The March 2014 edition of MPSA Magazine featured an article on Armand du Plessis. Below are a few of the questions asked by interviewer, Chantel Riley.
What would winning the Mr South Africa title mean to you?
A title such as Mr. South Africa has a lot to offer. Winning the title has always been a dream of mine, so not only will this be a dream come true, but the title will also give me the platform to inspire and motivate the youth of our country, a platform which I will also use to highlight social issues and problems. This title will also guide me to encourage others to reach out and make a difference in other people’s lives. It’s a very big title, that not a lot of people are blessed to win, so it will be a fantastic opportunity for me to use the stage to try and iron out the social problems we have in our country. It’s not all about just being ‘pretty’. If I should become Mr. South Africa, I will most definitely use the title to the best of my ability.
What motivated you to enter the competition?
I motivated myself to enter. I have followed many pageants and competitions around the world for many years now, and it’s inspiring to see the amount of work done by people that have won or have even placed in the Top 10. I have many role models and friends, who have also indirectly motivated me. I believe it is important to have goals to work towards and I have entered Mr. South Africa 2014 with the end goal in mind: to grow, learn and inspire along this journey. Since entering the competition, I have been pushing myself harder than I have ever done before and I have also done work that I’d never imagined doing.
Have you won any other titles?
I’ve been fortunate enough to have won Mr. Krugersdorp (Mogale City) 2008, Mr. Roodepoort 2009, Mr. Jacaranda City 2010, Mr. Spring Show 2011 and I have represented South Africa in Thailand during 2012 at Mr. Manhunt International. All of these titles have made me grow and become the man I am today.
Tell us about Manhunt International 2012.
I have always wanted to represent our amazing country internationally and finally got the opportunity to do this in November 2012. I was approached to represent South Africa three weeks before I had to be in Bangkok, Thailand. It was a very big challenge getting everything, from national costumes to formal tuxedo’s, ready in this short time but as soon as I landed in Bangkok, I realised that it was most definitely all worth it and a dream come true. I competed against hopefuls from 52 other countries who also wanted the title of Mr. Manhunt International 2012. In the end, it was the deserving June Mac from the Philippines who walked away with the title. I am truly honoured to now have 52 new friends from around the world, who I still keep in contact with and some who are also supporting me on my Mr. South Africa 2014 journey. Throughout this competition I have not only learnt a lot about Thailand and it’s culture, but also about so many different cultures from around the world! The final event was held on my sister’s birthday, the 9th of November and I was extremely lucky to have my family in the audience that night to support me. It was indeed an incredible experience, but after the experience, I realised there is nothing like your own country.
What bothers you the most about what is happening in the world today and why?
So many issues, so little time to tell you about that one thing that bothers me, but right now it is the amount of talent that is being wasted, specifically by our youth. Each of us was born with greatness within, a talent, a reason, a gift – to reach whatever our dreams might be and more. I would like to use the Mr. South Africa platform/title to inspire others to use all their given talents to the best of their abilities, to not give up on themselves and also not to waste the gifts given to them.
What is the most important lesson pageantry and modelling has taught you?
The unfortunate reality is that there’ll always be someone taller, smarter, older or more experienced than you, but pageantry has also taught me to believe in myself, focus on who and what I am and to always have faith in myself. You may just be what the judges are looking for. Each and every one of us has winning qualities within us.
Who or what inspires you the most and why?
I am inspired by Dr. Michael Mol. Not only is he a former Mr. South Africa, but he is also a medical doctor, an executive television producer, presenter, international speaker and business consultant. Most importantly he is a father, husband and a man of God. He is also a Red Cross Children’s Champion and a patron of SA Cares for Life. I aspire to follow in his footsteps and one day be the role model he is to me, to our society. He, to me, is someone that stands out on many levels and is in fact, a model male to our society.
If you decide to write an autobiography, what would you call it?
I would call it ‘Looking Back, Looking Forward’! I think it is important not to just look at what lies ahead, but never to forget what happened in the past. I believe what happened in the past contributed to making you the person you are today. All the challenges we might have faced in the past made us stronger and ready for whatever may lie ahead. It is obviously important to have goals and dreams and it is important to keep that in mind too throughout your day!
What would you tell a boy suffering from low self-esteem?
In short, I will tell him that he has all the reason in the world to be proud of himself and that he does have qualities that makes him stand out and be different from the ‘average’ guy. Low-esteem is such an unnecessary quality to have, embrace yourself.