Kariitwa’s muscles reign at Mr Uganda

Muscle talk. Kariitwa was a class apart in the 2021 Mr Uganda final. PHOTO / ABDUL-NASSER SSEMUGABI.

What you need to know:

  • History maker. Ronald Kariitwa easily beat challengers to become only the second man to win Mr Uganda before winning the Mr Kampala crown after Ben Lukwago in 2015.

Tall enough, with well-toned muscles, John Ronald Kariitwa, “the man with best abdominal muscles,” was always a king in waiting.

Gifted with physique, the former footballer only needed the right training and diet to become the best bodybuilder in Uganda. And when he finally got that combination, in just his second year on stage, he scooped the 2021 Mr Uganda crown in the most convincing fashion, beating seasoned contenders.

His smile gave a frown to especially Godfrey Lubega, who won the 2019 Mr Kampala championship, when Kariitwa finished fourth on his debut. At the 2021 Mr Kampala, Kariitwa again finished fourth. But promised a better show next time.
Six months later, that next time came and he showcased bigger and more defined muscles – better than the rest. And he posed with ease and perfection.

At the event’s launch last month, Kariitwa said the absence of three-time winner Isaac Mubikirwa (now abroad) “means I’ll just walk over to victory.” 
It sounded like a bad exaggeration. Yet, it was a walk over Saturday evening. First, among the three light heavyweights and in the six-man overall final.
From the onset, all eyes were on Kariitwa and welterweight Lubega. The first match-up was between them and Frank Owach from Lira. Kariitwa won it with ease.

When the judges matched up Kariitwa, Lubega and Ronald Kalule, again he was the best. In another match-up, Lubega looked slightly better than his friend Axam Kisekka and 2018 Mr Kampala Lameck Muwanga, who was not in his best shape.
The judges wanted to be sure: they called up Lubega a fourth time, against Kalule, who won silver at the 2019 Mr Uganda. Lubega seemed to edged this one. But Kariitwa was still a class apart. 

And when all unrolled their free poses, on the backdrop of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Perfect’ song, Kariitwa was just perfect.
“I thank my competitors for a good show,” Kariitwa, a former teacher-cum-bouncer, said with sweat cascading his sinewy oiled body.

He attributed his victory to his team. “I thank my manager, Madam Li, for all the financial and moral support. And my coach Meshack Ocheng for putting me in the best shape.”
Qin Li, the owner of Power Body Fit gym in Kyaliwajjala, hired Kenyan legend Ocheng to coach Kariitwa online, through workouts, poses and diet.

“The preps haven’t been easy, especially dieting. There were moments I felt so drained and got tempted to take some milk, but I remembered my mission and persevered.”
Kariitwa is only the second man to win Mr Uganda before winning the Mr Kampala crown after Ben Lukwago in 2015.

The winners

MEN’S PHYSIQUE
Ivan Masakwe
WOMEN’S PHYSIC
Sharon Nanyonjo
PHYSICALLY CHALLENGED
Swafal Tamale
BODYBUILDING
Ronald Kariitwa    Light heavy
Godfrey Lubega    Welterweight
Lameck Muwanga    Lightweight

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