Things turn ugly in Zimbabwe

Uproar as Zimbabwe's Mister Ugly winner deemed 'too handsome'


Crowd favourite claims the man who beat him to the title only won because he has missing teeth and is not ‘naturally ugly’


Judges have crowned a new winner of Zimbabwe’s 4th annual Mister Ugly contest, upsetting supporters of the crowd favourite and prompting violence at the event.

Judges on Saturday chose 42-year-old Mison Sere, citing his numerous missing front teeth and a wide range of grotesque facial expressions, over William Masvinu, who had held the title since 2012.

Masvinu and his supporters mobbed the judges upon hearing their decision, claiming that Sere was “too handsome” to win and his ugliness wasn’t natural since it was based on missing teeth.
“I am naturally ugly. He is not. He is ugly only when he opens his mouth,” maintained Masvinu, gesturing at his rival.

“Do we have to lose our teeth to win? This is cheating,” shouted another contestant, Patrick Mupereki.

While no one was injured, there was a great deal of pushing and shoving as the results were announced and insults were hurled at the judges.

Beauty pageants are popular in this southern African country and even though they are typically for women, scandal is not unusual. Earlier this year, Miss Zimbabwe winner Emily Kachote faced a backlash on social media, with Zimbabweans calling her ugly and undeserving of the crown.

She was later forced to step down when just two weeks into her reign, images surfaced of her posing nude — which incidentally also brought down her predecessor.

Sere dismissed the critics as just “sore losers” as he pocketed the $500 in winnings.

“They should just accept that I am uglier than them,” he said. “I hope to get a TV contract. I already moved around schools performing and showcasing my ugliness so this is a chance to make it on TV.”

The complaints of Masvinu and the other contestants may have a degree of validity. Organizers had previously announced that disabilities or enhancements would not be accepted in the competition which should focus on “natural ugliness.”

Pageant organiser David Machowa originally said that he began the contest to remove the stigma of ugliness. “Looks are God given. We should all be proud of who we are.”

The pageant involved three rounds of modelling, with individual and group struts down a catwalk of a Harare nightclub.

“Sere made tremendous effort to enhance his ugliness by pulling facial stunts,” said judge Abigail Mataranyika, a university student. “Masvinu thought he is so ugly that he didn’t need to try hard. That cost him the crown.”

This year’s competition attracted a record number of 36 entries, compared to just five in 2012 when Masvinu began his winning streak. The competition was suspended in 2014 due to a lack of sponsorship, but this year the owners of a string of Harare nightclubs donated $1,000.

 
 
Look at the photos and videos of the contest. Who do you think should have won?

Name some of the ugliest people who are in the public eye. What makes them ugly?

Read about an ugly animal contest:
 


Read about a very ugly break up and do the vocabulary exercise (currently zero comments).

Comments

José said…
Hi Graham,

I didn’t know there was a contest of ugliness in Zimbabwe. It’s curious that people strut and pageant to win the crown of Mister Ugly. I see that they mob, prompt violence and hurl to other people. We must think participating because we can pocket $500, but is necessary to be very ugly, common ugliness doesn’t value. Be careful bloggers, I speak for myself only.

I couldn’t vote anyone because we have to respect the physical aspect. If the contest was about rude people I would vote plenty of people (public and private).

I’m surprise because there is an ugly animal contest too, but without pocking money. In my opinion, the blobfish is the world’s ugliest animal. The second is the pubic louse. The third is the Titicaca frog. The fourth is British bat and so on.

See you.

Graham said…
Hi José,

They take the "ugly contest" seriously in Zimbabwe, don't they?

I agree that ugliness is much more common on the inside. People should work on changing their behaviour before their physical appearance. If someone is kind and thoughtful, they can never be ugly.



... It’s curious that people strut and take part in pageants to win the crown of Mister Ugly. I see that they mob, prompt violence and hurl things at other people. We must think about participating because we can pocket $500, but it is necessary to be very ugly, common ugliness isn't worth anything. Be careful bloggers, I speak for myself only.

I couldn’t vote for anyone because we have to respect people's physical appearance. If the contest was about rude people I would vote for plenty of people (public and private).

I’m surprised because there is an ugly animal contest too, but without pocking money. In my opinion, the blobfish is the world’s ugliest animal. The second is the pubic louse. The third is the Titicaca frog. The fourth is British bat and so on.


I think there are some cute animals on the list though I have to admit that the blobfish is a worthy winner.