Charl-Jaquairdo van Helsdingen (Pic: Facebook)
Charl-Jaquairdo van Helsdingen from Johannesburg has been chosen as Mr Gay World South Africa 2019, in a closely watched online competition.
Charl-Jaquairdo, who is a model, brand ambassador, creative director, wardrobe stylist and event producer, will represent the country in the upcoming Mr Gay World contest in Knysna.
“We are proud to have found such a strong, creative and talented individual that will be representing the South African LGBTQ+ communities,” said the organisers.
Charl-Jaquairdo was chosen by the public via online voting as well as scoring from a panel of judges: Kaye Alley (Chair, Pride of Africa), Chris Emmanuel (Mr Gay World, South Africa 2018), Gavin Hayward (Exit newspaper) and Gilbert Martin (Network Synergy).
George Ungerer from Nelson Mandela Bay (PE) came in as 1st Runner Up and Mojalefa Lekanyane from Pretoria was the 2nd Runner Up.
“Waking up and still feel like I’m dreaming,” wrote Charl-Jaquairdo on Facebook. “I am overwhelmed with emotion and gratitude. Thank you to every single person who supported me, who believed in me. For everyone who made the effort to vote and for walking this journey with me.”
The 28-year-old also thanked his mother “who never gave up on me, even when I wanted to give up on myself.”
Charl-Jaquairdo added: “I am beyond proud to hold this title and ready to work my butt off to take this title and make a real change in this world. I am ready to take on the world with the support of my loved ones and the backing of my community. I do this for you. I do this for those who don’t have the voice to stand up. For those who need the strength and inspiration to make a change in this world.”
In a partnership with Guardians of our Earth, three of the contestants will also share a new award for humanitarian work done in the LGBTQ+ community: Charl-Jaquairdo, Jonathan Larhein from Johannesburg and Thabang Phutsisi from Randburg.
Mr Gay World 2020 will run from Sunday, 26 April to Sunday, 3 May in Knysna, alongside the annual Pink Loerie Mardi Gras and Arts Festival. The Mr Gay World 2020 grand finale will take place on Saturday, 2 May at Villa Castollini.
Below: Read our exclusive 2015 interview with Charl-Jaquairdo back when he was a Magic Mike South Africa dancer and check out his sizzling 2018 Xodus photoshoot.
There’s something Magic about Charl
Painting masculinity pink with Xodus (pics)