The holder of the Mr Gay Namibia title says he was mugged outside his home in the African state by attackers demanding the prize money he had won.
Wendelinus Hamutenya was assaulted outside his home in Katutura, Windhoek, on 4 December, and hospitalised for 24 hours with injuries to his head and ribs after being attacked with a bottle.
The assailants escaped with N$200, about £15.
He said: “Violence in various forms occurs to persons from different walks of life in our country. The relevance of this incident may have connotation to my title, perhaps they thought I had heaps of ‘prize money’ in my pockets.
“Likely it was my sexual orientation that made me a target – even my political support that angered them. Or perhaps, and most likely, it was just plain and simply out of greed.”
Mr Hamutenya said he was approached by two men who had been waiting under a street lamp by his house at around 10pm on Sunday evening. They specifically asked him to relinquish “the money won at the Mr Gay competition”.
He had been named the first-ever Mr Gay Namibia in a ceremony at the end of November. Namibia is the second African state after South Africa to hold such a competition.
Mr Hamutenya confirmed that he will still be representing his country at the Mr Gay World competition in Johannesburg, South Africa, next year, where contestants aim to be a “spokesperson and embody the spirit of their nation”.
Lance Weyer, a city councillor and current holder of the Mr Gay South Africa title, said: “This attack comes only months after the United Nations passed a resolution (proposed by South Africa) expressing grave concern at acts of violence and discrimination, in all regions of the world, committed against individuals because of their sexual orientation and gender identity.”
He added: “The fight for LGBTI rights in Namibia is far from over, and I firmly believe that it is the responsibility of all of us to stand up for our brothers and sisters that are being persecuted in their homelands in Africa in particular.
“I would like to see us learn from and appreciate each other beyond sexual orientation, but at this moment in time that is a dream that is far from reality. It is nevertheless a dream that is well worth striving for! Alone we are weak, but together we are strong.”