Mr Gay World gets first black African finalists

Mr Gay World's first black African finalists may help fight anti-gay laws across the continent

Mr Gay World gets first black African finalists
22 February 2012

Mr Gay World's first black African finalists will send out a 'powerful message of hope', say organizers.

Robel Gizaw Hailu from Ethiopia, Wendelinus Hamutenya from Namibia, Lance Weyer from South Africa and Taurai Zhanje from Zimbabwe, will compete in the global male beauty pageant in Johannesburg, from 4 to 8 April.

Homosexuality is illegal in 38 African countries, with Mauritania, Sudan, and northern Nigeria allowing for the death penalty.

Mr Gay World's Africa director Coenie Kukkuk has hailed the news as a major development.

'It's the first time that black Africans will participate, which sends out a powerful message of hope to LGBTI people in Africa,' he said.

'A message that there are role models and that one can live as a successful and open LGBTI person.'

Hamutenya was the first ever Mr Gay Namibia, but in December last year he was attacked with a glass bottle after being followed by two men while on his way home.

Kukkuk added that it is significant an Ethiopian delegate is participating.

He said: 'The capital city Addis Ababa is the seat of the African Union, so it sends a strong political message.'

He added that other African delegates might be considered for the contest.

He said: 'Only those countries that have national competitions which are licensed to Mr Gay World are invited to participate. Due to space and logistics there is a quota for every continent and the four spaces allocated to Africa are now filled.

'However, should any other continent not fill its quota then applications for extra delegates will be considered.'

South Africa has won the Mr Gay World title twice, in 2010 and 2011.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

France court allows gay man to marry Morocco partner

Top court breaks a long-standing agreement between the two countries
No thumbnail available

No room at the inn in Texas for Uganda’s President Museveni over anti-gay laws

Uganda’s President Museveni is struggling to find accommodation during a trip to Texas where he is seeking to encourage tourism and investment in his country despite its persecution of LGBTI people
No thumbnail available
Documentary about murdered gay teenager premieres on HBO

Documentary about murdered gay teenager premieres on HBO

Former jurors in the Larry King murder trial only have sympathy for the convicted killer, Brandon McInerney
No thumbnail available

India's ruling party supports lifting gay sex ban

Bharatiya Janata Party takes a stance on homosexuality for the first time
No thumbnail available

Through laughter and tears, gay seniors share their advice for younger generation

'Our queerness, that thing that sets us apart, that can cause us to feel unwanted, unloved, rejected and alone in the world, is a gift'
No thumbnail available

Kansas governor removes protections for gay state employees

State workers can now be legally fired for being gay or transgender
No thumbnail available

Maryland governor signs gay marriage into law

Martin O'Malley says state moving to 'greater respect for the equal rights of all'
No thumbnail available

UKIP will not kick out people who say gay sex is disgusting

Nigel Farage says UK Independence Party members who likened gay marriage to incest went 'too far' but making them leave the party will end debate in British politics
Is this the most bewitching island in the world (or at least the Philippines)?

Is this the most bewitching island in the world (or at least the Philippines)?

Nothing against Hawaii, the Maldives or Thailand, but the Pacific island of Boracay stole our hearts with its pristine beaches, green mango smoothies and lively locals. Mahal Kita Philippines!