by Melanie Nathan, Dec 07, 2011
On Sunday evening , 04 December 2011, Wendelinus Hamutenya, Mr Gay Namibia title holder, was physically assaulted near his residence in Katutura, Windhoek, in what can be described as a brutal “mugging” with monetary gain as incentive.
Hamutenya arrived home around 22:00 from visiting with friends. He was dropped off at the corner of his street of residence and made the short walk up the road to his home, when noticing two men sitting at the further end of the road, visible by street light.
As he neared his house, the men approached him and requested “the money (he) won at the Mr Gay competition”. After a short confrontation one of the perpetrators kicked Hamutenya to the ground, while the other aimed for his mobile phone and wallet.
Several blows were exchanged between Hamutenya and his attackers. In the end blows from a softdrink bottle from one of the two men to Hamuntenya’s head, face, chin and ribs saw him hospitalized for observation at a Windhoek private clinic for 24 hours.
The culprits made off with approximately N$200 in cash.
Contrary to some media publications, Wendelinus cautions against a rush to judgment – that this incident and his position as title holder to Mr Gay Namibia should not be confused and used to fuel unnecessary agendas. However in contradiction the title holder does admit that he was a target pursuant to his win of the Title. the question remains was the motive hate or greed?
“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,” states Hamuntenya.
The Mr Gay Namibia Board condemns this violent act of assault, but also reaffirms that “we are in sensitive times and we should focus on the facts. Propaganda, misinterpretation and wrong reporting on matters will not suffice – factual and mature deliberation on matters is what is needed to embrace the future.”
I have yet to speak to Mr. Namibia and when I do my questions will revolve around gay slurs, the latter being the test of whether or not this is an anti-gay motive involved, after all the motive could easily be two fold – hate and greed!
While a case of assault has been opened with Namibian Police on this incident, Wendelinus remains focused on his participation at the Mr Gay World* event in South Africa next year April, confirming that his vision and dream for a sensitized and more accepting Namibia towards human rights in terms of sexual orientation remains his core focus.
*Mr Gay World 2012 is set to take place over 5 days in Johannesburg, South Africa, culminating in the Grand Finale on 8 Apr. 2012 at The Lyric Theatre, Gold Reef City, Johannesburg. Tickets are available from any Checkers store in South Africa, Computicket or online here: http://online.computicket.com/web/event/mr_gay_world_2012_grand_finale/477720853/referer:-highlights-index-2-0-2012_04_08-grid–