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Durban celebs and Movember ambassadors join two shave-off events

For the past 13 years, across 21 countries, Movember has become a global effort to raise funds and awareness around the often-ignored issue of men's health. Men are encouraged to start Movember clean-shaven and then to grow and groom a moustache (or Mo) for the entire month with the slogan - Help change the face of men's health. Sign up, Grow a Mo, save a Bro.

Local Durban celebs and Movember ambassadors joined the two shave-off events on 1 November. Lotus FM’s Neville Pillay and Ryan Naicker were at Nev the Barbers in Durban North for the 10am shave off. The duo is gearing up for outside broadcast events throughout the month whereby they will be challenging and motivating their male listeners to help support Movember and raise money.

Trygve Wang (Ballito), Garron Gsell (Movember Foundation), Neville, Brandon Ribbink (Morningside) and Jane Bailey-Smith (Morningside).
Trygve Wang (Ballito), Garron Gsell (Movember Foundation), Neville, Brandon Ribbink (Morningside) and Jane Bailey-Smith (Morningside).

For Pillay, Movember is personal. “As I enter my 40s, I've become acutely aware of the challenges faced by older men especially, one of those is embarrassment. Men feel embarrassed to talk about things like testicular cancer or anything relating to male sexual health, I want to show them it's perfectly natural to be aware of and talk about cancer and go for check-ups.”

Also at the morning event was Mo Sista Jane Bailey-Smith from the band Veranda Panda, famed magician Mo Magic, and Movember ambassador, professional surfer and lifesaving legend, Brandon Ribbink. Ribbink lost his mother to skin cancer, and has first-hand experience on the difference that awareness and prevention can make. “This (skin cancer) was preventable,” he said. As a man who is constantly on the water and in the sun, Ribbink said he is constantly aware of his own health. “But we could all be more aware. I think any medical condition is a worry; our health is one of our biggest blessings and no amount of money can buy this when it’s gone.”

If the thought of growing a Mo is overwhelming, or if it attracts too much attention, sign up to the MOVE challenge which encourages everyone to get physically active during Movember.

Ribbink is going to MOVE this Movember as he will be competing in the International Surfing Association World Stand Up Paddle and Paddleboard Championship in Fiji.

Ribbink said it is amazing to raise awareness while doing something he loves. “I am grateful to be competing in the upcoming World Champs, this carries quite a lot of prestige and respect, however, many are competing for their wellness on a daily basis without any recognition or reward - these are the truly remarkable efforts of many unsung heroes.”

More Movember ambassadors

The second shave-off event took place in Hillcrest at Gerald Wells’ Barber Shop at 1pm. Movember ambassadors’ included Olympic gold medallist, Chad le Clos and his dad Bert, as well as East Coast Radio’s breakfast show presenter Darren Maule and South African rugby legend, AJ Venter.

These Movember ambassadors have signed up to lead the charge in raising awareness and opening dialogues about issues that affect men as well as the promotion of the need to improve your general health.

“The moustache is our ribbon for men’s health. As the pink ribbon is to breast cancer, our moustache is our ribbon. Use it to raise awareness and funds and stop men dying too young,” says Garron Gsell, chief executive and founder of the Men’s Foundation, which drives Movember in South Africa.

“We want men to live happier, healthier, longer lives. Our fathers, partners, brothers and friends are facing this health crisis and it is not being talked about. We cannot afford to stay silent. We need to talk about it. We need to act. We want men to talk when things get tough. Detecting health issues early is the key to treating the problem. Knowing your family history is equally important. Annual health checks are vital in identifying potential health risks,” concludes Gsell.

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View more images of the shave-off events here.

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