Most people have heard of beauty queens feuding over a pageant crown, but during Zimbabwe’s fourth annual “Mister Ugly” contest, the winner found himself the target of the previous champion’s ire.
On Saturday, judges at the Harare event named 42-year-old Mison Sere, who is prominently missing several front teeth, the new Mr. Ugly over 35 other entrants, reports the Associated Press.
The title had been held since 2012 by William Masvinu, who was not happy with his first runner-up placement. He and his supporters swarmed the judges after the decision, shoving and throwing insults at them for choosing the “too handsome” Mere.
“I am naturally ugly. He is not. He is ugly only when he opens his mouth,” said Masvinu of the new winner.
Another contestant, Patrick Mupereki, complained, “Do we have to lose our teeth to win? This is cheating.”
Sere, who is unemployed and was awarded $500 for his win, responded by calling his outspoken rivals “sore losers.”
“They should just accept that I am uglier than them,” he said. “I hope to get a TV contract. I already moved around schools performing and showcasing my ugliness so this is a chance to make it on TV.”
The pageant’s organizer, David Machowa, told the Associated Press that the contest aimed to alleviate the stigma of ugliness. “Looks are God given. We should all be proud of who we are.”
“Sere made tremendous effort to enhance his ugliness by pulling facial stunts,” said judge Abigail Mataranyika. “Masvinu thought he is so ugly that he didn’t need to try hard. That cost him the crown.”