Namibian fitness enthusiast and Mr Non-governmental organisation (NGO) Namibia 2022 Nikanor Matheus will be competing in the 10th Mr Africa International in Luanda, Angola, from 23 to 26 November 2022.
The second edition of the Mr and Miss NGO Namibia 2022 took place in September in Okahandja, where Matheus was chosen.
He will be competing against nine others for the title of Mr Africa International, an international male pageant that has been held since 2012 in London to empower men all over the world and raise funds for different initiatives around Africa, including education, talent and skill acquisition.
The competition includes panel discussions on the significance of men’s mental health, which organisers explained is necessitated by the current drastic increase in the number of male suicides around the world, a topic Matheus feels strongly about.
“Today, I can motivate someone suffering from mental pain, and I want to be the voice of the voiceless men out there because mental health is real. Namibia has recorded one of the highest statistics of suicide cases, of which many are men,” he told VIBEZ!
Drawing from his trauma of growing up without his parents, Matheus, who is a member of the Namibian Defense Force, promised himself to not let his baby girl – born in 2017 – grow up with absent parents.
“My parents had their differences, of which I suffered the consequences, which saw me being raised by my aunt. As I grew, I became smart and motivated by my pain to become a better person – even though, at times, I felt alone. I became my inspiration, having no one to look up to. I constantly told myself ‘I will not give up’ because I believed that life had a lot to offer – and only if I stayed focused and disciplined. God gave me a gift to be smart, outspoken and a talented speaker, and this was portrayed in my early school days.”
He turned to the gym to get over a “heartbreak”, caused by his child’s mother, whom he regarded as his future wife, saying “gyming became my therapy and I have since fallen in love with becoming the best version of myself, which is a strong, healthier, confident, mentally stable and the best father my child could ever hope for”.
On participating in Mr Africa International, he said it allows him to interact with fellow great minds, gain exposure as a fitness enthusiast, gain knowledge of the fashion industry and hopefully win to become the face of these great brands.
“I’m expecting to be challenged – but of course, what does not challenge you doesn’t change you… I believe life does not stop teaching.”