Mr. Gay Namibia, Wendelinus Linus
Hamutenya (Pic by Chris De Villiers)
This past weekend, Namibia became only the second African country after South Africa to hold a ‘Mr. Gay’ competition.
Wendelinus Linus Hamutenya, a 24-year-old personal financial consultant from Windhoek, was crowned the first-ever Mr. Gay Namibia.
The competition’s final was held in the Namibian capital on Saturday, the same night on which Lance Weyer won the title of Mr. Gay South Africa 2011 in Johannesburg.
Coenie Kukkuk, the Mr. Gay World director for the Africa region, congratulated Hamutenya on his win, commenting “Africa is marching on!”
Hamutenya will represent Namibia at the 2012 Mr. Gay World final, set to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa in April next year.
“I heartily embrace each and everyone, the entire LGBTI community and the country at large,” wrote Hamutenya on his Facebook page.
“I would not [have] won if weren’t for the judges, my family and friends and to all of you, who have voted for me – thanks so much,” he said, adding that he wished for all people to have the opportunity to “live our lives freely and pursue our chance of happiness. I believe we can. I believe we will.”
Homosexuality is not specifically outlawed in Namibia. Consensual sodomy is illegal and could be used to prosecute gay men, although this is not believed to have happened since the country’s independence in 1990.
In August, the organisation LGBTI Namibia declined to endorse the Mr. Gay Namibia contest or any contestants due to fears of a backlash against gays and lesbians in the country.