This year, South Africa, and specifically the Mother City, will again play host to finalists competing in the Mr Gay World competition. The Mr Gay World 2019 Grand Finale is taking place on Saturday, 4 May at the Cape Town City Hall, following a week of competition across a range of categories.

South Africa’s entrant into this prestigious competition – which aims to crown someone who will be a global LGBTQIA ambassador for the next year – has not been chosen yet, but the Mr Gay World South Africa organisers have announced that SMS voting for Mr Gay World South Africa is officially open.

Not sure where to cast your vote before voting closes at midnight on Sunday, 31 March? Read on to get the gist about the 11 finalists.

Chris Emmanuel

Age: 42

From: Knysna

Occupation: Owner of CrossFit Knysna

Standout quote from video: “The LGBTI community is marginalised. Is that because society pushes us aside, or do we push society aside due to unnecessary shame and guilt?”

To vote for Chris, SMS MGWSA Chris to 45509 (R1.50 per SMS, and you can vote as many times as you like)

Francois le Roux

Age: 22

From: Cape Town

Standout quote from video: “That is the reason why I entered Mr Gay South Africa – to encourage other gay youngsters to find their inner strength, to fight for themselves and let them know that they are stronger than they are.”

To vote for Francois, SMS MGWSA Francois to 45509 (R1.50 per SMS, and you can vote as many times as you like)

Geoffrey Bezuidenhout

Age: 35

From: Knysna

Standout quote from video: “Should I win the title of Mr Gay World South Africa… it would also give me the opportunity to, on an international platform, be an inspiration to others and to show everybody, especially the LGBTI community, that absolutely anything is possible, should you put your mind to it.”

To vote for Geoffrey, SMS MGWSA Geoffrey to 45509 (R1.50 per SMS, and you can vote as many times as you like)

Kevin du Plessis

Age: 28

From: Johannesburg

Occupation: Journalist at Gay Pages

Standout quote from video: “I’m trying to find an answer for how I can make the LGBTQI community the strongest and most united fringeline community in the world.”

To vote for Kevin, SMS MGWSA Kevin to 45509 (R1.50 per SMS, and you can vote as many times as you like)

Louis Kriel

Age: 32

From: Strand

Occupation: Independent reviewer and part-time model

Standout quote from video: “So, I guess I’m a believer of life – you should always do the things you think you cannot do.”

To vote for Louis, SMS MGWSA Louis to 45509 (R1.50 per SMS, and you can vote as many times as you like)

Lourens Moorcroft

Age: 42

From: Johannesburg

Occupation: Designer

Standout quote from video: “Being a proud South African, I know and I have seen that through forgiveness and compassion, and through respect and dignity, unity does exist.”

To vote for Lourens, SMS MGWSA Lourens to 45509 (R1.50 per SMS, and you can vote as many times as you like)

Martin Headger

Age: 27

From: Johannesburg

Occupation: Freelancer

Standout quote from video: “I conceptualise, create and execute diversity and inclusion projects. Why? Because everybody deserves to live their truth, no matter who and where you are – especially in the workplace.”

To vote for Martin, SMS MGWSA Martin to 45509 (R1.50 per SMS, and you can vote as many times as you like)

Noel Deyzel

Age: 34

From: Johannesburg

Occupation: Entrepreneur

Standout quote from video: “I want to use this as a platform – my present social media base that I have – to assist others and give them some sort of voice to help them come out and be themselves.”

To vote for Noel, SMS MGWSA Noel to 45509 (R1.50 per SMS, and you can vote as many times as you like)

Prince Nsibande

Age: 44

From: Umlazi

Occupation: Arts facilitator and fashion designer

Standout quote from video: I’m just a simple person who is a hardworking guy. I would like to represent the gay community, the LGBTQ+ community, this year and next year, and also every other year.”

To vote for Prince, SMS MGWSA Prince to 45509 (R1.50 per SMS, and you can vote as many times as you like)

Riaan Phillips

Age: 35

From: Cape Town

Standout quote from video: “This is our time to stand together and fight this thing called depression, because I believe together, we can build a depression-free world.”

To vote for Riaan, SMS MGWSA Riaan to 45509 (R1.50 per SMS, and you can vote as many times as you like)

Theo Chelane

Age: 30

From: Pretoria

Standout quote from video: “Nobody in the world can tell your story better than yourself.”

To vote for Theo, SMS MGWSA Theo to 45509 (R1.50 per SMS, and you can vote as many times as you like)