Zimbabwe's Mr Ugly: My face is special

2012-06-19 22:19

Harare - The latest winner of Zimbabwe's Mr Ugly pageant has ambitions of fame and fortune. But, so far, he remains a simple market porter.

William Masvinu, 38, who won the second edition of the pageant last month, makes his living carrying loads for shoppers in a market in the impoverished western Harare township of Mbare. The victory has made him a local celebrity, but the modelling offers he thought he'd be getting aren't yet pouring in.

"I was expecting to do some adverts and some modelling if I was asked. But I'm still poor, still carrying loads of cabbages onto buses," he said.

"I am ready to show the world my gift," he said. "Being ugly is not a curse. It's a gift God gave me and I'm proud of it. My face makes me special and I am not making any excuses about it."

Organizers say they started the pageant as a novel way to entertain audiences. Zimbabwe already has a host of conventional beauty contests.

Masvinu beat four other ugly men to land the title, $100 in cash and a night at a hotel. Masvinu said he cashed in the hotel voucher to buy food.

"It didn't make sense to sleep in a nice hotel on an empty stomach," he said.

Masvinu said he has long lived with being shunned, even by his own family.

Doors shut

"My mother died when I was three and no one wanted to take care of me or send me to school because of my looks," he said.

Before he reached his teens, he was herding cattle in southern Zimbabwe. Masvinu said when he went out hunting for a regular job, it wasn't easy.

"Whenever employers open the door and see me, they go, 'Ahh,' and shut it," he said.

When he smiles, it looks like he is crying or in pain, his fans say. His wife, Alice Chabhanga, isn't concerned about his looks.

At his side in the market, Chabhanga said she was drawn to Masvinu because of his kindness, cheerfulness and humour in the hardest of times.

"She was the only one who wanted me and she knows she has no competition," Masvinu said.

  • Provence - 2012-06-19 22:44

    Another inhumane way to persecute the Zimbabweans.

      msendi - 2012-06-20 08:02

      Comparing this man with Bob, I think he is a little bit handsome…

  • braamc - 2012-06-19 22:55

    Looks a bit like a young Bob Mugabe, doesn't it

      beauteous.sibanda - 2012-06-20 11:44

      On that note I think they do look alike 4 sho

  • konanani.rachicoper - 2012-06-19 22:58


  • somikazi.pita - 2012-06-19 23:20

    No one wanted to take him to school because he was ugly?!!haybo!!

  • dmudukuti - 2012-06-19 23:28

    Ugly indeed!!Cc

  • Billy - 2012-06-20 00:06

    loool, ive seen stranger looking people out there. this guy has a face for the movies imo

      Philile - 2012-06-20 07:57

      Oh Billy I'm with you on this one!!

  • Pat - 2012-06-20 01:56

    dont worry, heaven knows NO ugly people!!

  • henry.soko - 2012-06-20 02:23

    We look the same in the eyes of the lord

      Philile - 2012-06-20 07:57


  • Gerald Jordaan - 2012-06-20 03:00

    The man is not ugly,,,Bob beats him as the fugliest fothermucker in all Africa !! Juju & Peckerspear tie for the next spot !! Only their mothers could tolerate them !!

  • millionwatts1 - 2012-06-20 06:04

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  • zakes.masondo - 2012-06-20 06:06

    shine Zimbabwe shine. lmao

  • Marissa Van Der Walt - 2012-06-20 06:10

    He is so beautiful!!!!!!! I am going to paint him...

  • mpho.simon.5 - 2012-06-20 08:20

    This man is proud of how he looks big ups

  • john.ncala - 2012-06-20 08:44

    there is no handsome guy in zim that is why they have such contest as mr ugly

      mmanonose - 2012-06-20 11:42

      Not honestly true hey......

  • Maria - 2012-06-20 09:02

    Feel sorry for his children though.

  • Maria - 2012-06-20 09:06

    Hayi cha - I've never seen something like this - akusenandaba mara - only God knows - ubuhle bendoda zinkomo, andiboni nkomo mna apha I only see vegetables

  • loice.ngwenya.3 - 2012-06-20 09:14

    He is ,God`s image, frm what his wife says, he has a beautiful heart.,search for the beautiful heart, not a beautiful face only,

  • bmaestro - 2012-06-20 09:34

    WTF yoooh

  • bmaestro - 2012-06-20 09:35

    WHO CAME UP WITH THIS THANG LMFAO "Whenever employers open the door and see me, they go, 'Ahh,' and shut it," LOL

      Nqobile Khakhatha - 2012-06-22 18:30

      i have not laughed like this in a loonngg time..what a comedian, i hope someone capable, can market him...LMAO...what a spirit and strong character..does that mean you bone with it..or did he need to see a therapist..or did they tell everyone to not mention the obvious..

  • phinda.buthelezi - 2012-06-20 12:08

    Mugabe is more uglier that this guy.

  • minijere - 2012-06-20 12:52

    What the hell? how can they have Mr Ugly contest?

  • james.tshuma.9 - 2012-06-20 15:07

    i think is not his really face

  • obert.chouninga1 - 2012-06-21 07:59

    Jaravaza boy

  • zvakavapano.tapiwa - 2012-06-21 11:28

    Most of those commenting here have no sense of humor. This is supposed to be about fun, and Masvinu himself finds it humorous, as does his wife and Zimbabweans. As to the holding of this contest, it just shows that Zimbabweans are a happy lot. This was confirmed by that recent happiness index. Despite all they have been through, Zimbos are still happier than South Africans. Zimbabwe is a beautiful country, with beautiful people, including Masvinu. What keeps us ticking is that we are not afraid to laugh at ourselves. This is why we have such a low crime rate. Here is an analogy: South Africans laugh at us because we guard our banks and cash in transit vehicles using guards who are armed only with batton sticks. And we are using US dollars here....

  • cuthbert.murwisi - 2012-06-21 13:03

    Ugliness at it's best or beauty at it's worst? The art of aesthetics is lacking in this creation.

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