For the second time, a Rwandan will be gracing the prestigious Mister Africa International (MAI) pageant stage. The Mister Africa International finals will be held in Nigeria from November 27 to December 3.
Rwanda is being represented by renowned model, Jean de Dieu Ntabanganyimana, best known as Jay D. He is expected to travel to Lagos on November 2 and return December 4.
In 2015, fashion designer Moses Turahirwa became the first Rwandan to compete in Mister Africa International.
Themed 'The African edition', the event, in its 6th edition, will kick off in the vibrant city of Ibadan, where a group of Africa's hottest men will tour and take part in pre-judging activities, and finally return to Lagos, where the final show will be hosted.
Countries taking part in the event are Rwanda, Ethiopia, Angola, Botswana, Cape Verde, DR Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Eritrea, Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, Senegal and Nigeria.
Standing at 6'2, the model with a diploma in Information Technology (IT) from the Adventist University of Central Africa, says he has been praying for the title.
"I am humbled to be representing my country at the Mister Africa International 2017 and I hope to bring the crown home. Since I was selected for the contest, I have been preparing myself both physically and mentally," said Jay D.
This year, the Mister Africa International competition will focus on social media and interactivity. The model, who has starred in a number of TV commercials and graced several local and international fashion runway shows, says if he wins the title, he will use it as a platform to inspire budding male models and also venture into professional acting.
The event, created by Jennifer Richards, is powered this year by Fitfam Magazine and Duchess TV London.
"After several years in London, the MAI team is excited to bring the event to West Africa and we are looking forward to working with the dynamic and brilliant team of Sparzuta International, who will be operating the Mister Africa International franchise and be the hosting partner of the grand finale. The changes to our format and presentation will take the Mister Africa International to a new level," said Richards.
The pageant is looking for an all-rounded person, with good looks, physical strength, charisma, charm, and a strong personality.
Like some professions, modeling is an aggressive, judgmental and competitive business, which Jay D believes has room for more men. The event will be attended by 'kings' from the continent; Mr. University Africa, Mr. Teen Africa and also winners of African themed pageants around the world like Mr. Africa - Portugal.
Akol Dok of South Sudan will crown his successor at the end of the event.
The previous winners have worked with the biggest brands including Clicloc Watch London, Samsung, Woodin, Fiesta Condoms, among others.
Many have had prominent acting roles during and after their reign. Ian Wordi of 2015 is one of the stars of Heels and Sneakers, a Ghanaian TV series and is a major force in Nollywood.