Mehluli Sibanda in Harare
AFTER years of trying, Nigel “Spartan” Maphosa finally took the overall title at the Zimbabwe National Bodybuilding Championships held at 7 Arts Theatre on Saturday to be crowned Mr Zimbabwe.
The 28-year-old Gweru-bred Maphosa who is now based in Johannesburg, South Africa had been trying since 2014 to walk away with the big trophy without success. It has been a matter of progression for Maphosa, who had won the light heavyweight in 2016 and 2017.
He was thrilled to bag the overall title. Maphosa revealed that at one time he even wanted to quit the sport but his coach Bible Mhizha urged him to carry on competing with the belief that his time would come.
“I feel so excited, I have worked so hard for this competition; 2016 I didn’t take it and I was so worried, I even thought of just giving up on bodybuilding but I kept on pushing. Bible Mhizha told me to keep on pushing, when my time comes I am going to win,’’ Maphosa said.
He said he was anxious when he came into the competition since he saw Edward “Gearbox” Mutero as a big threat to his quest. Maphosa felt that his lower body is what stood out against Mutero in the fight for the big one.
“I was so nervous because Edward Mutero is a powerhouse so I was a bit worried. I worked so hard, I invested everything, even my savings, I had to sacrifice everything that I had to win this show. With Gearbox, lower body I am far much better than him,’’ he said.
Maphosa came first in the men’s middleweight section where Lovemore Munyamana was second. Two times in a row Mr Zimbabwe, South Africa domiciled Ndumiso Dlodlo did not make it to the final round as he finished second in the light heavyweight which was won by Mutero.
Zibusiso Khumalo of Bulawayo won the junior men’s physique Under-23 and settled for second spot in the junior men Under-23 bodybuilding.
Kyle MacDonald of Body Works Gym bagged gold in the women’s body fitness and took silver in the bikini fitness which was won by Sharaine Rama. Shantel Bhatch, winner of this category last year took third spot.
Marko Mwale defended his men’s wheelchair where Lesley Gondo also of Bulawayo was third.
Ryan Gumbo caused one of the upsets of the night when he took the men’s physique over 176cm ahead of favourite Blessing Sithole who got second place.
There were gold medals for the Body Works Gym trio of Charity Juma (women’s physique), Justice Chikava (men’s classic bodybuilding) and Diana Machakaire (women’s wellness fitness) with the three being the only entrants in their respective divisions. Prechard Hoko, a favourite in the men’s physique up to 176cm took second place in that category. – @Mdawini_29