Left - Taurai Simba C Zhanje
The Mr Gay World Organisation has announced that Taurai Zhanje, the delegate from Zimbabwe has withdrawn from the competition due to ‘personal reasons’.
The Director for Africa, Coenie Kukkuk said: “We are sad to loose Taurai, but in Africa, the personal sacrifice for gay and human rights is sometimes too much to expect from people. Taurai already made a very brave stand against the oppression of the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual and intersex persons and we have to respect his decision. We wish him and his family only the best for the future.”
Kukkuk said that they will explore all avenues to find another country from Africa to take Zimbabwe’s place, but that the general political climate in Africa is not conducive to LGBTI rights being recognised and that it will be very difficult to do so.
Recently, at an African Union summit in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has urged African leaders to respect gay rights.
The Mr Gay World competition is defined as an annual contest for gay men, seeking to establish ambassadors for LGBT and human rights, with winners of national contests competing as delegates in a variety of categories. It is not a beauty contest and there is no age limit. This competition is the most publicized gay contest in the world and unashamedly uses the attention it garners to focus attention on the plight of LGBTI people worldwide, with the focus in 2012 being on African LGBTIs specifically. 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.
The competition is set to take place in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 4 to 8 April 2012.
The news that Taurai left the competition came as a great shock to most people but we are sure that this brave man had good reasons, on his face book profile its clear to see just how humble this man is.
"wow messages of support pouring in from all walks of life..wow me inspiring others, I never dreamt that, thank you very much, I'm very humbled"
Taurai is an inspiration for so many people, myself included, To stand up for his rights and be himself in a world where gay men are often prosecuted should be seen for what it was, BRAVERY! People will remember him not for leaving the contest, but for the great and inspirational guy that he is. I am sure that his presence at this years Mr Gay World being held in Johannesburg South Africa later this year will be greatly missed.
I want to wish him the best of luck for the future and any project that he might be undertaking.
For more, see the websites www.mrgayworld.org and www.mrgsa.co.za and for online bookings for the Grand Finale see http://online.computicket.com/web/event/mr_gay_world_2012_grand_finale/477720853/referer:-highlights-index-2-0-2012_04_08-grid-