Mr SA hopefuls aim to do good – and win
It’s not only looks that count, says organiser
THESE are the most eligible bachelors in town. They’re young, ambitious, good-looking and have a soft spot for a good cause – and they’re finalists to be Mr South Africa 2011.
Mishal Mookrey, Ryno Swanepoel and Chase WatkinJones, all from Cape Town, are among the top 12 contestants.
They were selected from a group of 50 semi-finalists in a ceremony broadcast on DStv on Thursday night.
Now they’re to go head-tohead with each other and nine other contestants – from Joburg, Pretoria and Bloemfontein – for the crown in the final on February 19.
Pieter Cornelius, one of the organisers, said that while looks were important, the competition wasn’t just about a handsome face.
“We’re looking for an allround individual who cares about his community and is a role model for youth,” he said.
The finalists have to promote themselves and take on meaningful projects in their communities.
Watkin-Jones, 20, of Camps Bay, hopes to use his love for Taekwon-Do to get people in his community active and to teach them to protect themselves.
He is a Taekwon-Do instructor, the co-owner of a martial arts school, an SA Taekwon-Do champion and a student working for a degree in business and administration at Varsity College. He hopes to use his skills to give lessons at organisations and even rehab centres.
“You can’t really have a strategy when it comes to a competition like this. It’s about being yourself and helping others.”
For Mookrey, 28, from Rylands, tackling Mr South Africa was a personal challenge. His four-year-old niece had inspired him to enter because he wanted to show her that “you can do anything you set your mind to”.
Mookrey is a freelance TV producer and presenter, and has his own lifestyle show, which runs on his website and Cape Town TV.
The causes he has taken up include fighting against teenage pregnancy and schoolyard bullying.
“This competition gives me a platfor m to further my agenda, which is to get people talking about these issues. I can get out to schools and reach out to children. Even if it’s for an hour, it’s a start.”
Ryno Swanepoel, 21, of Paarl, said he wanted to use sport to make a difference among the youth.
He is an IT engineering student at Stellenbosch University, and loves sport – rugby and athletics being his favourites – and animals.
“Sport is a positive activity that can get the youth off the streets,” he said.
Swanepoel said that while he did step up his routine slightly after entering Mr South Africa, he loved being active.
The winner is voted for by the public via SMS. For more details, visit www.mrsa.co.za.
CHALLENGE: Mishal Mookrey, 28.
SPORTY: Ryno Swanepoel, 20.
TAEKWON-DO CHAMP: Chase Watkin-Jones, 21.