Although not strictly in Johannesburg, this is still an appropriate place to publicise Gay Umbrella, a non-profit organisation working among the gay community of the North West Province. Established in 2007, this organisation is working hard towards serving the needs of lesbians, gays and other sexual minorities.
They will be hosting the first ever Mr & Miss Gay North West Pageant. In the past two years they have tested the waters with the Miss Gay Umbrella and the support was very encouraging. Now the event has been rebranded in line with national trends and so Mr & Miss Gay North West is born.
There will be three categories in the competition. The first is Mr Gay, where the judges will be looking for the sexiest young man. Miss Gay is for those boys who like to drag, while the Mr Lesbian category is looking for the most handsome lesbian in the province.
Contestants will have to dress in casual wear, swim wear and evening wear.The winners of these three categories will be expected to raise funds for a charity and they will have to work hard during the year to help popularise Gay Umbrella and its activities. They will be entered into other contests and it is hoped that one of them will win a national title. The judges will be made up of a panel consisting of other beauty queens, radio personalities and sponsors.
A special rate on accommodation at a local guest house has been secured and those travelling from afar are welcome to contact the Gay Umbrella office for more details. For the first time ever the focus will also fall on local gay talent as part of the entertainment. Guyz and girlz who can do drag shows, play musical instruments or sing and dance are welcome to come forward to be included in the programme. The organisers are hoping to include this talent search aspect as part of the competition and are currently negotiating prizes with sponsors.
Mr & Miss Gay North West is trying to up its game and several semi-professional and professional artists have already volunteered their services. The popular Ayanda will share MC duties with Brown. The Five Diamonds from Kimberley are making their way to Mafikeng to astound the audience with their show.
The event takes place in the stylish Mmabana Mafikeng Cultural Centre Theatre which can seat around 350 people. Admission is R40 per person and the show is scheduled for 25 April at 19h30. Tickets can be booked by calling the Gay Umbrella Office or they will be available at the door. A bar service will be available and after the pageant the ever popular DJ Smallz will keep the dance floor going until dawn!
Look out for these other events coming up in 2009: Out in Africa Film Festival - 15 & 16 May. Unisa/Gay Umbrella Research Project - June through September. Educational Lekgotla - 17 October. North West Pride - 28 November.
The secretary is Hendrik Baird and he can be reached on cell 083-698-7998. Alternatively contact can be made with the Chairperson, Mildred Maropefela, on cell 073-157-1791. More information will be available on http://gaymaf.blogspot.com and e-mails can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.