Mambaonline has launched its annual survey in which South Africa’s gay community selects its favourite local male celebrity.
Hosted by Mambaonline.com, South Africa’s largest and most popular gay lifestyle website, this year’s Alcohol Killer Mamba Sexiest Man of the Year Survey – now in its fourth annual edition – sees fresh new faces making up the contingent of 12 hunky finalists.
“We did things differently this year, choosing to select a range of newer celebrities who haven’t been overexposed. We could have included the likes of Colin Moss or Ryk Neethling, who were finalists in the past, but we already know that they’re sexy and desirable,” says Mambaonline.com editor Luiz DeBarros. “We decided instead to shine the spotlight on a new set of hot male celebrities.”
All the finalists have agreed to participate in the survey, reflecting the value many celebrities place on their gay fan base. Previous winners were TV presenter and actor Rowan Cloete (2003), SA born supermodel Damien Van Zyl (2004) and soap star and singer Stefan Ludik (2006).
Television personalities once again make up a significant portion of the 2007 finalists, including: Jason Greer (host of The Loot, and now a SABC3 continuity presenter); Janez Vermeiren (Top Billing’s DIY handyman); Izak Davel (Scab in local soap Egoli); and Daniel Hadebe (Jay-Jay Zwane in e-tv’s Scandal). Rounding off the selection of stars from the small screen is Rijesh from the newest season of Survivor South Africa – the only openly gay finalist on the list.
“While the vast majority of our finalists are happily and firmly heterosexual, it is nevertheless a pity that so few gay local celebrities are prepared to be open about their sexuality. We may have a progressive constitution but the entertainment and sporting communities remain astonishingly closeted,” said DeBarros.
Models also make their mark in the 2007 survey with magnificent men such as Sydney Hall, Amos Vuma and Izak Strauss (who is also a presenter on KykNet’s KwÃªla) making the shortlist of finalists.
The music world is not forgotten, with musicians such as Afrikaans pin-up Bobby Van Jaarsveld and up and coming soulful crooner J making the Sexiest Man grade. Former Stade Francais and Pumas rugby player Jamie Carroll (now modelling in London) and Tony Paladin from the SA National Rowing Team (set to compete in Beijing in 2008) round off the list of finalists.
Voters in the survey stand the chance of winning R20 000 worth of prizes, including exclusive Alcohol Killer hampers, Clinique Skin Supplies for Men hampers, three nights accommodation for two at Piggs Peak Hotel & Casino in Swaziland, and VIP tickets to the fabulous Alcohol Killer Mamba Sexiest Man of the Year Party.
Reflecting the survey’s growing visibility, this year sees new consumer brand Alcohol Killer coming on board as sponsor of the poll. “We chose to launch our new lifestyle drink through Mambaonline’s survey because we recognise the trend-setting nature of the gay community,” explains Alcohol Killer Marketing Manager Jacques Opperman.
Voting in the survey is via SMS and the web at www.mambaonline.com. The survey runs until 26 October, after which the winner will be announced at the Alcohol Killer Mamba Sexiest Man of the Year Party at Sandton’s Taboo, hosted by Swanky, on November 2. This will be followed by an exclusive interview with the winner on Mambaonline.com.
The 2007 Sexiest Man will win a two night stay at Vuyatela in the Djuma Game Reserve, including meals, daily game drives, a bush walk and transfers to and from Nelspruit Airport by air.
To vote and view profiles and pictures of the 12 hunky finalists click here.