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Fear and flight of Mr Gay World Africa contenders

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Fear and flight of Mr Gay World Africa contenders

BY NATASHA BARSOTTI - First there was celebration over the participation of the first black African contestants in the Mr Gay World competition set for April in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Now the news is anything but celebratory after Zimbabwean contestant Taurai Zhanje withdrew from the contest over the past weekend because of what Coenie Kukkuk, the director of Mr Gay World Africa, vaguely deemed the political landscape ahead of the country's general election.

Zhanje's withdrawal coincides with the unapologetically homophobic Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's decision to mark his 88th year by going on an anti-gay rant at a birthday rally following British Prime Minister David Cameron's threat a few months ago to pull aid from countries that did not safeguard the rights of queers. 

Mugabe's rejoinder? "We reject that outright and say to hell with you."

Mugabe, who has called gays "worse than dogs" in the past, told the rally in a televised speech that he would never allow gay rights in Zimbabwe. He has also criticized his major political opponent, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai, for supporting gay rights.

On the heels of Mugabe's nonsensical nattering and the Zimbabwean contestant's withdrawal, Mr Gay Ethiopia, Robel Gizaw Hailu, has also reportedly fled his home because of death threats and does not plan to return to his country, even though he still intends to compete in the global pageant, according to Gay Star News.

The saga of persecution doesn't end there: the first ever Mr Gay Namibia, Wendelinus Hamutenya, also faced down an apparent homophobic attack in December when he was followed by two men and attacked with a bottle. He, too, will remain in the competition.  

"I do not think LGBTI people in the West really have an idea what black LGBTI Africans have to deal with on a daily basis. That is why most of them still are, and will remain, closeted," Kukkuk told Gay Star News.  

Canada's representative at the Mr Gay World competition is Vancouver-based Thomas Egli, who emerged winner of the Mr Gay Canada competition held at the recently concluded WinterPride festival in Whistler, BC.

The Mr Gay World competition is scheduled to run April 4 to 8.


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Comments

CJ - That's beause birds eye
CJ - That's beause birds eye and aerial imagery are taken at different times (days, months, or even years apart). Notice on the first image of the F117 there's a second F117 in a hangar to the southwest with its nose poking out.
It's funny that although we
It's funny that although we're the "great satan" Iran air flies american planes.
Teacher pay based on test
Teacher pay based on test results and observations is ideal IF the students in the classroom are also ideal. Until that is the case, I have enough on my school plate about which to worry (like can my students read well enough to even pass the test?).
Of the competition’s aims,
Of the competition’s aims, organisers add:

“The delegate chosen to represent his peers on a global stage will not only have the inner beauty of confidence, self assurance, charisma and natural leadership abilities but he will also take care in his outward appearance. He will also have knowledge of LGBTI general history and recent news.” ****

On the other hand, Zimbabwe is in the final stages of drawing up a new constitution, and in advance of the publication of the final draft, President Robert Mugabe said he would reject any incorporation of homosexual rights. ****

Homosexuality is presently illegal in Zimbabwe – as in 37 other African countries – and Taurai Zhanje’s claim to represent the country could spark a political firestorm. ****

All the best for Taurai Zhanje and his family for the future. ****

And good luck to African contestants and also to Mr.Gay Canada, Thomas Egli. ****

Gay rights are human rights.
Ngaitidzokei kumutemo maMoses
Ngaitidzokei kumutemo maMoses, lets hang all gay people, we dont want to be destroyed like Sodom and Gomora
the president is right, it is
the president is right, it is immoral for a man to elop with another man, it's got no place in our society.
zhanje dnt blame politics, u
zhanje dnt blame politics, u knw what you doing is wrong and disgusting. Please dnt spoil our kids. Go and stay with Cameron
They remain worse than DOGS
They remain worse than DOGS
gays are worse than pigs
gays are worse than pigs.zhanje we dnt wnt to c u in ZIM.go to UK plz.
gays have a psychological and
gays have a psychological and anaotmical dysfunctional.The natural law is very clear of who we are and our sexual orientation.Deviation from the norm is true sign that these people needs rehabilitation.i equally do not have soft words for them.they are worse of than animal. In africa we have tended to be copycats in everything we do.all that come from the is good? thatis utter rubbish and lack of knowledge.

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