by Precious Mujuru, who placed fourth last year, and Helen Costa. The Sunday Mail