Fitness star Mhaka enjoys  transformation from track to the gym NO PAIN, NO GAIN... Simbarashe Mhaka during a gym session.

Takudzwa Chitsiga-Sports Reporter

IT took a lot of considerations for multi- talented athlete Godwin Simbarashe Mhaka to decide which sport to take as a professional career until the intervention of four-time national champion, Champion Chiendamwano.

The bodybuilder has since risen within the sport to assume the Zimbabwe International Fitness Federation president. He also serves as a committee member for Africa.

Growing up in the same neighbourhood with the four-time Mr Zimbabwe Chienderamwano in Kwekwe, Mhaka, who was known as a man of many sporting talents, later on settled for bodybuilding, a sport in which he has gone on to win several accolades locally and internationally.

For Mhaka, one of the only three local bodybuilding and fitness athletes with international pro-cards, it was difficult to leave athletics where he was a good sprinter.

Regina Jonga and Precious Mujuru are the only other notable athletes with international pro-cards. Mhaka has made the strides and he says his dream is to transform bodybuilding and fitness in Africa.

“Sports was always a calling for me. I started off as a short distance athlete whilst at school. I was a good runner as I represented my school and the province well.

“I was a very brilliant short-distance athlete until after school when age was catching up with me that I started to take to the gym.

“Growing-up in the same suburb with Chienderamwano, we admired people like him and Victor Hungwe, who hailed from Gweru in Midlands as well.

“I started to practice and in 2016 I had to turn professional, starting off as a bodybuilding athlete where I won the Mr Zimbabwe fitness physique. This saw the beginning of my journey.

“I competed in other contests, winning Mr Ironman physique twice, which helped me qualify to compete at the International Federation for BodyBuilding (IFBB) Diamond Cup in United Kingdom in October 2016.”

Mhaka is relishing the opportunity of being the IFF Zimbabwe president to help athletes take fitness seriously and earn a living out of it.

“This is a dream come true for me and it fits well in my plans after I turned professional.

“I have observed that in the sports industry one has to work very hard. I was a track and field athlete before; that’s where I learnt a lot of lessons.

“Fitness training is demanding and needs discipline. I am happy that we will be hosting our first ever Zimbabwe International Fitness contest on April 1 in Kwekwe.

“As the president of the federation, I am happy and everything is going according to plan. So many athletes have registered. We are also grateful that we have had some partners who are standing with us for the inaugural contest,” said Mhaka.

Mhaka won his division in 2018 and earned an IFBB elite card to allow him to participate at the IFBB Elite World Cup which helped him obtain IFBB pro card which he easily attained by winning the overalls at the Diamond Cup in Singapore.

 The Kwekwe hulk’s turning point came in 2018 when he won the Pretoria Classic Male Aerobic Fitness Championships in South Africa which saw him feature in that year’s issue of Muscle Evolution, a South African health and fitness magazine.

The qualification came hard on the heels of his triumph in South Africa where he won the IFBB Boksburg Classic men’s physique overall title on August 6, 2016, before winning at the Mr and Ms Zimbabwe Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships and Ironman 2016 (formerly Mr and Ms Ironman Zimbabwe).

He looks set to follow in the footsteps of Gweru born bodybuilder Victor Hungwe, who rose to fame in South Africa before taking part at the Mr World finals in Naples, Italy.

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