By Jairos Saunyama
After photos of him attending a wedding in shorts, Peter Irimayi Mudavanhu became an overnight sensation, literally taking over social networking sites in Zimbabwe.
Many locals felt Mudavanhu’s dressing was not in sync with what others were wearing at the wedding ceremony in early April, but he is not apologetic, insisting he will stick to shorts, no matter the event.
After the wedding, the picture soon went viral and was used on several memes.
NewsDay tracked the man of the moment to Marondera, where he spoke on his dressing and the hullabaloo accompanying it.
Mudavanhu says the wedding, which catapulted him to social media stardom, took place on April 6, 2015 at the famous beautiful Gilmar Gardens located on the outskirts of Marondera town.
He says he last wore a pair of trousers in May 1988 during his graduation ceremony at the University of Zimbabwe, where he obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science.
“My friend, I love the way I (dressed) now,” he says proudly.
“Fortunately, I was allowed to put on shorts at work.
“I am a professional, I am an animal scientist.
“I was the principal planning officer for development and research between 1989 and 2003 for the whole Mashonaland East.
“So my job allowed me to put on shorts because I spent more time in the field rather than the office.
“To tell you the truth, I last wore a pair of trousers in 1988, maybe the only child who can remember (him wearing trousers) is my first born (name withheld) who wedded a few weeks ago, but all my other children have never seen me in a trousers.”
Mudavanhu says despite the ridicule he has been subjected to, he will still wear shorts and thinks he would be uncomfortable in a suit.
“It was not about the wedding, it was about me,” he said.
“I would have been very uncomfortable if I had put on a suit on that wedding day.
“All my children and my wife know this.
“In short there was nothing peculiar in me wearing shorts that day.”
Mudavanhu said there was a bit of a tiff in his household, his daughter approved his dressing, but his wife, not so much.
“My daughter approved of my attire, she said she grew up knowing me as a person who loves shorts, but my wife was against that at some point, all in all it went well,” he said.
Mudavanhu, who owns several properties in Marondera, says despite the town’s famously chilly weather, he does not fancy himself in a pair of trousers.
“Let me tell you this, I last put on a trousers on my graduation ceremony at UZ in May 1988,” he said.
“I later gave the trousers to my elder brother.
“I have around 35 shorts in my wardrobe.
“About 18 of them are for functions, while I wear the rest on the farm as I perform my duties.
“I only have one pair of trousers in my wardrobe, a standby if anything like going to court comes up.”
Mudavanhu says he is not bothered by the memes of him at the wedding that went viral.
“To those spreading the “photoshopped” pictures, I wish you well in your endeavours,” he said.
“That does not affect my person and my intellect, of course members of my family at one time were distracted, but I do not have any problem with it.
In parting, Mudavanhu says if he gets an unlikely invite to meet President Robert Mugabe, he will turn up for the event in shorts.
“Even if I want to meet the president, I will do so in shorts because that is me,” he said.