Bruce Matheka, a male model who is poised to represent Kenya in the ‘Man Of The World’ pageant competition, has lamented the lack of government support.
The 29-year-old told Citizen Digital that his efforts in seeking support from relevant government officials have bore no fruit.
Matheka, who has had a 10-year-long modeling career, was hoping to secure funds amounting to about Sh380,000 to represent Kenya at the pageant that will be held in the Philippines starting June 5, 2023.
He also lamented discrimination owing to his gender.
“When you talk about modeling in Kenya, many people have the village mentality. They do not understand. They think that modelling is for ladies,” Matheka said.
“I have been judged for being LGBTQ or being gay for being a male model as I have gone to look for sponsorship. The people responsible in the government offices do not understand what being a male model entails.”
Matheka said his dream is currently in a state of uncertainty as a result of being unable to raise funds for his travel to Manila.
The model said his financial appeal to the Ministry of Sports and the Ministry of Tourism was denied for unknown reasons.
“This is something I have worked for in 10 years. I want to be the first African man to win an international pungent. You can imagine a Ministry telling you they do not have a budget of 380k,” Matheka said.
The model is calling on Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua for assistance, saying Kenya risks being locked out of the international pageant for five years.
“If I fail to show up for the competition, our licenses will be revoked. So for the next five years, Kenya will not participate for the Man Of The World pageant. So this will be a blockage to the future models that have the ambition to go and represent Kenya.”