Missing out on a chance to represent the country in the forthcoming Musclemania Africa bodybuilding contest in Uganda next month is a regret for Ntokozo Mahlangu, but this has not baulked down his ambition for greater things in the sport.
Mahlangu (33) came sixth in the Mr Iron Mashonaland Body Building and Fitness Association contest hosted at Ochi City Leisure Centre in Harare on August 6.
Only the top four participants were eligible for the East African trip. The Gwanda-born body-builder is aiming high and says he sees the sport growing after recovery from economic hardships that beset the country in the past years.
“I see the sport growing. There has not been much competition in the last two or so years, but we have Mr Zimbabwe coming up in Victoria Falls, Mr Muscleman in Gweru and Mr Pro Fitness in Harare on October 8,” Mahlangu said.
Mahlangu started bodybuilding in the small town of Gwanda in 1998 at the tender age of 15 and has had several titles on him culminating in this year’s Mr Iron Man, which was last held in 2009.
“I started in Gwanda at Buffalo Boxing Club when I was 15 years old. I first got on stage to flex my muscles and won Mr Gwanda in 2004 after I moved to Gwanda Gym before I went to Harare the following year,” Mahlangu.
The heavily-built Mahlangu said he trained in Harare at Heritage in Borrowdale but could not enter Mr Zimbabwe 2005 then due to work commitments and was disappointed.
“I went to Harare where I was employed as a security guard and trained at Heritage in Borrowdale but could not enter Mr Zimbabwe then because of work and I was very disappointed. I had to go back to Gwanda and I remember that on the day I arrived there in December 2006, I was crowned Mr Gwanda,” Mahlangu said.
“Some organisers of that tournament thought I was not going to win the competition so another tournament was organised and I beat the favourite Dumezweni Khoza to be crowned Mr Talk of Gwanda,” Mahlangu added.
He then moved to Bulawayo where he was among the top six for Mr ZITF in 2007 which was won by Andrew Tshuma who is now based in Botswana.
“I was then first runner-up for Mr ZITF in 2008 and 2009 before winning it in 2010. I however lost the title to Sugar (Isaac Chimuchenga) this year,” Mahlangu said. Mahlangu, who trains at Body Active Gym and won Mr Matabeleland at Barberton Gym last month, said he was training hard and was hoping to win the Mr Pro Fitness in Harare in October. He paid tribute to the vice-chairman of the Matabeleland Bodybuilding and Fitness Association Tendai Chaipa who runs Body Active.
“I would like to thank Chaipa and the staff at Body Active as they have been supportive in all my endeavours,” Mahlangu said.
Mahlangu was born in Gwanda in 1977 and did his primary education at Mount Cazalet Primary School from 1984 to 1990 before proceeding to Gwanda High School.