NW varsity male pageant renamed

Hope Nokuthula Bhuda
Hope Nokuthula Bhuda

The North West University has decided to rename its male pageant title after it was recently won by a woman who identified herself as a lesbian.

Sowetan reported on Tuesday, that Hope Nokuthula Bhuda was crowned Mr NWU at the university's Mahikeng campus on Saturday.

Her participation in the pageant caused a stir on campus and on social media with mixed views being shared.

Yesterday, the university told Sowetan management has taken a decision to rename both Mr and Miss NWU pageants so that the gender-bending spectacles can be more inclusive.

"This event [Mr NWU] took place within the context of the Gender Awareness Week that is scheduled to take place later," NWU spokesperson Louis Jacobs said.

"The organisers decided to raise awareness and celebrate diversity within the NWU by adopting the theme of 'diversity and LGBTQI+.'

"This meant that participants of various genders could choose the category in which they preferred to participate. The good intention to raise awareness about human rights, and promote an inclusive environment are applauded."

Jacobs said it was an "oversight" for the organisers to retain traditional binaries of male and female (Mr and Miss NWU Mafikeng Campus).

"The retention of these binaries within the context of the event's theme and objectives, was an oversight by the organisers," he said.

"Therefore, we will engage with relevant stakeholders on the matter to ensure that we attain a more inclusive approach by renaming the event and the titles of the winners; and ensuring articulation with similar events on other campuses and nationally."

Pageant organiser Tshepo Batlang said he was yet to be informed of the university's decision.

"As it stands I have not been informed. Because it's something that has been blown out of the campus's barometer, let the management handle it. They have said we have to leave it to them to handle the matter."

Bhuda could not be reached for comment as her phone was switched off.

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