South Africa’s Oelof de Meyer says he’s ready to represent the country at the international Mr Gay World competition this weekend in Malta.
The 28-year-old De Meyer is not just a pretty face (and a gorgeous body) but is also a successful renewable energy engineer. He left Joburg for Europe earlier in the week to take part in the contest.
The 2016 winner will be chosen from 24 contestants from around the world at a ceremony on Saturday on the island nation.
Speaking from Malta, De Meyer said he was excited to represent South Africa at the contest and believes that he has “the drive, personal traits, and relevant life experience required to be an effective ambassador for the LGBT community”.
He told Mambaonline that the hardest part of preparing for the event was “letting my insecurities go”.
He explained: “In a competition like this, and especially representing South Africa at an international level, you have a lot of inner conflict and self doubt.
“Lucky for me I had the privilege of working with an amazing team helping me prepare for such an important task. Not only did they mentor me but people from the community also jumped in and helped.”
De Meyer said that he had the full support of his friends, family and work colleagues. “My family is super proud of me, especially my mom, sister and brother. It’s been absolutely a positive and life changing experience for me.”
He revealed that the national costume that he’ll debut at the contest has been designed by Yihan Bronn, “and it looks amazing”.
“We have incorporated aspects of Africa with a hint of warrior,” he added.
A cause close to De Meyer’s heart has been raising awareness about breast cancer, especially among LGBT women, who are statistically at a greater risk of developing the disease compared to other women.
Earlier this month, he hosted a Mardi Gras themed Zumbathon in Roodepoort, attended by over 80 people to raise funds for the Breast Health Foundation.
“Many LGBT women, especially in rural communities, do not disclose their sexuality to their healthcare providers for fear of discrimination or confidentiality breach,” De Meyer said.
With South Africa having won Mr Gay World in 2010 and 2011, we have high hopes that De Meyer will bring the title back home for a third time.
- You can watch a live stream of the grand finale from 7pm (SA time) on Saturday 23 April on YouTube here.