Nature seemed to be at the heart of a dispute between newly-crowned Mr. Ugly, Maison Sere, and former title holder, William Masvinu, who claimed to be still number one, soon after a show pitting the two at the weekend in Zimbabwe.
"I did not lose and I am still number one, we need to redo the whole thing,” said Masvinu, who has held the title since 2012 when the contest was launched.
Masvinu, who was placed second in the competition, was disputing the outcome of the contest because he said he was born ugly as opposed to his 42-year-old rival Sere who he said was only ugly because he had missing front teeth.
“If you are missing front teeth it does not make you ugly, we need natural ugliness from birth,” he said.
But an emotional Sere, who is unemployed and defeated five other contestants to claim the $500 prize, said simply he was grateful to God and the judges for selecting him.
"I want to thank God for winning this title and to thank also the judges for recognizing me as the winner,” Sere said. “Last time I came fourth and got nothing and today I thank my creator, God."
Organizers of the Mr. Ugly contest said the event was a success. One of the judges, Abigail Gwasira said she and her co-judges picked Sere by the finding the “beauty in ugliness” that put him above the others.
Gwasira said, “The name of the contest was Mr. Ugly and the definition of ugly according to the Collins dictionary is ‘displeasing to the eye’, and we were looking for something that was displeasing to the eye, so that was the criteria we were using and we were also looking for something that was unique."
Former winner, Masvinu, who won $100 for coming second, said he was not pleased with the outcome, and urged the organizers to look for new judges.
A reported 200 people attended the event, held in a local pub in Harare. Various entertainers also showed off their dance moves and comic talent.
The pageant was organized by David Machowa, a local artiste and director of APAMA Styles Shool of Theater and Arts.