Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
AFTER four years of trying, South Africa-based bodybuilder Ndumiso Dlodlo finally landed the Mr Zimbabwe title on Saturday night at 7 Arts Theatre in Harare.
The 32-year-old Dlodlo, who lives in Johannesburg but grew up in Bulawayo’s Emakhandeni suburb, has certainly been a top contender over the years and it all came together for him on Saturday. Dlodlo made it to the final round of Mr Zimbabwe after coming tops in the middleweight division.
He walked away with $1 000 for winning the overall title and $200 for being middleweight champion.
Being based in South Africa where he works as a gym personal trainer, has not stopped Dlodlo from coming home to contest local competitions.
He is the reigning Mr Zimbabwe International Trade Fair, a competition he has won for two years in a row, and was second runner up in the Mr Ironman Zimbabwe in June.
Dlodlo, who entered under Body Works Gym in Bulawayo, saw off the challenges of three-time Mr Zimbabwe Champion Chienderamwano (heavyweight), Lovemore Munyamana (lightweight) and Nigel Maphosa (light heavyweight) for the top prize.
In 2013, Dlodlo won the middleweight division, took second place in the light heavyweight the following year, was the top bodybuilder in the same weight division in 2015 and finished second to Maphosa.
Paul Goredema, winner of Mr Zimbabwe in 2016, fell by the wayside when he lost the heavyweight division to Chienderamwano.
Dlodlo became the first bodybuilder with Bulawayo roots to win Mr Zimbabwe since 1993 when Grant Henderson took the national title to the City of Kings.
Shantel Greenland took top honours in the women’s bikini, Mozombamzi Phiri won the junior up to and including 23 years, Chamunorwa Marange was the best in men’s fitness, Blessing Timburwa won the children’s fitness boys.
Bulawayo took first and second prizes in the men’s wheelchair, with Marko Mwale seeing off the challenge of Mugoni Chikove. Sally Lapage won the women’s bikini fitness masters while the women’s body fitness went to Michelle Fortman. Edvaldo de Mateus reigned supreme in the men’s physique where he saw off the challenge of the Bulawayo duo of Pardon Dube and Marvelous Ganda.
Minister of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture Makhosini Hlongwane was the guest of honour and presented Dlodlo with his prize.