After much deliberation, tabulation and inspiration, the votes from the judges and public alike have been tallied to decide who’ll go on the fabulous Budget Car Hire and Gay Flag of South Africa Coach Tour across the country.
The selections were based on a combination of voting by a panel of judges, counting 50% of the total, and by the public on Mambaonline.com and other sites, also counting 50%.
WRAP THE COACH
Winning design: Leon Erasmus
For the Wrap the Coach competition, in which entrants submitted designs that were intended to enfold the outside of the coach, Leon Erasmus came first with 35.4% of the vote.
Junie Sishlangu received 34.4% and Carla De Bouchet came third with 30.2% of the votes.
Leon will take his seat on the bus, valued at R25 000, and has also won R5 000 cash and flights to and from Cape Town.
“From the three designs Leon Erasmus’s design had the most practical applications for wrapping the bus and can be most easily adapted to the realities of giving brand exposure for both Budget Car Hire and the Gay Flag of South Africa whilst the luxury coach is in transit,” said Lindsay Versveld, Marketing for Budget Rent a Car SA.
“The whole team at Budget Rent A Car can hardly wait to see it as Leon’s design, really resembles Priscilla Queen of the Desert,” she added.
The Gay Flag’s Eugene Brockman commented: “Junie’s design led the public votes, and I loved the vuvuzelas. Regardless, we found the images of protesters and placards in the background grainy which would have become dead space on the coach. Unfortunately, Budget’s logo also wasn’t prominent enough.”
ROCK THE COACH
Winning performer: Adonis (Thabo Gaobuse)
In the Rock the Coach competition, five entertainers were up for a spot on the coach. Dancer Adonis (Thabo Gaobuse) received 23.3% of the votes, putting him in the top spot and securing him a seat on the bus and the opportunity to “whack” and “vogue” on stages across the country.
Drag performer Odidiva came second with 22.6%, also securing her a seat on the bus. She was followed by Manila von Teez (19.8%), Ivo Leo (19.6%) and DJ Charl Zero (14.7%).
Pop stars and judges The SoapGirls enthused: “We feel Thabo / Adonis overwhelmingly takes first place. He will inject freshness and excitement into the GFSA tour. We really love his attitude!”
Commenting about the finalists, fellow judge and singer Melanie Lowe said: “In the end, for me, it was about their energy and presence onstage, which was hard for those who didn’t [submit] a video of a stage performance. Also, I don’t think the quality of the videos did them justice. I’m sure they’re even better live!”
Adonis and Odidiva will be joined by Manila von Teez as entertainers on the tour as they travel from Cape Town through Bloemfontein to Johannesburg.
SHARE THE COACH
The cause: PASSOP’s Albert Kafuka
The chosen non-profit to join the national coach tour will be People Against Suffering, Oppression and Poverty (PASSOP).
It’s a community-based non-profit organisation and grassroots movement, with an LGBTI component, that works to protect and promote the rights of all refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants in South Africa.
PASSOP has nominated 34-year-old Albert Kafuka, originally from the DRC, to represent it on the tour. Albert has been in South Africa since 2007 and has worked to promote acceptance for LGBTI refugees and those gays who are still not free in different parts of Africa.
Albert will work to increase the media presence of PASSOP and to formalise collaboration and programs with the NGOs and NPOs that the Gay Flag of SA coach will visit. The aim is to provide broader support to LGBTI refugees who not only flee persecution and death sentences, but also face homophobia and xenophobia from home affairs departments, from their fellow refugees as well as from local communities.
“It was really important for us to make sure that the charity representative come forward with tangibles and practical outreach proposals. We’re certain that PASSOP and Albert will deliver,” said Brockman. “Furthermore, it is only befitting with our theme being “I am African” that we have a focus on welcoming those who flee homophobic persecution into South Africa and help ease the struggles they face being an LGBTI refugee.”
The coach will make appearances across Cape Town on 25 September, with a kick-off party that evening at Cafe Manhattans, to which everyone is invited to come and see the coach and be entertained.
On 26 September, the coach sets off to Bloemfontein where the Gay Flag of SA will do sensitivity training the next day on the Kovsies Campus to promote tolerance and acceptance, whilst staying at the Emoya Hotel & Spa.
From there it’s off to Joburg where the team will set up camp for the week at the Saffron Guesthouse and 12 Stars Apartments in Mellville. They’ll prepare for appearances at Soweto and Joburg Pride and at Wits, TUT and UJ’s pride festivities. They’ll also visit charities like SOHACA, EPOC, Health4Men as well as clubs including Provocative, Club Simply Blue, Ratz Bar, Melon Restaurant, the Secret Circuit party and many more.
“We thank all of queer SA who participated in selecting their favourite designs and performers, said Brockman. “This coach is yours as much as ours and we invite you to come and say hi, pose for a pic with us and join in the fun.”