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.
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.
“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.