Zambian bodybuilder steals show African championship

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By Jeff Kapembwa

Lusaka - Zambian-born-Sylvester Mwila defied all odds and conquered the continent when he was crowned this year’s International Federation of Fitness and Bodybuilding (IFBB) African championship in the heavyweight category in a tournament hosted by Angola last weekend.

“Muscleman” Mwila, who is also the reigning and undisputed Zambia Body Building champion, beat 20 other contestants from across the continent to be crowned winner of the 2019 edition of the annual tournament.

Last year Mwila proved his mettle when he emerged the winner in the Mr Arnold Classic heavyweight Body Building Competition in South Africa. 

Another Zambian, Clement Shamboko, emerged runner up to Mwila, resulting in both athletes minting gold and silver for Zambia respectively in a closely contested body building championship held at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The event included among other categories of men’s bodybuilding, classic physique, classic bodybuilding, muscular men’s physique, men’s physique, bikini fitness, wellness fitness and overalls. The gesture has since elated Zambia’s body building federation for the victory as it continues putting the country on the world map

Zambia Body Building and Fitness Federation (ZBBFF) president, Cornelius Chanda, said he was happy with the performance of the two Zambian bodybuilders.

Chanda, in a statement, said the duo performed well against very strong competition from different countries and scooped medals which will inspire other athletes to vie for similar honours and help promote the sport.

“This performance is good. The guys really put in a lot of hard work to ensure that they minted medals at the tournament which had a number of top-notch bodybuilders,” Chanda added.

Nigerian body builder, Odifey Olasumbo, put up a splendid performance, but Mwila stole the show at Mr Arnold Classic.   Joseph Mwale, who is the current Mr Kabwata and current Mr Ironman in Zambia, was placed fifth in the light heavyweight category at the tournament.

Until recently, the ZBBFF has continued luring various athletes into the game, women included and is competing favourably like other sports as many clubs are springing up in the countryside.

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