Louw Breytenbach, 31, from Boksburg in Gauteng, was crowned Mr Gay World South Africa at the Galleria conference and event venue in Sandton, Johannesburg.
The event on Friday evening, saw 11 contestants from around the country vie for the title of Mr Gay World South Africa. The final took place at the same time as Mr World South Africa, during which Sean van Noordwyk was crowned. It was the pinnacle after a long week of activities the contestants participated in. The theme of this year’s event was “United with Purpose”.
In January, the Mr World South Africa and Mr Gay World South Africa organisations postponed the pageants to May 21 and 22 because of the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
Taking to Instagram after the win, he said that winning is one of the most special moments of his life.
“The announcement of becoming Mr Gay World SA 2021is not only an honour but a commitment and promise to the entire LGBTIQ+ Community that we will not have another cover boy who doesn’t address the issues in the community.
“We are here to drive change and open dialogue on Mental Health, Equality and injustices facing our community. Love louder and let’s make sure this pageant is about more than just a hashtag,” he said.
“Thank you to all those who believe in me, support me, voted for me, prayed for me, and to all the amazing gents who shared that stage with me. It is all such a blessing!”
Speaking to South African news and lifestyle website MambaOnline, Breytenbach said that he was very nervous and that he knows he should have probably been nervous before, but now it’s real.
“It’s an excited and stressed feeling altogether, but I’m very excited to represent the community,” Breytenbach said.
Breytenbach has a degree in Christian-based Education, a Degree in Theatre based education, and a Diploma in Theology.
He is the Director of the National Arts Association of South Africa, and owner of LALT House of Growth – an educational Theatre centre for community development through art.
A few days before the crowning, Breytenbach posted to his Facebook page: “Let’s drive change, let’s touch lives and let’s make a difference in the LGBTIQ+ and mental health community”.
Breytenbach said being selected as a Top 12 candidate brought him a massive smile to his face and said it was one step closer to his dream of making a bigger impact in the mental health community and creating a voice for the young LGBTIQA+ Community.
Breytenbach, who is an actor, television presenter and entrepreneur runs a theatre school in Gauteng and is passionate about mental health issues affecting LGBTIQ+ persons and uses his various platforms to advocate for the cause.
In the question and answer segment of the pageant, Breytenbach said that LGBTIQA+ youth face a higher risk of suicide and of developing body dysmorphia.
According to MambaOnline, he also addressed the recent spike in LGBTIQA+ hate murders that have rocked South Africa.
He believes that the youth are key to tackling the scourge of hate crimes.
Breytenbach will represent South Africa at the Mr Gay World contest which is scheduled in September.