Harare: Zimbabwe’s Austin Mbewe bagged the country’s ugliest man award at a fun filled event in the Pagomo Heights Leisure Centre in Beitbridge. He beat eight other men in a nationwide contest for the Mr Ugly title after all women judges crowned him the most ugliest.

30-year-old Mbewe hails from Zimbabwe’s second largest city of Bulawayo. He also received a blanket and a cash prize of 1,200 Zimbabwean dollar. Hundreds of people, some of whom came from as far as Bulawayo and Harare, attended the special event.

Harare-based dance group Girls La Musica added colour to the event. The venue was filled with long winding queues of cars along the road to Pagomo Heights, reported a website.  Initially, 15 men were expected to battle it out, but six of them later backed out. 

The event, held for the third consecutive year, was organised in collaboration with the National Arts Council and the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority. 

Beitbridge-based Kudakwashe Chiramba, 45, was crowned first runner-up, while Chitova Chezhira, 39, of Masvingo was the second runner-up.

In an interview, Mbewe said, “I feel greatly honoured by this victory. I have been a subject of ridicule since childhood and the world has seen that there is a beautiful side to my ugliness. I am very confident on my natural looks and confident about it. It was a tight contest but at the end of the day my hard work was rewarded.”'  Show organiser Lovemore Chonzi of Aerowise Entertainment, said the pageant was growing bigger every year.

“We had lots of prizes and the attendance was very good. We are looking forward to building on the success of this year's edition,” he said.

(Agencies)