Coenie Kukkuk, the well known co-founder of the Mr. Gay South Africa competition, has been appointed to the board of Mr. Gay World and has already revealed new developments for the event in Africa.
On Tuesday, Eric Butter, President of Mr. Gay World announced his new global volunteer advisory board, with Kukkuk representing the Africa region.
Kukkuk commented to Mambaonline that he is “honoured to be appointed to such a prestigious international organisation” and said that this will put him in a better position to fulfil his promise to have at least four African countries represented at next year’s Mr. Gay World in Johannesburg.
“As African Director I can recommend to the board licenses to be issued to local producers and in this regard have already recommended Mr. Joe Gerstmayr from Namibia,” said Kukkuk.
As a result, the Mr. Gay Namibia competition is now at the regional phase. The final will take place on 26 November, with the winner taking part in the upcoming Mr. Gay World.
“I can also now reveal that I have recommended that a license be issued to Frank Malaba, a Zimbabwean citizen resident in South Africa who is well-known in the media and gay circles, to organise a Mr. Gay Zimbabwe competition with me in a supervisory position.”
Kukkuk added: “Due to the situation in Zimbabwe, this will be approached in a very careful manner and Frank will only disclose details when necessary.
“Both Joe and Frank have been involved with the Mr. Gay South Africa competition as judges and sponsors in the past and both have ample experience and adhere to the ethos and responsibility expected by Mr. Gay World.
“We also have interest coming from Eritrea, Kenya and Ghana. As LGBTI people are still prosecuted in these countries, you will understand that we cannot divulge too much information at this stage,” said Kukkuk.
He told Mambaonline that he foresees a situation, as happened with the Chinese delegate in the 2010 Mr. Gay World final in Oslo, that participation of certain countries will only be announced once their delegates arrive safely in Johannesburg to take part in the competition.
In addition to his work with Mr. Gay SA, Kukkuk is also an attorney and a commissioner of the Small Claims Court. He is an activist for sexual diversity and equal human rights, is a member of the Pink Loerie Mardi Gras organising committee and runs the social news network Gayspeak.
Kukkuk will continue in his role as Operations Director of Mr. Gay South Africa until Mr. Gay World 2012 is over, after which he says he will take stock of his position.
The next Mr. Gay World competition will be held in Johannesburg from 4 to 8 April 2012. Mr. Gay World describes its mission as being “to advance national and international gay rights through education and public performance”.