Miss Gay Jozi crowned in colourful pageant

FLAUNTING IT: Miss Gay Jozi 2014 finalist Sjarmanté Diamanté showing off her first outfit backstage before the start of the show. She designed and made the dress herself. Photo: Robyn Kirk

FLAUNTING IT: Miss Gay Jozi 2014 finalist Sjarmanté Diamanté showing off her first outfit backstage before the start of the show. She designed and made the dress herself. Photo: Robyn Kirk

by Zelmarie Goosen and Robyn Kirk

Over the top make-up, fabulous dresses, and South African gay pride came to the Wits Theatre this weekend for the second annual 2014 Miss Gay Jozi pageant.

Miss Thabo Tee Menu took the title of Miss Gay Jozi in an event that featured 12 female impersonators or drag queen finalists.

The first princess was Thibe Monale and second princess, Theasare Jaars.

The theme of this year’s competition was a celebration of the country’s  20 years of democracy. The ladies did the first walk of the evening in a traditional outfit of their choice while Labelz performed Wakka Wakka, the song made famous during the 2010 World Cup.

“We basically do it [the pageant] within this month because on the 25th of May is Africa Day, so we want to celebrate and commemorate Africa Day and also show that us drag queens, and us gay people also are African,” said event co-ordinator Zsa-Zsa Whitney Gabor-Houston. “And we also believe in our country and believe in our rights and this is just a way of us expressing our rights as well as a gay community.”

Many of the organisers and finalists emphasised the importance of being proud of being gay and South African. “Be brave, come out, and don’t be afraid to explore,” said producer and director Dino Abrahams. “Don’t be afraid of who you are.”

Technical difficulties and wardrobe malfunctions meant the event got off to a slow start, but it was worth the wait. Along with Labelz several other performers wowed the crowd, including Divas of Drag, Ellah Elkenaza, Eldrid aka Mr. Carter, Sonwa Gxilishe, Foxy and Rosslyn Van Der Woodsen Bass.

The road to Miss Gay Jozi started with auditions of 25 hopefuls. The number was cut down to 12 finalists for Saturday night’s show, and throughout the evening only six made it to the final round.


Originally published May 19, 2014 on the Wits Vuvuzela website


About robykirk

Robyn was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, still isn't dead and despises writing in the third person. She received her undergraduate degree at Rhodes University, having completed a Bachelor of Arts in Politics, History and Journalism at the end of 2013 and completed her Honours in Journalism (career entry) at Wits University in Johannesburg during 2014. From April 2015 until March 2016 she worked as the Communications Intern for the MRC/Wits Agincourt Research unit in rural Mpumalanga. This blog is a collection of the work produced: - for the Wits University student newspaper and website Wits Vuvuzela during 2014 - during her internship at MRC/WIts Agincourt Research Unit (2015/2016) and independent blogging (2014-present). Robyn is interested in everything besides sports and mean people. In the past she has specialised in photojournalism and television journalism, and considers visual media to be one of her strongest skills. She decided to become a journalist because learning about other people’s lives was more fun than putting on pants and having her own. Follow her on Twitter: @RobyKirk

Posted on May 29, 2014, in Online stories, Wits Vuvuzela. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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