Fashion designer Marvin Ross took the Mr Cape Town Pride 2019 crown in a field of 17 contestants at a sold out event in Athlone at the end of February. Queerlife wanted to get to know him better.
QL: Who is Marvin Ross?
I am 29 years of age. I grew up on the Cape Flats, Mitchell’s Plain to be specific, but I’ve moved to Strand about 4 years ago. I am a father to a 10 year old boy and the eldest out of 3 kids. I have been with my current partner for the past 5 years and we’ve shared our home for the past three.
QL: Tell us something unexpected about yourself?
I can spin on my head about 10 consecutive times. A trick I’ve learned whilst doing B–Boy dancing.
QL: What was the first thing that came into your head when you realised you had won Mr Cape Town Pride 2019?
I felt a sigh of relief at first as all my hard work paid off. I composed my swimwear and constructed my evening wear so that within itself was a major achievement for me. However the most imperative thing for me was the fact that God granted me the wisdom to participate and he carried me to victory. My parents and most importantly my son were top of mind as well.
QL: There’s a thriving drag pageant scene in Cape Town. Usually it’s a struggle to get people to enter the “Mister” categories. Why do you think that is?
Within my personal opinion, most gay guys are afraid to take risks where pageantry is concerned. It’s somewhat easier to step into a dress and take on a character compared to walking on stage as yourself. Most individuals within the LGBTIQ community are also way more fascinated with the creativity within the drag sections. The male sections pale in comparison.
QL: This year there were 17 guys participating Mr Cape Town Pride. Why was this pageant so successful in attracting a record number of contestants?
With time comes growth. This statement isn’t only directed at the pageant and its directors but at the contestants as well
QL: Why did you enter the competition?
I entered the pageant for several reasons. Firstly, to educate people about the LGBTIQ community and the various aspects thereto. Also to become a mouth piece for gender equality and a facilitator within my respective fields. I also want to assist within poverty stricken areas as well as to donate time and effort towards charities.
Lastly for the glitz, the glam and the overflow of creativity.
QL: Would you enter a competition like Mr Gay South Africa?
That would be the next step for me. I would like to enjoy my reign as Mr Cape Town Pride 2019. I will focus on Mr Gay South Africa in the future.
QL: Why do you think that no man of colour has ever won that competition?
A specific face is needed for a specific brand. Likely a specific individual for a specific course. The adjudicators’ decision normally indicates this, however the colour thing is really overrated and hopefully in the future all these barriers would be broken. I experienced the same. I never thought I’d place due to my height. Yet in each pageant I’ve entered, I placed within the top 3 or won the respective pageant. So height is not that much of an issue any longer. Hopefully colour wouldn’t be soon.
QL: Do we still need Pride?
Yes. Pride is a form of expressing who we are as people. It’s our way of celebrating who we are and what we stand for.
QL: What do you hope to achieve as Mr Cape Town Pride?
Firstly I would like to start initiating a crown and sceptre concept. I feel a king deserves his crown as much as the queen does hers. I would love to work with my predecessors on projects which I haven’t seen done before. Sponsor events, assist with judging, crowning, travelling, sightseeing, experiencing individuals and crowds. Most importantly I would love to help wherever I can where charity work is concerned in my capacity as Mr Cape town Pride 2019
QL: How will you use your title to improve the quality of life in your community?
By sharing my knowledge, supporting my peers, grouping together to do something that financially stabilize issues within our community. I would also like to take a few guys under my wing, mould and assist them to empower themselves where their confidence levels are considered.
QL: Many Mr Cape Town Pride title holders disappear from the scene after winning. But you are getting together with three of your predecessors to organise a Blanket Gathering Charity Drive on Freedom Day. How did this initiative come about?
It’s not easy to raise a child. I’ve had first-hand experience. Before I entered Mr Cape Town Pride I already was already going to do the charity gigs in my capacity as Mr Gay Steenberg 2018. So when I clinched the Mr Cape Town Pride title, I contacted my brothers and we ran with the idea to work together in this Blanket Drive. I’ve a deep love and consideration for a less fortunate child so it had been my brain child for quite a while.
QL: Who’s the hottest gay man in the Universe?
QL: What item in your closet can you not live without?
QL: What should the fashionable man about town not be seen dead in?
QL: Who is your inspiration or role model and why?
My mother. She has been a pattern maker all her life. My dad’s a machine technician. I take it that’s where my design aesthetic comes from. She’s been a pillar of strength all my life. She’s strong, poised and the most dedicated person I know.
QL: Which famous person, dead or alive, would you like to have dinner with and why?
Michael Jackson. I’d expect of him to teach me to move the way he does
QL: What was the last movie you cried in?
QL: Do you have a motto that you live by?
Love and live as if that moment would be your last.
Marvin and three former Mr Cape Town Prides have been collecting blankets for their charity of choice, Heartlands Baby Sanctuary in Somerset West. They will be making their presentation on Freedom Day, Saturday 27th April 2019. You can Whatsapp Marvin on 087 670 0668 if you would like to make a donation