Flamboyant bodybuilder Yasin ‘Ichocho’ Suwedi will this Saturday contest in the Ulayaclassics set for Bingu International Convention Centre (Bicc) in Lilongwe despite his wife insisting he should stay out of the competition.
The wife, Fatima, yesterday said she does not want the 2013 Mr Malawi Bodybuilding Championship runner-up to take part in the event because organisers do not pick the winners on merit.
During the inaugural contest last year, Ichocho did not even make it into the top-five list that comprised eventual champion Kenya-based Chisomo Kajamu, Emmanuel ‘Musclemanze’ Muhuwa, Henry Master, Zimaiter Mamami Phiri and Patrick Mhango.
“I do not want my husband to contest this year because there is no fairness when determining a winner,” she said.
“He has been participating in several competitions where he has always been the best, but judges seem to have grudges against him and I do not want this to continue. As a wife, I have the right to protect the reputation of my husband.”
However, Ichocho said he cannot afford to abandon his God-given talent.
“Of course, my wife and some fans feel I should not contest, but this is a God-given talent I cannot ignore. I have to fulfil my mission of wearing the crown because most winners of past bodybuilding competitions have done little to promote the sport,” he said.
This year’s Ulayaclassic champion will drive home a Toyota Vitz and Ichocho said he would also like to win the grand prize.
“I will be the champion this year and I ask my fans to get ready to escort me home upon my return from Lilongwe this weekend,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kajamu has declared his intention to defend the crown while Muhuwa and Master are also eyeing the grand prize.
According to the competition’s founder Charles Ulaya, the runner-up, third-placed, fourth-positioned and fifth-placed contestants will receive K500 000, K250 000, K150 000 and K100 000, respectively.