Bongs Ndima becomes first black man to win Mr Gay World SA
Certified personal trainer Bongs Ndima has been crowned Mr Gay World South Africa.
Ndima is the first black man to win the title. He takes over the reign from Louw Breytenbach, who has been recently crowned Mr Gay World.
Breytenbach was initially crowned Mr Gay World SA in May this year. He won Mr Gay World in November and handed over his reigns to Ndima, who was the Mr Gay World SA first runner up.
Ndima says he entered the competition because he felt that there weren’t enough men of colour to represent people who looked like him. He also adds that he wanted to push his organisation, Bongs Ndima Foundation, which focuses on male mental health.
“Being the first black man to carry the title, after over 10 years since the competition has been running, it can’t be right. I hope I won’t be the last. We need faces of colour there, people who aren’t afraid to speak their minds.
“Yes, the competition has been open to everyone, but I don’t think it was properly accessible to everyone. And moving forward, I think we will need to make it as inclusive and diverse as we can, so everyone has a fair chance,” says Ndima.
He adds that winning the competition has been exciting and nerve-wracking.
“Honestly speaking, this has been scary and exciting at the same time. Scary because I have big shoes to fill. Being the first person of colour to win or hold the title, I feel like there are many expectations.
“However, I am thrilled to finally break the ceiling. Because let’s face it, it’s been 10 years since the competition has been running, and we also needed some representation and to be one to carry the baton and run the race,” he says.
Ndima will continue using his foundation to teach people about mental health and how to lead a healthy lifestyle.
“Most men, including the LGBTQI+ community, are still not clued up when it comes to mental health issues and how to take care of oneself.
“Hence the high number of male suicides in SA is four times more than our women. To me, that’s alarming, and something needs to be done sooner,” he explains.
Based in Johannesburg, Brian Derenberger is a Senior Editor at Healthy Organic Lifestyle.