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  • DUT Alumni


Durban University of Technology’s (DUT’s) Nkululeko Mbatha has successfully walked the modelling ramp and has become one of the Mister Supranational South Africa 2023 semi-finalists. He is now a step closer, with the help of voting, to featuring in the final list, to represent the country at the prestigious Mr Supranational 2023 pageant in Poland.

The pageant is back after a two-year COVID-19 hiatus, Mr Supranational SA is now under the new management of international pageant director and renowned show producer, Wayne Stafford and Celia Mostert from Centre Stage Productions.

Upon his announcement, Mbatha was excited because he had prayed for the opportunity.

“I literally told myself that it was now time for ‘big’ work. I then told a few people close to me who knew I had submitted an entry that I have advanced to the semi-finals,” he said.

The 28-year-old from Ulundi in KwaZulu-Natal, holds a Bachelor of Technology Degree in Public Relations (PR) and Communications Management from DUT. He is currently a DUT staff member under the Communications unit.

Mbatha relayed more on his journey into the glitzy world of modelling, saying it started off in 2014.

“It was a simple request from his Residence ‘Res’ mates in 2014 as a first year. I was tall and slim so they assumed I was a model already, only to find out I was not,” he chuckled.

Mbatha explained that his Res mates then asked him to audition for Mr and Miss Green DUT 2014, which he successfully did.

“I was the first runner up by the end of the competition and needless to say, I have not looked back. I went on to do Mr DUT Res Fresher in the same year and I won. In 2016, I entered Mr DUT for the second time and I was victorious. I was sent to represent DUT in 2017 at the Mr SA Campus competition and I am proud to say I was the first ever Mr DUT to be placed in the Mr SA Campus top three, as the first runner up,” he beamed proudly.

In 2018, Mbatha was scouted by Boss Models Durban and continues to be part of their team. He now does commercial jobs and big events like for the Durban Fashion Fair.

Mbatha indicated that after entering the Suprastar Search in 2022 and being placed number 2, he was constantly on the lookout because he knew someone will eventually get the Mister Supra SA franchise licence. Later in 2022, he started seeing some posts on Instagram and decided to enter.

Mbatha spoke on the challenges within the modelling world, confessing that he is one person who does not look too much into things.

“I always take whatever adversity as a learning curve but the pressure can be too much sometimes, especially in pageantry because once people have known about you, you then have to keep up with some expectations on all sort of things that are pageant related,” he stressed.

For Mbatha, the ramp star loves seeing people thrive through education and getting educated. He loves seeing the transformation, especially in kids from rural areas hence his campaign (Project28) will be seeking on collecting scientific calculators for high school learners in disadvantaged high schools.

“Many learners miss out on the first few important lessons because they do not have a decent calculator. I saw this as a gap tnd bridge because I am from a home with kids of the same age group; and I saw how my grandmother struggled with making sure we all had the necessary tools for school, especially a proper calculator which is very pricey,” he said.

For him, his best highlight has to be the first ever ‘slim’ Mr DUT.

“I have changed the narrative and the contest was never the same, for a good cause of course. People started seeing such competitions in a different perspective after my win and I am glad I helped bring about change. My other dream is to compete in a competition of high regard which could possibly send me to an international platform,” he added.

Mbatha does not see himself different from other contestants, but his advocacies do. He believes everyone who is part of the competition is geared up and equally capable of best representing all communities of South Africa on a global platform.

For Mbatha, he confessed that his objective is to get into the finale as only 10 out of the 19 semi-finalists will make it further and he therefore needs as many votes as possible.

“One can simply vote for me on, search for Mister Supranational South Africa 2023 Semi Finalists and vote for contestant number 11, Nkululeko Mbatha. Voting starts from as little as R5 to R500,” he said.

Voting closes on 15 March 2023.

Mbatha highlighted that in 2019 he had entered and won Mister International South Africa, but unfortunately he never got the chance to go international because of COVID-19. He believes that was part of God’s plan and bigger things are yet to come.

“Mister Supranational South Africa will be my last because I am turning 30 soon and my focus will soon shift to bettering myself and my career,” he said.

Mbatha is thankful for the constant support he has been receiving from people around him and from social media.

“It shows how much people can stand with you when you are doing good things,” he said.

Follow his journey on the socials, Instagram: @nkululeko_mbatha and Nkululeko W. Mbatha or simply follow Mister Supranational South Africa on all platforms.

Pictured: Nkululeko Mbatha

Nomvelo Zulu/Waheeda Peters

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