Cape Town - Heinrich Gabler was crowned Mr South Africa 2019 at a glamorous event held at The Bay Hotel in Camps Bay in Cape Town on Saturday.
The primary school teacher had a particularly rough start in life but proved that with a push in the right direction, dedication and talent, you can overcome your circumstances.
When Heinrich was nine years old, his mother tragically died in a car accident. He also lost all ties with his father, and along with his siblings, he spent most of his childhood at a children's home in Wellington.
He initially wanted to pursue a professional rugby career, but put those dreams aside to become a teacher and work with children.
In his matric year, he was approached by Dieter Voigt (Mr South Africa 2007), who told him that he could make a difference in society, using modelling.
The former Mr South Africa, became is mentor and role model.
Dieter attended the pageant last night and after Heinrich's crowning posted a photo of the pair on Instagram, writing: "It feels like yesterday when I first saw his talent as an 18-year-old. Eleven years later, and his dream came true tonight."
Heinrich entered Mr South Africa in 2017, making it to the top 14.
He decided to re-enter this year, and his hard work, and persistence paid off.