Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
AS he prepares to defend the Mr Bulawayo bodybuilding title he has won five times in a row since 2012, Lovemore Munyamana is drawing inspiration from his church leader, Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministries founder Walter Magaya.
A member of PHD Ministries since 2012 and attends Sunday services at the Large City with his family, Munyamana believes Magaya’s teachings on discipline have been the cornerstone to his success over the years. Munyamana has never met Magaya in person but his guidance is what he takes with him every time he goes on stage.
“I have been a member of PHD Ministries since I won my first Mr Bulawayo title. My prophet Walter Magaya always teaches us to be disciplined, it doesn’t mean that you are on top of everything. So every time, wherever I go, I go with his teachings in my mind. That’s where my discipline comes from. I have never met Magaya, I just love him and love the way he teaches us,’’ Munyamana said.
Munyamana, a teetotaller attributes nothing but self restraint to his achievements in bodybuilding since 2012. He often gets provoked when walking the street of his high density suburb of Mpopoma but despite being muscular, he never gets tempted to get into a fight.
“The key for me to winning the past five Mr Bulawayo titles is discipline, sometimes when you are well known, you must control yourself all the time. People sometimes pass comments in the streets meant to provoke me seeing that I have muscles but I ignore them and carry on working,’’ he said.
Munyamana has been hard at work at Body Works Gym preparing for Mr Bulawayo to be held at Elite 400 on Saturday evening. His fine tuning also has Mr Zimbabwe, to be held a week later, in mind. He will be taking part in the middleweight section at the national competition where he was a runner up to Garikayi Mujuru last year.
His best at the national event was in 2014 when he finished number one in middleweight which qualified him for the Mr Zimbabwe overall which was won by Champion Chienderamwano.
“I am working hard, I am prepared for any show right now. Mr Bulawayo is a warm up for Mr Zimbabwe, I want to thank Bulawayo Metropolitan Bodybuilding for organising this show and my coach Simon Gama and Nathan Greenland for allowing me to use his gym for free,’’ Munyamana said.
His dietary requirements are coming at a huge cost for Munyamana who has no personal sponsor. Local businessman, Linneth Magigwana bankrolled him from 2012 until 2015 but is unable to fund his diet at the moment. His diet, if followed, costs $200 a month because he has to share with his two sons. The 33-year old gets most of his funds from his electrical gadgets repairs which he runs in Mpopoma.
Some of those expected to give Munyamana a tough time on Saturday are his Body Works Gym counterparts, Thembinkosi Lunga, Givemore Marufu and Durrell Hamilton.
“I am prepared for Mr Bulawayo, although there are challenges in terms of food supplements. I don’t have a sponsor, I sponsor myself. I expect a strong challenge from people like Themba, Givemore and Durrell, all these are guys I train with at Body Works Gym,’’ said Munyamana.
He trains for four hours on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday with all his sessions starting at 6am. Because he over-trains, he gives himself Wednesday off. With competition time drawing closer, Munyamana is focusing on deep cutting his body which means he has to avoid any fatty food. In terms of meat, he eats chicken and fish only.
“Early morning, I eat sour porridge, two bananas, one orange and one apple before training. In between sessions, I take six boiled eggs, one full then other five white only minus the yolk.
After session, I take my breakfast, black tea, three slices of bread with peanut butter. In between lunch and breakfast, I eat any type of fruits.
Lunchtime I eat brown rice and fish or beans without cooking oil. In between lunch and supper, I take mashed potatoes with six eggs, one full, five whites and fruits.
“Supper is made up of light sadza with chicken breast. This sport is very expensive, it’s difficult when you don’t have a sponsor,’’ he said.
His advice to those who have tried and failed to dislodge him over the years is that they should not let publicity get into their heads as well as avoid harmful substances.
“My advice to my challengers is that when you get publicity don’t think you are now at the top because those below you will be training harder to get to where you are. Avoid harmful substances like drugs, don’t take too much alcohol and avoid smoking. My winning is guided by discipline. You have to learn to control yourself,’’ Munyamana said.
Last year, Munyamana saw off competition from four other contestants to land his fifth Mr Bulawayo which saw take home a Samsung Tab 3, $150 plus 5kg bucket of supplements. Veteran John Lunga was the first runner up with Delvin Paige in third place. City businessman, Thompson Mpala who is also a bodybuilder having won Mr Bulawayo in 1995 provided the prizes. Mpala is the main sponsor again this year.
Shantel Greenland is expected to defend her Ms Bulawayo crown she has won since 2015. Selina Manuel, Mitchell Matsito and Dumoluhle Ndlovu have been working hard at the gym with a good competition expected in the women’s section.
Pardon Dube is the favourite to land the men’s physique where he will go up against Marvelous Ganda, Paige, Tapiwa Zimhamba, Diego Khumalo, Keith Mombeshora and Michael Alimu.
Chukwuemeka Ojukwu is defending his male juniors title with competition from him to come from Blessing Timburwa, Dean Grant and Zibusiso Khumalo. -@Mdawini_29