Business came to a standstill in Harare yesterday when one of the world’s tallest men, Mr Bilal Heyder, toured the central business district before visiting the Exhibition Park for the agricultural show.
Mr Heyder was in a convoy sponsored by Splash Paints, a company exhibiting at the Harare Agricultural Show.
People lined up the streets to see the tall man while others peeped through the windows of high rise buildings to catch a glimpse of him. Others were shouting questions to him inquiring on the size of his shoe, jacket and bed.
The tallest man is 29-year-old Sultan Kösen of Ankara,Turkey whose height stood at 2,51m as of February 8 2011.
Mr Heyder, a Pakistani, is 2,4 metres tall, wears a size 16 shoe, and needs 10 metres of fabric to make a pair of trousers and jacket.
Scores who followed the man during his tour in the city clamoured for a picture with the man who could steal the thunder at this year agricultural extravaganza.
Most people turned photographers as they scrambled for Mr Heyder’s picture. The convoy moved from the Harare International Conference Centre into Robert Mugabe, Fourth Street and Jason Moyo Avenue before going to the show grounds.
The procession passed by the Exhibition Park to Marimba Shopping Centre where they drew another crowd among them children.
Mr Heyder’s parade then proceeded to Splash Paints shop along Mbuya Nehanda Street where police had to be called in to assist in crowd control.
Mr Heyder said he was humbled by the huge turn-out on the streets of Harare.
“I have been to different countries and people jostle to see me. I have been to the Middle East and France before,” he said.
Mr Heyder said he eats two Pakistani loaves of bread, 10 eggs and drinks two litres of milk for breakfast.
“For lunch, I drink five litres of water and five loaves of the Pakistani bread and a kilogramme of rice. I eat the same food for dinner,” he said.
He said he was single and still searching for a wife.
“None of my parents is tall. I had problems when I was growing up and some kids would tease me for being tall, but now am proud of it,” he said.
Splash director, Mr Anis Patel said the company invited Mr Heyder as they were inspired with his outstanding figure.
“We felt the country had been associated with a lot of negativity, but we can bring happiness. Some people are troubled by the issue of job losses and we thought we could bring happiness.
“Mr Heyder is an international figure and we want our brand to be international as well. We are proud of our high standards as is Mr Heyder is proud of his height,” he said.
He will be in Zimbabwe for three weeks and is expected to visit different parts of the country.