Do you have what it takes to represent South Africa in the Mr Gay World contest next year? The search is now on for one gay man to take the title of Mr Gay World Southern Africa.
The new event, which will announce its title holder at a grand finale in September, replaces the previous Mr Gay South Africa pageants.
(There is a current Mr Gay World Southern Africa, AleXander Steyn, who came fifth in Mr Gay World in May. He, however, was appointed to the title after winning Mr Mardi Gras at the Pink Loerie Festival.)
According to Mr Gay World Southern Africa Chairperson Johann van Niekerk, the organisers are looking for a unique and multi-faceted gay male to represent South Africa locally and at the Mr Gay World contest in 2018.
“What is required of him is no small feat. He needs to be switched on, kind, passionate about change, charismatic and an all-rounder who can function consistently as an ambassador and spokesperson for the LGBTQ community,” says van Niekerk.
“He also needs to be the voice for many who are not being heard, which requires a compassionate and considerate nature, and to embody magnetism and sex appeal while still maintaining a good head on his shoulders.” Van Niekerk adds: “As with any pageant, he needs to be attractive, but many qualities make someone attractive, and not all of them are external.”
“Mr Gay World Southern Africa must be a true reflection of this country”
This year, entrants must be males over the age of 18 from South Africa only. Van Niekerk explains that while the event aims to be open to all gay men in Southern Africa, this goal has for now been restricted by limited finances and logistics.
“We hope to secure the funds to make this a reality soon so that we can provide other Southern African countries with a platform for their own LGBTQ ambassador too. We would appreciate any help that can be offered to make this a reality,” he says.
Van Niekerk also acknowledges the long-standing criticism that past titleholders of South Africa’s national gay pageants, including the two South African winners of Mr Gay World (in 2010 and 2011), have all been white.
“Including entrants of colour and other demographics that represent the majority of Southern Africans is essential to us,” he insists.
“Mr Gay World Southern Africa must be a true reflection of this country. Stigma and social pressure within the communities they reside in have prevented many young men of colour from entering due to fear. This must and will change.
“We have had two South African entrants to go on to win the title of Mr Gay World in the past, and we look forward to facilitating the reign of a future Mr Gay World of colour too,” Van Niekerk asserts.
If you’d like to enter Mr Gay World Southern Africa, click here. Entries must be in by 31 July 2017. The finalists will be announced on 5 August. The grand finale will take place on Saturday 23 September 2017 at the Atterbury Theatre in Pretoria.