DUT’s Sihle Mjobo on changing the narrative of male pageants
Representing young men in the pageantry world, Sihle Mjobo is here to change the narrative that beauty pageants are meant for women only.
While most people, especially men think that pageants are about glitz and glamour, Sihle Mjobo believes that they are a space where an individual can holistically grow as a person as they’re constantly put on a test.
“Male pageants are not given the same level of prestige and don’t get the same opportunities as females. If that changes it would encourage a lot of young men to go into pageantry. It would encourage them to grow holistically as a person and become the best version of themselves and I believe that is what pageantry is about,” he said.
Hailing from a small village called Izukhuba under a small town in Bizana, 23-year-old Sihle Mjobo started competing in pageants in high school. He did not win the first pageant he entered but went on to enter Mr South Coast Academy in 2013, although he did not win again Sihle re-entered in 2014 and as the saying goes the third time was a charm.
“I learnt a lot about what applying yourself and putting in the hard work can do even in situations where you’re the least experienced person. I learned about what the power of an individual can do and the influence that this platform has afforded me,” Mjobo said.
Mjobo has since entered a handful of pageants and in 2019 he took the crown of Mr DUT 2019 home. He went on to enter Durban Varsities pageants and came in top 5, his latest beauty pageant competition was Mr and Ms SA Campus where he represented DUT KwaZulu-Natal universities and came in second place.
“Pageants are a good influence on young people because they prepare you to be a well-rounded individual and they force you to be out of your comfort zone by putting you on the spot. You’re forced to interact with people which develops your social skills and promotes all the right values,” said Mjobo.
He believes the more you learn about yourself and different people and engage with them you have an open-minded approach to life.
As a male and a firm believer in the gentleman’s codes, Sihle deems it important that males are raised to be gentlemen. He says what is described as a real man does not fit the 21st century and it’s time that changes.
“As a firm believer in the gentleman’s codes, that is codes of intelligence, self-worth, believing in yourself, respect for yourself and others, codes of ethics, understanding people and having ethical standards of behaviour, and an active and responsible mind is a huge virtue in the 21st century. These are values that young men should be taught and these are the values that a gentleman should model,” he said.
Sihle’s biggest accomplishment thus far is the mental shift between doing what is right and what is expected of him.
“I think it’s important to have conviction in what you do because with conviction you don’t second guess yourself,” he said.
That was a huge mental shift in Sihle’s life that has allowed him to put himself in situations he would have been reluctant to put himself in, which has improved his reality of life.
Sihle is currently working on a campaign together with Miss DUT 2019 Andile, to formalize an NGO under DUT student housing called Aganang whereby they donate food parcels to the homeless and elderly.
“Had I not participated in these pageants these are issues I would have never been exposed to, they made me realize the power of an individual and how as a collective we can succeed in any goal,” said Mjobo.
Sihle’s advice to youngsters is to always embrace opportunities. He said don’t try to make sense of them and don’t try to foresee what the end results will be.
“Just embrace opportunities as they come, don’t wait for the next one and don’t regret the ones you missed,” he added.
Picture: (Instagram) Sihle Mjobo