THIS year’s edition of the Mr Ugly pageant final competitions, which was slated for August, has failed to take off, forcing organisers to postpone it to October, NewsDay can reveal.
BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA
Initially, the pageant director, David “Apama” Machowa, had indicated plans to host the Mr Ugly Africa and Mr Ugly World that have since postponed to next year.
Machowa yesterday, however, rubbished claims the pageant was dogged by financial problems and attributed the delay to “the current political situation” in the country.
He said the preliminary competitions were still underway, adding they would come up with the date for the national finals after completion of the preliminary rounds.
“The pageant is on. Next month, Bulawayo will host its provincial competitions before moving to Mashonaland East and other provinces. The funds are there. Remember, we clinched a sponsorship deal sometime this year,” he said.
“We were also affected by the current unrest in the country. We were billed to host some competitions in Mbare and other areas in Harare, but we could not.”
Early this year, the pageant received a major boost after a leading furniture company, Lifestyle Furniture Centre, pledged to sponsor the events.
However, since its inception in 2011, the pageant has been struggling to secure meaningful funding, with Machowa using personal funds.
The pageant was popularised in 2012 after Epworth-based William Masvinu wrested the title from Brian Mateyazondo.
Masvinu, a porter at Mbare Musika, retained the title the following year.
However in 2014, the pageant took a sabbatical due to lack of funds.
Last year, Masvinu lost the title to Miso Sere at a tight contest held in Harare.
Masvinu is expected take part at the finals after he emerged victorious in Epworth recently during the preliminary round held at Club RTS.