AMBITION: Chad Esau, 21, from Bellville South. Picture: Supplied
AMBITION: Chad Esau, 21, from Bellville South. Picture: Supplied

Cape Town model with skin disorder vies for Mr SA title

By Venecia Valentine Time of article published Nov 29, 2019

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After years of bullying and being called “ugly” because of a skin disorder, this Cape Flats male model is in the running to becoming the next Mr South Africa.

Chad Esau, 21, from Bellville South in Cape Town has vitiligo and says growing up with the rare skin disorder always attracted the “wrong attention” and badly affected his self-esteem.

Vitiligo is a disease that causes the loss of skin colour in blotches and Esau's entire upper body and face is affected.

It the same condition Michael Jackson had and launched the career of Canadian fashion model Winnie Harlow.

“Growing up with vitiligo was really tough, especially as a teenager,” Esau says.

Chad in Top 20. Picture: Supplied

“I was bullied, with kids calling me ugly everywhere I went. I remember in Grade 1, coming from school crying to my mom, saying I don’t want to go back to school.”

Esau says the abuse continued into high school where it became even more hurtful.

“I used to be considered ugly, so I never took part in sports or class activities because I was so afraid to be seen by people.

“I used to isolate myself from others because that’s how they made me feel.”

Esau studied to be a computer technician, but after being scouted by a modelling agent, his life took a different course.

“I got a job at a coffee shop called Doughnut Hive and Subz in GrandWest food court.

“I was working the graveyard shift and an agent came to me asking if I wanted to be a model and I said yes.

“It was random and I was shocked because it’s the thing I prayed for the morning before.

SUPPORT: Vote to get Chad in Top 20. Picture: Supplied

“I had made a note saying I want to become a model and that day one of my goals became a reality.”

Accepting himself has allowed him to blossom as he gained more confidence.

“I’m a people's person. I love interacting with different people and I’ve been modelling for the past few months for The MMM Agency.”

Esau says he took a “rough chance” when entering Mr SA and did not expect to get this far.

“It was just a silly thought that crossed my mind, I wanted to show the world that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and colours.”

He now needs your votes to get him into the Top 20.

To vote for Chad'Esau, SMS MRSA74 to 40439.

[email protected]

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