Get a bro to grow a Mo

29 November 2012 - 02:34 By Andrea Nagel

Have you seen a mustachioed guy or two wandering around your neighbourhood? Before you think your neck of the woods has been claimed by the growing number of bearded hipsters who are taking over South Africa's cities, it hasn't. You are witnessing Movember.

Formally known as November, Movember is the month in which hirsute males - and some gifted females - of all shapes, sizes and persuasions do good. Initiated to raise funds and awareness about men's health, particularly prostate and other cancers that affect males, the movement asks "mo bros" - as they're known in the tache-growing community - to put their best mo forward.

The idea to ''get a bro to grow a mo" is the result of a dare between a few men who were in a bar in Melbourne, Australia.

In 2003, Adam Garone was challenged by his brother, Travis, to grow a moustache. The brothers, who are self-styled moustache activists, wondered how they could bring moustaches back into vogue and raise money for prostate cancer research. They started the Movember movement, of which Adam is CEO.

The Movember challenge is simple: men begin on November 1 clean-shaven and, for the next 30 days, grow moustaches while seeking donors for their efforts.

The proceeds go to the Prostate Cancer Foundation and Livestrong. Last year, the Movember movement raised more than R1-billion in 14 countries, and more than 854000 participants took on the challenge.

This year, mo bros have taken it upon themselves to better last year's takings and, with just days left in this month, South Africa is No7 on the leader board. In South Africa, more than 30000 bros have registered with the charity and, at the time of going to press, R3-million was in the kitty.


THE best-looking moustache I've seen all month - and I've been on the lookout - belongs to The Foundry restaurant manager Jonathan da Silva. ''I've had guys drive past the restaurant and shout: 'Wow, check out that great mo'."

Although the restaurant's staff have registered as a collective for Movember, Da Silva remains the pick of the bunch, and, possibly, Johannesburg.

''I haven't raised a cent yet," he said, ''but a customer this week said he'd sponsor me with R1000 because he thinks I have such a good mo."

About his Hulk Hogan-style tache, he said: ''I don't usually have facial hair, but I always have a five o'clock shadow."

''My wife can't stand it and my 17-month-old son shies away [from me]. They can't wait for Movember to be over, but I've grown attached to my mo and I might keep it."

He cites Burt Reynolds as his moustache hero: ''He's my inspiration - the master of the mo. Tom Selleck is second."

About the Movember challenge he said: ''People in my family have had cancer, so I support awareness."

Next year, he says, after all the attention, he'll be entering his mo solo. - Andrea Nagel


POPULAR radio and television personality Mark Pilgrim is, in his own words, ''currently killing the competition for a good cause". He has raised more than R208000, and hopes to hit the R250000 mark in the next two days.

As a testicular cancer survivor, Pilgrim said: ''My intention was to try and raise R25000 from friends and family. But Kia Motors set me a challenge: if I can raise R50000, it would match it with R50000.

"I realised I needed to call on some executives to help me out - that's how it started. I managed to raise more than R50000 in three days.

''Virgin Active gave me R7500 and USN donated R10000. Within days, I reached R50000. Kia stayed true and gave me R50000 for Movember."

Pilgrim, who presents on Standard Bank's internal TV show, asked if the bank would contribute, and it pledged R50000, he said.

He stretched his lead further by securing another R50000.

"I happened to host an event for Tiger Brands, and it offered to donate R50000."

He's hoping to get another R25000 from Outsurance before this month's end.

About his mo, he said: ''I can't wait to shave it off. There's been little loving [at home] - every time I look in the mirror, I see Dr Phil." - Andrea Nagel