Twenty-four-year-old Adriaan Bergh is your typical heterosexual male overachiever – the sports-mad Head Boy you loved to hate at school but secretly lusted after. Today he’s Mr. South Africa, unbendingly straight but also very, very nice to look at.
This Limpopo-born stud achieved provincial school colours for six different sporting codes, is a qualified lifeguard and was a member of the Vodacom Bulls Rugby Squad until a knee injury forced him out. Adriaan was scouted by a model agency at Cape Town International Airport and he’s never looked back – culminating in winning Mr. SA in February.
Part of his campaign to take the title included a hilarious and controversial online video in which he mocked the typical pageant interview.
Some thought it was serious and didn’t get the humour while others were even more upset when the video appeared on YouTube claiming to be an interview with a Mr. Gay South Africa contestant. Something, Adriaan insists, he had nothing to do with.
He recently told us a little bit more about himself – and, did we mention, he’s really rather nice to look at…
It’s always been a dream of mine to become Mr. South Africa and it was the first competition I have ever entered. Being Mr. South Africa is definitely my biggest achievement yet. It provides me a platform to make a difference.
As Mr. South Africa I want to influence people in a positive way and inspire them to live life to the fullest at all times, no matter what curve balls are thrown to you. My life has changed dramatically; this new so-called “celebrity” lifestyle is still something I need to get use to, but I am really enjoying it!
At school, I was one of the popular guys. You know what it’s like at school; if you are good at sport everybody likes you.
When it comes to the bullying of gay kids, I am totally against the bullying of any person. At school I always use to make friends with all the kids that were bullied and I would protect them against the “bullies”.
The ‘Mr. Gay SA’ YouTube video was intended as a spoof of the so called “correct answers” that people give in competitions. But someone copied the video and named it Mr. Gay SA. That’s not my YouTube account. I never uploaded the video under that name and there is no reference to individuals or gay people in the video.
I’m not aware of any gay competitors having taken part in the 2011 Mr. South Africa competition but I know for a fact that Mr. South Africa is open to all South African males between 21 and 35 and that the organisers will not discriminate against anybody.
When it come to my gay fans, I really appreciate each and every fan.
I have been active my entire life, but I really work very hard on my body. I always laugh when people think it’s easy to have a good body. It really takes discipline, six days a week for at least an hour a day – plus I eat healthy food.
I’m a very modest person, but it is a good feeling when people compliment you. Then you actually feel all the hard work pays off. I do, however, believe that it is very important to have a good personality and be an all-round individual with a healthy body. It is all about balance.
When it comes to posing in underwear or swimwear, I have mixed feelings. It was fun on stage wearing the swimwear at Mr. South Africa but I won’t easily pose in underwear – except if it is for one of the world biggest brands and the photos are very professional.
It does bother that some people might perceive me as just a slab of good-looking meat but, once they get to know me, they change their perception fast; I have completed my BSc Degree and I’m busy with my Honours in Quantity Surveying.
Lance Armstrong is someone that has inspired me in my life. He’s definitely a great example of “you can do anything you put your mind to” through Jesus Christ
I would love to start a career as a TV presenter. I love the business world and I also want to move into real estate.
Of all the celebs I’ve met, actress and model Tanya van Graan has made the biggest impression on me. [Adriaan winks here]
I wouldn’t describe myself as a metrosexual. I think I am too much of an Afrikaans boytjie to be a metrosexual man.