Name-calling and other insults were all over social media as the South African public threw in their two cents about the reveal of the top-20 finalists for Mr South Africa last week Wednesday.
Buffalo Flats resident and Eastern Cape’s only finalist, Caviner Ruiters, said his response to the backlash is to use it positively to teach the nation how to love and tolerate one another.
“We are real and know what’s going on in SA, and some of the strongest men I know are in this competition and making a difference in the country,” Ruiters said.
The Mr SA organisation has strongly condemned the bullying and attacks of the contestants based on their look, physical appearance or physique.
According to Mr SA CEO JP Roberts, the competition looks beyond appearances and it’s about male ambassadors that exhibit integrity, compassion and professionalism.
“We look for men with dedication, drive and ambition. Hence why they have to tell us what their top qualities are and what they believe are the best attributes for Mr SA to have,” said Roberts.
Ruiters also stated that it’s unfair to place men and women on the same benchmark for pageants. Though the two genders are equal, there are fundamental differences.
“Men have a role to play in bringing integrity and respect for the most vulnerable in society. They can play a positive role in fighting social injustices such as gender-based violence,” he said.
As the GO! had previously reported (“Book Drive joy for pupils”, September 27), Ruiters has completed a book drive together with Wild Coast FM, the department of sport, recreation arts and culture (Dsrac) and PnA Stationers East London.
“I managed to ignite a child’s imagination and reading can open up their dreams to something more tangible,” he said.
Now a finance lecturer at ELMI college, Ruiters runs mentorship programmes for the students. at the college, especially those from disadvantaged communities.
The pageant is due to take place later in 2019 in Cape Town. To vote for Ruiters, SMS “MRSA 8” to 40439.