Emmanuel Muhuwa put up a brilliant display of muscles on Saturday night to win the Mr. Malawi Bodybuiding Championship at Kamuzu University of Health Sciences (Kuhes) Sports Complex in Blantyre.
This is the second time the 27-year-old has clinched the coveted title. He first won it in 2017 before finishing third in the last edition.
After about three hours of a gruelling contest, it was certain on who would win the title among the 15 contestants and it all came to pass when the event’s chief judge Lieutenant Colonel Lameck Kalenga announced Muhuwa as the winner with nine points, three points ahead of his runner-up Wellington Mwangonde and 13 points above third-placed Frazer Zeka.
Thoko Kakhongwe took fourth place on 28 points followed by Griffin Manda (34 points) and Maxwell Kaminga (42 points).
The crowd put a seal of approval on Muhuwa’s victory with a deafening applause. Some fans even rushed to the podium and carried aloft the champion, who celebrated with fist-pumping.
Muhuwa said it took hardwork, endurance and determination to achieve the feat.
“For the last three months, I endured a special diet that included eating food without salt to help enhance my muscle definition. It pained me a lot when I dropped to third place in the previous edition and I did my best to relive the 2017 glory. So, I am very happy today,” ge said.
For his achievement, the champion received a K1.3 million cheque, a year-long meal voucher worth K800 000 from Kips Restaurant and a gold medal. The runner-up got K500 000 and silver while third-placed athlete received K200 000 and bronze.
Old Mutual plc were the main sponsors of the day-long event that was also supported by Kuhes Sports Complex. Trust Auctioneers, Chilembwe Lodge and Kips were the other partners.
The previous champion, Chisomo Kajamu, did not take part in the contest for personal reasons while flamboyant bodybuilder Yasin ‘Ichocho’ Suwedi said he withdrew from the race after some of the contestants asked him to do so in respect to the role he played in popularising the sport in the country.
“Some of the contestants came to my office days before the competition to plead with me not to contest, saying I am their idol and it would not be ideal to compete against me. I took this as a great honour and I accepted their request,” Ichocho said.
Malawi National Council of Sports board chairperson Sunduzwayo Madise, who was the guest of honour, said government was happy with the conduct of the athletes throughout the event and he urged them to work harder to make the country proud on the International stage.
Weightlifting and Bodybuilding Association of Malawi (Wbam) president Arox Kamng’ona said they were happy with the good patronage at the event, saying it was a sign of the sport’s growing popularity in the country.
“We are making great strides as regards to popularising the sport and the good patronage today is a testimony to this,” he said, adding that next year’s event will be conducted in Lilongwe.
The results of the championship were determined by a panel of five judges led by Kalenga. The others were Wilson Mandala, Ishmael Makawa, Wilfred Mwanyama and Philip Kanyang’anya.
Performances by urban musician Piksy and Floor Steppers Dance Crew spiced up the show.