Mr Ugly Harare, William Masvinu, says he is not happy at all these days. He is now very famous but is still broke. He gets mobbed by people in town but still struggles to put food on the table. Fame without money is making him miserable.
All he has to show for his fame is a $100 prize and free hotel accommodation. Masvinu is still struggling working as a porter in Mbare. But he remains hopeful that a door will open for him.
“I am expecting to benefit a lot from being Mr Ugly and I hope that this will go a long way in improving my lifestyle. I won US$100 plus a voucher to spend a night with my wife at a hotel in Harare, but this is not enough.
“I am struggling to make ends meet. I am going to redeem the vouchers for cash, which I will use at home. Those who wish to contact me can do so on 0734 510 483,” he said.
“Chipo chawakapiwa naMwari haufanire kuchinyara, unofanirwa kuchishandisa (Why should I be ashamed of my God-given gift? Rather, I should put it to good use). To other people who are like me, ugliness is something you can’t run away from. I did not choose to be ugly and that alone makes me special in a different way.
“I am appealing to promoters, musicians and companies to consider engaging my services during their shows and other events where I can feature because I strongly feel that the title of Mr Ugly goes hand in hand with these sectors. This will help me earn something for myself and my family,” said the soft-spoken Masvinu (38).
Asked how he got to participate in the contest, Masvinu confessed that he was in the dark until Michael Gundo, who is now his manager, told him about it.
This is what Gundo had to say: “I frequent City Sports Bar for a drink with my friends and I got wind that the management were calling on ugly men to register for a Mr Ugly contest. I then approached a number of people whom I told about the competition because it just caught my fancy but some laughed it off.
“However, others told me of William (Masvinu) whom they said was popularly known by his nickname (Masvingo) at Mbare Musika. I told him about the contest and to my surprise he did not mind trying his luck.
“That is how he eventually became Mr Ugly,” Gundo explained.
Masvinu went on to beat several other contenders for the crown of Mr Ugly and one, Freddy Mwando, is reportedly shed tears after being beaten to the title. The newly crowned Mr Ugly said he was expecting to go places with his crown: “Kana chipo chavepo hachichinje (One cannot change reality). I am expecting to go places and I am ready to take part in the national contest because I heard that I will be going to Bulawayo and eventually South Africa to compete with others,” he said.
The father of one, who lives with wife Alice in Epworth, could not hide his other passion —soccer — saying he is a diehard Dynamos fan.
“I like our current coach (Callisto Pasuwa). He knows what he is doing and the players are a compact unit and I hope that they maintain that form,” Masvinu, who was donning a Dynamos jersey, said.
In order to avoid gazes from the public, Masvinu arrived for the interview in a car with tinted windows belonging to his manager.