Mister Africa International is currently Africa’s biggest and most followed male African pageant. Male models from become ambassadors of their country as they share their culture and country’s social background through modelling.
Last year the pageant which is being organised by the House of Twitch hosted the 10th edition of the event in Angola, Ivorian model Mathieu Bibasso was appointed as the King of Africa.
In an exclusive interview with My Afrika Magazine, King Mathieu Bibasso talks about his journey as Mister Africa International he also shares with us part of his memorable moments during the pageant.
If you also inspire to be the next Mister Africa International, Mathieu Bibasso provides some of the tips that can make you the next King of Africa.
TR: Can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers by telling us about yourself?
MB: I’m Mathieu Bibasso AKA, the winner of the Mister Côte d’Ivoire 2022 crown in Côte d’Ivoire, after which I became Mister Africa 2022. I’m passionate about design, reading, cooking, fashion, travel and discovery. I’m gifted with a large-scale adaptability and courtesy, coupled with a stage presence that’s worth its weight in gold. My day-to-day application is to ensure that we create a generation that defends values, that undertakes and remains more responsible every day. For me, there’s nothing like a healthy life in a healthy environment, for women and men alike. My admiration for these women is noble. And the words that come to mind when I think of them are,
Dreaming of a rosy life is all very well, but building it with people who care is even better.
TR: What has been the most profound about your journey as Mister Africa International?
MB: The thing that struck me most about my Mister Africa International journey was the discovery of new cultures and countries. Embracing this diversity was, for me, a new and very enriching sensation.
TR: What was your most memorable moment during the pageant?
MB: The most memorable moment of my trip that I’ll never forget was the announcement of my coronation as Mister Africa International. It was then that I discovered that I was the first French-speaking Mister to win the contest in its 10-year history.
TR: What challenges have you been facing and how did you manage to overcome them?
MB: The main difficulty is the weight of the title itself. It pushes you to surpass yourself, so if your spirit is weak, you’ll lose yourself along the way. By applying a routine of self-improvement and challenge, both professional and personal, I manage to overcome this. What’s more, I’m chaperoned by sharp minds in my entourage.
TR: Was it part of your dream to be Mister Africa International title holder?
MB: My dream is to be one of the best of my generation, so in this quest, the Monsieur Côte d’Ivoire competition was an opportunity. It was only much later that I discovered that the winner would have to represent the country at a bigger competition, so I nurtured the burning desire to be able to compete for a bigger title. This became a reality when I won the title of Mister Africa International.
TR: What type of relationship do you have with the House of Twitch?
MB: I have an excellent relationship with House of Twitch. I push them to excel in every collaboration, and they show me their commitment to making my term of office one of the smoothest under Mr. Ayotunde Fabamwo’s leadership.
TR: What are some of the community charity works you have engaged in?
MB: In terms of charity work, we’ve organized an Anticipate Christmas for underprivileged children, and a Christmas tree for the children of the Akradio village.
TR: What do you think should be done to support the boy child in modeling sector?
MB: To support young people in the modeling industry, several measures can be taken:
•Education and awareness: It is important to educate young people about modeling in a balanced and realistic way. This can include educational programs in schools to inform students about the realities of the industry, models’ rights, body diversity, and mental and physical health.
• Regulation and protection: It is essential to establish regulations and industry standards to protect the rights and well-being of young models. This can include regulations on the minimum age for working in modeling, transparent and fair contracts, and measures to prevent exploitation and abuse.
• Promoting diversity: The modeling industry has often been criticized for its lack of diversity, in terms of body type, ethnic origin and gender. It is important to promote diversity and inclusion by encouraging the representation of different body types, faces and cultures in advertising campaigns, fashion shows and magazines.
TR: What characteristics define Mister Africa International king or a true King?
MB: A true king or Mister Africa International is generally defined by the following characteristics:
•Leadership: A true king is distinguished by his leadership. He can guide and inspire others by his example and actions. He is respected for his ability to make informed decisions, solve problems and lead with integrity.
•Commitment to community: A true king is deeply committed to his community. He uses his position and notoriety to promote social causes, participate in philanthropic actions and make a positive difference in the lives of others.
•Authenticity: A true king is authentic in his way of being and acting. He remains true to himself, while respecting the values and traditions of his culture. He embodies self-confidence, humility, and open-mindedness.
• Cultural representation: As Mister Africa International, a true king proudly represents his culture, heritage, and country of origin. He values African diversity and uses his platform to promote intercultural understanding and cooperation between African countries.
•Social and communication skills: A true king has strong social and communication skills. He can express himself clearly, listen attentively and communicate effectively with different audiences. He also knows how to work as part of a team and collaborate with others to achieve common goals.
• Aesthetics and presentation: As Mister Africa International, physical appearance plays an important role. A true king is distinguished by his charisma, personal style, and presence. He is aware of the importance of maintaining good physical condition and a well-groomed appearance, while being comfortable in his own skin.
TR: Who are your top 3 best designers?
MB: The three best designers for me are: Calvin Klein, Donatella Versace and Giorgio Armani
TR: In Africa which African countries top 5 would you like to visit?
MB: The top 5 countries I’d like to visit in Africa are Tanzania, Morocco, Kenya, Madagascar and Egypt.
TR: If given an opportunity to be a football player which club in the world would you play for ?
MB: The choice will be between Chelsea FC and Paris Saint Germain.
TR: What word of advice do you have to this year’s contestants?
MB: Develop your communication skills: Communication is a key skill in this competition. Practice public speaking, expressing your ideas clearly and concisely, and answering questions articulately. Work on your elocution, body language and stage presence.
•Get involved in social causes: Show your commitment to social causes that are close to your heart. Identify important issues in your country or around the world and find ways to contribute. Get involved in philanthropic actions or community initiatives. This will demonstrate your sense of responsibility and your desire to make a positive difference.
•Remember, the most important thing is to enjoy the experience, learn and grow as an individual, whatever the results of the competition. Use this opportunity to meet inspiring people, expand your network and make your voice known beyond the contest itself.