Mr. Gay World shuns prejudices as finale staged in Africa for first time

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(8 Apr 2012) 6 April 2012
1. Wide contestants of the Mr. Gay World pageant preparing themselves ahead of a sports day
2. Close one contestant tying a coloured scarf onto another contestant’s arm
3. Mid tracking shot of a contestant competing in an egg-and-spoon race
4. Low angle view and tilt up of contestants in the egg-and-spoon race
5. Low angle view of contestants in the egg-and-spoon race
6. Wide one team of Mr. Gay World contestants chanting and cheering
3 April 2012
7. Mid setup Wendelinus Hamutenya, Mr. Namibia, talking to a fellow contestant
8. Cutaway contestant
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Wendelinus Hamutenya, Mr. Namibia in the Mr. Gay World competition:
“My family are supporting me taking part in Mr. Gay Namibia. They are also supporting me in taking part in Mr. Gay World and they wish me the best of luck to bring the trophy home. Like today, when I was going to the airport, my mum wished me luck (and said) ‘OK, bring the trophy home.’ Yeah, because when I went back to the northern part (of Namibia) where I came from, where there’s a lot of gay people regarded as taboo, I was welcomed as a hero, even by the queen of my tribe.”
10. Cutaway Hamutenya with Robel Hailu, Mr. Ethiopia in the Mr. Gay World competition
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Robel Hailu, Mr. Ethiopia in the Mr. Gay World competition:
“All of my hundred percent success life is going to down, with negative stuff it is going. Even if when most of it happens they try to attack me, they did a lot of things. Now I am staying in one of my friends’ house. I am staying in his living couch, sleeping on his sofa. I am struggling a lot, being gay in Africa. That’s the only thing what I am learning.”
2 April 2012
12. Wide setup Teboha Maitse, acting chairman of South Africa’s Commission for Gender Equality, seated at her desk
13. Cutaway hands
14. SOUNDBITE (English) Teboha Maitse, acting chairman of South Africa’s Commission for Gender Equality:
“I just thought the organisers were actually brave to a certain extent, but it also gave me a sense of pride that they know that it can take place here, because on the continent, these rights, the rights of everyone, irrespective of their gender and sexual orientation, are enshrined in the constitution, therefore, these people or anyone of us have protection under our law.”
6 April 2012
15. Wide contestants at the Mr. Gay World sports day
16. Mid pan across the contestants
As contestants for Mr. Gay World gathered in Johannesburg this week ahead of the first Mr. Gay World grand finale to be held in Africa on Sunday, the issue of gay rights in Africa was a talking point.
It was all smiles and carefree competition at a pre-finale egg and spoon race but across the continent, in countries such as Malawi and Uganda, gays, lesbians and others who don’t fit a traditional definition of the sexual norm face severe discrimination and worse.
After Mr. Ethiopia entered the Mr. Gay World contest, his father cut off all communications. Mr. Zimbabwe, who lives in South Africa, withdrew, fearing the publicity was making life difficult for his mother back home.
But Mr. Namibia’s family accompanied him to the airport for a warm sendoff when he left for the competition, which culminates late Sunday with a final extravaganza at a Johannesburg casino.
Namibia’s Wendelinus Hamutenya said his mother told him: “Bring the trophy home.”
Hamutenya said his experience shows that Africans and Africa can change, on a continent where gay rights activists have been vilified, threatened and killed, where laws ban homosexual acts, where prominent politicians ridicule gays and minor politicians grab headlines by proposing even tougher anti-gay laws.
“I am struggling a lot, being gay in Africa,” he said.

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