South Africa-based Zimbabwean bodybuilder Ndumiso Dhlodhlo has set his sights on scooping the Texas Meats 2016 Mr Zimbabwe overall title when the country’s ultimate bodybuilding event takes place at the Harare International School in Harare this Saturday. BY TAWANDA TADERERA
Preparations for this year’s edition are at an advanced stage, with a host of top bodybuilding athletes having confirmed participation in what promises to be the most fiercely contested national bodybuilding pageant in recent years.
Dhlodhlo, who was crowned senior light-heavy weight champion at Mr and Ms Zimbabwe last year before missing out on the main prize to eventual winner Champion Chienderamwano, told Standardsport that he is this time around expecting to land the big one.
“I am expecting to win and I will try my best to win, but remember it’s not just about me. It’s a big challenge for me and the other guys in my line up,” he said.
The 25-year-old athlete who was crowned Mr Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) in May this year in Bulawayo is relishing the impending challenge.
“I am quite happy to be involved in this competition because I believe I am there to win it, although it’s a challenge,” he said.
He went on to say that preparations for the competition had been going well, adding that it’s been very hard putting in the shifts.
This year’s competition is made much more interesting by the fact that defending champion Chienderamwano, who won the last three pageants, retired from competitive bodybuilding earlier this year.
Meanwhile, the National Federation of Zimbabwe Bodybuilding and Fitness (NFZBBF) spokesperson Quiet Shangai said they are expecting at least 200 athletes to take to the stage this time around.
“In terms of preparations, we have managed to secure almost everything. We have our main sponsor, Texas Meats on board. Electro Sales, Crystal Candy, Saltrama, Kingsport and many more sponsors are also coming. We are ready for October 22,” said Shangai.
Mr and Ms Zimbabwe 2016 will host high-profile bodybuilders like Munashe Matandirotya based in Abu Dhabi as well as Upenyu Mahlaulo and Fredrick Mashaba, both based in Botswana.
Defending Ms Zimbabwe champion Regina Jonga will be looking to retain her title, while Eddie Mutero, also based in SA and 2008 Mr Zim overall winner Tarirai Chirume have also confirmed their participation.
Arnold Classics 2016 fourth place finisher Precious Mujuru, Ashleigh Dube, Lovemore Munyamana, veteran Garikayi Mujuru and Shantel Batch will also be vying for honours in their respective categories.
Buoyed by his emphatic win at Mr Iron Man 2016 back in August, Nunurai Masosonere will also be hoping to cap a fantastic bodybuilding season by scooping the ultimate prize in the country.
Although the defending champion, Chienderamwano is not involved in this competition, Shangai believes the tournament will be competitive.
“The absence of a defending champion will actually create more competition as the other bodybuilders vie for honour,” he said.