END IS NIGH: Brave men have been struggling with itchy noses and scratchy top lips, as they did their bit for Movember.
END IS NIGH: Brave men have been struggling with itchy noses and scratchy top lips, as they did their bit for Movember.

Anneke Rautenbach

Many men burdened with itchy noses and irritable top lips will breathe a sigh of relief today as the month of Movember draws to a close. Movember, the annual international month of awareness around prostate cancer, involves the growing of moustaches from scratch for the month of November. And it’s not that pleasant, thank you.

This year Movember, in partnership with the Cancer Association of South Africa, has raised about R4.5 million.

Chatting to some moustached individuals milling about Long Street and St George’s Mall, yesterday, they commented on their relationship with the campaign and how they felt about their itchy lipwarmers.

“I have one all the time, but it's a really fantastic cause. My old man had prostate cancer,” said Hilton Summers, who will not be shaving his moustache any time soon.

“My sister-in-law had cancer,” commented Frank Pereira, “so I joined a cause similar to Movember for cancer awareness. That’s why I also have this very short hair.”

“I just grew mine for Movember, tomorrow it’s coming off!” said Fabian Daniels with visible relief.

“I had a beard and my children wanted me to shave my chin, they wanted me to have a biker’s moustache,” said Ferdi Gerber. “My wife doesn’t like it, so it’s only until tomorrow.”

John Goliath’s wife seems to have similar sentiments. “She hates it, she says it looks weird,” he said.

No one seems to have as much affection for their facial hair as last year’s International Man of Movember, Anton Taylor, who has emerged victorious in this year’s Cape Town Movember gala. “It’s a really great cause and a way to celebrate being different,” says Taylor.

Earning him the crown last year was an outrageous hairy getup of a mullet and handlebar moustache extending to intricately shaved patterns on his chest and back.

The winners are decided by the audience’s response, and the crowd went wild.

This year he decided on a feline theme, getting tiger stripes shaved onto his stomach, arms and back, as well as shaving lines into his moustache. “I wore little tiger ears and entered in a cage carried by four muscular men.”

When asked if he stood a chance to win the international title a second year in a row, he said that he doubted the committee would give it to the same man twice.