Model vies for drag title - Stabbing horror didn't deter Sincwala
From being stabbed six times in a horror attack that left him scarred for life because he is gay, Wandile "Somizi" Sincwala, 30, has come a long way.
He is now one of the 15 finalists vying for Miss Drag SA annual gay pageant.
The pageant will be held in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, on September 29.
Sincwala grew up in Daveyton on the east rand and started his modelling career in 2010 by taking part in local pageants and developed his talent over the years. But the pursuit of his dream turned into a nightmare in 2014 when he was beaten and stabbed six times by a group of men who accused him of dressing like women. The attack happened during a taxi ride to rehearsals for a beauty contest.
"I was dragged out of the taxi and beaten and stabbed after a taxi driver made a mockery of me when I was about to get off," Sincwala said.
He was admitted to hospital.
"When I went to the police station, I was made fun of. My case never got followed up," he said.
Sincwala said the attack has made him stronger and determined to educate his community about discrimination and homophobia.
"I don't remember having to explain myself to my mother because she has understood my sexuality from a young age," he said.
Sincwala said modelling has helped him to be freer and more comfortable during public appearances.
"I carry my scars of rejection, discrimination and physical attacks as a crown.
"Society needs to understand that we are human and hating us will not change the fact that we are here and make us live in fear of coming out."
Sincwala will represent Gauteng at Miss Drag SA.
Director and founder of Miss Drag SA Enigma Von Hamburg said: "We are excited that the platform of creating awareness has been received so well thus far and we feel that there is still a long way to go for our people to be able to understand, tolerate and accept the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex community."