They say beauty is in the eyes of a beholder.
Others have however corrupted the adage to say "beauty is in the eyes of a beer holder", in comic reference to the impaired judgement often caused by a high alcohol intake that results in drinkers appreciating non-existent beauty.
While judgements may differ depending on the level of intoxication on Monday night "beer holders" and beholders agreed in unison that there were no traits of beauty (or handsomeness, to categorically qualify the term) in William Masvinu's looks. Befittingly, Masvinu was crowned Mr Ugly Harare 2012.
It was apparent as soon as he went on the stage that Masvinu would take the crown. He was also very confident and the fact that he brought his wife along means he was sure he would not be humiliated by losing the competition. Ironically being voted the ugliest man would lead to humiliation in other instances but in the Mr Ugly contest, it is a source of glory.
While in our culture a man's physical fitness overrides his facial looks in terms of appeal to ladies and the society at large, Masvinu's admission that he is "very ugly" despite his towering figure speaks volumes of his ugliness. It seems he gave up trying to look handsome a long time ago and realised that being ugly is a gift from God, as he aptly said in an interview after the contest.
Even his wife, Alice Chibhanga, could not hide her pride in her husband's ugliness. She said she is confident other women will be put off by his looks, which means she will keep her man to herself.
Now that his looks, or lack of them, have given him fame this could be the beginning of an exciting chapter in his life -- something that might change his life forever. The man from Epworth started that by spending a memorable two nights in a hotel with his wife spending the US$100 they got as prize money.
Masvinu has popularised the Mr Ugly contest and it is time for arts promoters to embrace the show so that the next winner will get a lucrative prize. Even plans that are underway for the national contest need support.
We wish all the best to our reigning king of ugliness.