- Bodybuilder Byekwaso sought refuge in Germany immediately after competing in the world championships in Hungary in June 2016.
KAMPALA – Ugandan bodybuilder and former Mr Uganda, Ivan Byekwaso, has died in Germany at the age of 41, a close family source has said.
But details about his death are not yet available.
Bon van Deer, a close friend, took to social media to pay tribute to the fallen muscleman.
“Farewell thee Ivan Byekwaso. U have fought your fight, let’s carry on. Till we meet again,” he posted on his Facebook page.
Byekwaso sought refuge in Germany immediately after competing in the world championships in Hungary in June 2016.
“It was stressful competing for Uganda with no food, supplements, school fees for my kids, house rent and transport to the gym,” he said in a previous interview with New Vision.
“I can now see a big improvement on my body. I had to compete in this championship to prove to the Germans that I’m good enough to represent them next year in many competitions, and to show them that bodybuilding is my sport and that I can market them more than I marketed Uganda on the international scene,” Byekwaso said at the time.
“I was facing many challenges in Uganda and my fans around the world would just see me winning medals, but they didn’t know what I was going through. I worked hard for my country but all I was getting were praises, with my family struggling to make ends meet.
“But I would like to thank the new management at National Council of Sports for offering me the opportunity to leave Uganda and come here to fulfill my dreams,” he said.
World champion Ivan Byekwaso poses with his USPA November accolade alongside a female friend as USPA president Sabiiti Muwanga (left) and UBBFA president Twaha Ddungu look on. (File photo by Johnson Were)
Byekwaso at glance
Byekwaso was born in Jinja to the late William Byekwaso and Florence Nabukalu.
Encouraged by this friend Martin, he started training in bodybuilding in 2005.
“A friend of mine, Martin, encouraged me to start training after I had been employed at Al’s Bar, and when I went to Nakivubo gym, a one Ssalongo Ssali admired my legs and said if I could work on my upper body I could become Mr. Uganda.
“So they trained me and I hit the stage in 2005,” Byekwaso said previously.
‘Sad day for all of us’
As the news of Byekwaso’s death filtered through, fans took to social media to pay tribute to the muscleman.