The number of men who have signed up to battle it out in Zimbabwe’s Mr Ugly pageant finals has swollen to 36, forcing the organisers to hold three different semi-finals in a bid to whittle down the number to 12 finalists, says Newsday.
The competition, which will be held between November 13 and 15, is aimed at crowning the country’s most aesthetically-challenged man. The Mr Ugly pageant was set up in 2011 and it has been held in the capital three times since.
2015 semi-finals will be held at three different venues ahead of the much anticipated finals slated for November 20 in Harare.
The contest was initially scheduled for October 24, but it was postponed to avoid clashing with Busy Signal’s Zimbabwean visit.
“We were left with no choice but to conduct semi-finals so that we can have a small number for the finals,” the paper quoted David Machowa, the contest organiser, as saying.
Machowa said that his team has received funding from a local company after failing to stage the competition in 2014 due to financial holdups.
2011’s winner was Mr Brian Mateyazondo who won $50 (Ksh5, 100) as prize money.
In 2012 there were just 13 participants. Mr William Masvinu, a market porter whose face has now become a brand, won the competition. He walked away with $100 (Ksh10, 200) prize money.
He has appeared in an advert and a local drama since his infamous triumph. However, he’s also complained that he has not made as much money from his fame as he had hoped.
Mr Masvinu, 41, says his looks are a gift from God.
There have been rival Mr Ugly contests, including one held in Beitbridge in southern Zimbabwe, sparking debate over who developed the concept first.