Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi / AP

Contenders in the “Ugly man” pageant pose for the judges panel during the “Ugliest Man” contest. Credit: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/AP

You tell anybody you’re a pageant winner and they’re likely to assume you’re gorgeous or pretty damn close to it. But Zimbabwe’s “Mr Ugly” Pageant contradicts everything we knew to be true about competing against other folks for a sash and some recognition. A 42-year-old unemployed man was crowned Zimbabwe’s Ugliest Man at a pub pageant in Harare but the contest took a dramatic turn when the runner-up accused judges of being biased.


Newly crowned “Mr Ugly” Zimbabwe, Mison Sere/ Credit: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/AP

Maison Sere, who was missing several teeth and dressed in torn overalls beat five other contestants for the $500 Mr Ugly prize – a large sum in a country facing massive unemployment.

 William Masvinu / Photo Credit: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/AP

William Masvinu / Photo Credit: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/AP

“I want to thank God for winning this title, last time I came fourth. I just want to thank the judges for recognizing me as the winner,” Sere told journalists during a night of festivities Friday attended by 200 revellers.

But William Masvinu, a three-time “Mr Ugly” champion who landed a disappointing second place $100 prize this year, cried foul.

“The judges were not fair, the organizers must look for new judges to start the contest afresh. I did not lose today,” Masvinu said.

Show organizer David Machowa said he created the pageant in 2012 to celebrate “beauty in ugliness” and even has plans to brand out internationally.

It’s all good William. Everyone is a true winner deep down inside.

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  • Mahogany

    Why did I read this article before lunch? 😩

  • Zorino

    This is a real head scratcher right there! What the vuck is going in the world?!? The social media era we’re living in is making people dumber and dumber.

  • Jae Bee

    Lol. This story reminded me of that old In Living Color skit where Marlon was playing Shabba Ranks in the video “Mr. Ugly Man”.

  • Mico

    This makes me feel some way. If he was trying to make ‘ugly’ people feel more beautiful, then why not do a contest for talents and skills, instead of focusing on image. This whole contest seems to exploit and degrade people in poverty when many of them are already suffering from a lack of self worth, both inside and outside. And it reeks of self hate and anti blackness as well, because imho the only thing I see ‘wrong’ with these men are the markers of age, poverty, and perhaps hard living. God made every single one of us in his image, so therefore we are all a reflection of him, his beauty, and his love. The only true ugliness is shown when someone is filled with hatred and that hatred is reflected in how someone treats themselves or others.

    • [email protected]

      Very Accurate, compassionate Words.

      Things happen for a reason and I’m glad to read the great commentaries from you.

      Bless you and your family during this holiday season too.