Mr Gay World 2010, Charl van den Berg, has died after a short battle with cancer.
Model and activist Charl van den Berg, the former Mr Gay South Africa who would go on to win in 2010, lost his short battle with lymphatic cancer aged just 33. During his time as Mr Gay World, van den Berg took part in Red Ribbon HIV-awareness campaigns in the Philippines and attended Pride events all over the world.
A spokesperson for Mr Gay World released a statement following van den Berg’s death:
“It is with fond memories that we remember when Charl stepped off the bus in Oslo, Norway for the first time and one of the Directors remarked: ‘That is one to watch’. And indeed he was, continuing to make an impression on his fellow delegates, the judges and the audience, winning Mr. Gay World 2010 against stiff competition from Australia and Hong Kong in style,” read the statement.
“Throughout his reign, Charl continued to uphold the ethos and message of Mr. Gay World wherever he travelled, making friends around the world.
“Charl always conducted himself in a friendly, approachable and exemplary fashion, keeping his feet firmly on the ground and doing the job he was chosen for without airs and graces. His infectious laughter and warm character made him an absolute pleasure to work with. He stayed on to assist and support the organisation long after his reign, attending subsequent finals in Johannesburg and Antwerp and being involved in the local Mr. Gay South Africa competition up to 2014.
“We have lost a member of our family, a hero and a friend. Charl van den Berg will always be an icon to many around the world.”
© 2015 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.