Beauty and the Beast
“Ugliness is something you can’t run away from. I never chose to be ugly and that alone makes me special in a different way and I am going to use this talent to the end. Had my parents been alive I would have thanked them in a special way for this gift of life,” says a wistful William Masvinu, the Mr Ugly Harare 2012.
The muscular, tall and dark 39-year-old porter says it is his parents who moulded him into the celebrity that he is today in Zimbabwe, and he wishes they were around so that he could show them his appreciation.
“It’s just unfortunate that I did not know my father from birth but my mother is now late. I don’t know what I could have done for them, a mere villager like me without any education. I am now walking in the same corridors of fame just like Oliver Mtukudzi (musician) and Mai Chisamba (talk show producer and host),” he says.
Masvinu was last year crowned Mr Ugly Harare, and walked away with a small prize in the competition that is yet to get serious corporate backing. The man who he beat into second place, Freddy Mwando, reportedly shed tears when he failed in his bid to be named Harare’s ugliest man.
The all-female judges panel – who knows with what criteria – voted Masvinu the ugliest of the contestants at the second ever Mr Ugly Harare pageant.
Masvinu’s wife, Alice Chabhanga, enthusiastically cheered her dear beloved on and afterwards stated that for her, he was the most handsome man in the world. For her, beauty should not be skin deep.
She says, with some mischief, “I adore my husband very much and he is a caring husband… It was those looks that won me to him, and with his looks I am assured that he is all mine only.”
Masvinu is happy with his achievements, but is not so happy about the lack of corporate backing.
“I am a celebrity like Oliver Mtukudzi and Alick Macheso (musician) and it’s not fair that the corporate sector is not taking us seriously.
“However in beerhalls and at music shows in my home area I am no longer paying any entrance fee. I even enjoy free drinks many a time,” says Mr Ugly Harare 2012.
So how did he end up marrying such a beautiful woman?
“It was never a problem; I had no fears in approaching any lady who would have appealed to me.”
His wife, Alice, attests to her husband’s persistence. She says he courted her relentlessly and with time she was beguiled by his intimidating demeanour.
The Mr Ugly contests started in the border town of Beitbridge in 2010. However, there is no synchronisation of the events and organisers of the various contests in different areas are in heated debate on who owns the franchise. Some people want to make it a national pageant, but much will hinge on how well they organise themselves and attract corporate backing.