Shantel defends Miss Zim beach bikini title
SHANTEL Greenland last Saturday ascertained her status as the most decorated local female bodybuilder when she successfully defended her Ms Zimbabwe beach bikini title at 7 Arts Theatre in Harare.
Her successful defence of Ms Zimbabwe beach bikini came a week after she won Ms Bulawayo for the third year in a row.
With that conquest, Greenland added to the several accolades she won before which include Ms Western, Ms Bulawayo, Ms Novice, Ms Zimbabwe International Trade Fair and Ms Ironman Zimbabwe.
The 31-year-old believes that it was no stroll in the park for her as the seven girls she competed against gave her a really tough time on stage.
“It’s nice to have been able to retain the title. It was quite competitive, at least there were more girls competing so it was a nice challenge but it was enjoyable, the environment was good,’’ Greenland.
On whether she had any concerns that she would be able to defend her title, Greenland said she did have some fears that one or two of the girls could upstage her but what gave her the confidence was the fact that she was the defending champion.
“I was a bit worried about one or two females but I just kept telling myself that I am the defending champion and that’s what kept me motivated and kept the confidence up. I think the one this year had a bit more of a challenge than the one last year. I think confidence and poses, presentation. From what I am gathering from the crowd I seemed very comfortable on stage, my poses were better,’’ she said.
Next year she is planning to participate in one of the South African shows but she is not sure if it will be Arnold Classic. She does not have good memories from Arnold Classic where a backstage mix up saw her fail to get on stage at this year’s show.
She is grateful to her United Kingdom-based husband, Nathan, who flew all the way from England to watch her compete in Bulawayo and Harare. For her, having a spouse who is supportive of her bodybuilding career has been crucial to her success.
“It’s very important to have a partner that is into the sport, he pushes me and encourages me in every aspect of it even where the diet is concerned. It’s nice because if your partner is not into it and you are trying to do something and you are not on the same page it can be quite disheartening. I really appreciate his support and his interest in the sport, not only for me but for the whole team,’’ she said.
Greenland is also grateful to her coach, Simon Gama, who has been mentoring her since he introduced her to the sport in 2015.
“Simon is a cool, calm coach who pushes me in an encouraging way, he is always positive and never speaks a word of doubt. I can say and I believe that he knows his strategy on bodybuilding from getting me to lose weight, build, tone or cut. He really has a good heart,’’ Greenland said.
Her wish is that by her holding all the titles she has won, she can inspire more females in Bulawayo to get into bodybuilding.
“It’s a nice achievement and I just hope that in having those titles I can inspire more females to be part of the sport and also help them prepare, prepare them with training, dieting, whatever it is even if it’s not for competition but just in general,’’ Greenland said.
She dispelled the popular belief that bodybuilding makes one muscular, she says that is not the case all the time as that depends on one training programme.
“I am not sure why they don’t take part, I am hoping that the fact that I am there and knowing me, knowing the titles that I’ve got would be an encouragement so they can see that. Women tend to think by doing weights they will become muscular and manly but just by looking at me I am sure its clear that is not the case. During off season, I lift heavy weights as much as I can, but on cutting in preparation for a competition I then go light and do more reps or increased sets. I lift weights daily but manage to maintain a feminine look,’’ she said. She is one of the winners coached by Simon Gama at Bodyworks gym in Bulawayo.
It was certainly a successful night at the national competition for Bulawayo where South Africabased Ndumiso Dlodlo, who has his roots in the City of Kings, won the men’s overall title. Thembinkosi Lunga won bronze in the men’s heavyweight, Pardon Dube took silver in the men’s physique where Marvelous Gandah was third. Lovemore “Yadah” Munyamana picked up gold in the men’s lightweight.
Eulene Ndlovu was third in the women’s beach bikini, Mitchell Matsito also won bronze in the female body fitness while Selina Manuel was fourth in women bikini fitness.
Marko Mwale won the men’s wheelchair competition with Mugoni Chikove the runner up. Blessing Timburwa was the best Under-19 male bodybuilder, Zibusiso Khumalo took fourth place in the men’s Under-23. After a successful 2017, serious questions will be asked if Greenland and her coach Gama do not get a nomination for the Annual Sports Awards.