After his victory in the men’s physique division during MR001 Bodybuilding tournament in Mombasa, Hanif Msallam says he will now concentrate solely on international competitions organised by the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness.
Msallam said his participation in the past weekend’s event was one last dance for his local fans, some of who were not around to see him when he started out competing six years ago.
“It has been a long journey since I last competed in 2017. It was in Mombasa where I first competed and lost in 2015 and so it was only appropriate that my last championship be in Mombasa. Credit to my wife Alysha Jamal and son Zakhir who have supported me when I was out of action for four years,” Msallam said.
Msallam, however, is cognisant of the need to improve on his weak areas if he is to flex his muscles against the giants of international bodybuilding.
“I need to improve on my waistline, which is my weak area majorly due to genetics. This means I need to increase my upper body. The next six months will be important as I work on recovery and improving on these weak areas,” he said.
He is also keen to mould upcoming bodybuilders in the Coast region so as to rival Nairobi, which boasts a depth of talent.
“I want to give back to the community and build the youth at the Coast just like someone gave me a chance. Nairobi has a lot of bodybuilders compared to us here at the coast,” Msallam said.
At the same time, Ladies Figure category winner Caren Mulyanga says she would love to see as many women as possible join the sport.
“Many of us shy away from bodybuilding because of the perception that building muscles is a masculine thing. In reality, bodybuilding is a wide area and is more beneficial than just working out your muscles,” she said.
Mulyanga, who first competed at the Ironfit Classic in Nairobi last year, is elated at her meteoric rise in the game and believes there is more to come from her.
“Winning felt like my hard work had finally paid off. I started preparing for the championships all the way in May. This was my fourth competition and so far I have won in the last two,” she said.
She will be looking to continue her hot streak in upcoming local competitions, including the Kamukunji Annual Talent Search in which she last finished second.
The Mombasa tournament attracted approximately 300 participants from countries in Africa, including Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Congo and Burundi. (H/T Star)