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South Africa joins leather nation

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Exclusive: South Africa
joins leather nation Mister Marcus
Published 06/18/2009
by Mister Marcus
hatchetq@aol.com

It was at the 2005 International Mr. Leather when it was first acknowledged that leather/bdsm was part of that nation's culture when Michael Egdes, a native of South Africa living in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was chosen the winner. He was living and working as a real estate agent in Florida with two husbands and several Pomeranian dogs.

It was another one of those good IML years with Egdes. He did a fantastic job with the title (and gave some memorable speeches) and of course, it did not fall on deaf ears that he was from South Africa.

So what happened in Johannesburg on Friday, May 29 at the Station bar?
In a field of nine contestants, Cape Town-based Jaco Laurens was named South Africa Leatherman 2009 and will represent that country at IML 2010 in Chicago. He will be the first-ever representative for his country in the IML competition.

The first runner-up was Richard Tasker of Magaliesig and the second runner-up was Tertius van Niekerk of Cape Town. Van Niekerk was also awarded the Heins Leather Community Service Award for his contributions to the South Africa leather community. The beneficiary for all this was Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action (GALA), and was dutifully accepted by Anthony Manion, CEO of the group.

And so, IML becomes more internationally renown as another country's leather tribe joins the world's biggest leather competition. I am sure Chuck Renslow never in his wildest dreams could have predicted IML's growth.


Mister Marcus and IMsL Lamalani join the new IML Jeffreu Payne onstage after he was announced the winner in Chicago on Memorial Day Weekend.
There are still many countries not represented. With the revelation that there are more leather people out there than we were aware of, it was surprising and great to learn of the big leather population in South Africa.

There have been at least two Mr. Leathers of Mexico, but neither winner appeared in the IML competition. There has been no word if the contest was ever staged since then.

Of course, there is no doubt that leather is alive and well in Canada, where there are more organizations thriving with leather people than you can imagine.

There have been a few Middle Eastern-born entries and a few Asian entries, but never have there been leather men from those countries who actually entered the international competition. But there is hope. Who could have ever imagined that a huge leather community existed in South Africa? With the competition staged in Johannesburg last month that produced a whopping nine contestants from throughout the country, they have impressively entered onto the leather stage and the winner will be widely anticipated at IML 2010. Needless to say, the South Africa leather community did reach out for guidance to Egdes and with his advice and experience, they were able to produce an event that you are the first to learn about exclusively here in the Bay Area Reporter.

NCSF Media Update - June 21, 2009

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Tracked on Sunday, October 19 2014 @ 07:52 AM MST