Johannesburg - Recently, the Mr South Africa competition trended on social media for all the wrong reasons. Just over a week ago, the announcement of the finalists caused an uproar with many questioning the contests' criteria.
Although many have mistaken it to being a beauty pageant, Mr South Africa’s CEO JP Robberts refutes this title saying the competition is to discover a man in South Africa who exhibits certain virtues and principles such as compassion and integrity.
It is staged to discover a role model for generations to come, he said, a platform for men to better themselves, and gain public support in driving awareness for various charitable causes or initiatives.
“Our criteria is strict at ensuring that our entrants exhibit certain virtues. These virtues are compassion, integrity (and) professionalism. These candidates have to be involved in community work or upliftment in working towards much needed change in SA,” said Robberts.
“The entry process is open to all South African men from all walks of life. From there we give all our entrants challenges to assess the virtues and principles that we are searching for. Throughout the public gets to vote for them and raise their opinions and support their favourite.
"From that, we take the contestants that worked the hardest, showed the most dedication, that displayed the qualities we look for and make them finalists - where they compete once last time before a panel of judges determines the winner,” he adds.
The competition, that started off this year with 50 entrants, has been running for a number of years, aiming to close the divide in South Africa, create a unified brotherhood between contestants, build a driving force that will strive for a better South Africa and also unearth a solid role model that can inspire the masses, he explained.
“There will always be people with something to say, be it positive or negative. Overall there are a lot of people who have something negative to say, but there are equally as many that show their support for what we are doing and for what we stand for.
“Given the loyalty of the finalists, sponsors, my team and the positive public support, I have no doubt that this competition will continue to grow year on year and reach new heights," he added .
The contestants had to go through a number of stages that included a business to environmental challenges- all leading to where the competition stands at the moment.IOL