I've never been so proud to be Irish, says Mr World as he scoops title
TOUGH luck girls, he's taken. Smooth, suave and sophisticated Kamal Ibrahim was back home in Limerick last night after his triumphant weekend during which he won the Mr World title in South Korea.
At a live televised event, Kamal (24) received the title over the weekend and returned home to celebrate with his family, partner and friends in Thomondgate on the northside of Limerick city yesterday.
The son of an Italian mother and Nigerian father, Kamal recalled the moment that he was declared the new Mr World.
"There were smiles and laughter and I tried to hold myself together as best I could," said Kamal.
"The only thing I remember feeling was an enormous sense of pride," he added.
"I have never been so happy and proud to be Irish, it was an amazing feeling. I won it for Limerick and Ireland."
Kamal walked away from the 17-day contest with a cash prize of $50,000 (€37,000) and the prospect of lucrative modelling contracts.
"It's not a beauty contest. 90pc of the competition is to do with character, personality and leadership qualities, but I was gobsmacked when they announced that I had won it," he said.
The bad news for the ladies is that Kamal has been going out with his girlfriend, Anneta Pawlus, for the last two years.
"She's an amazing person and we both live here in Limerick.
"She is originally from Poland and works with Ryanair," he said.
Today, Kamal will travel to the UK to be briefed on his future role as Mr World.
The young Limerick man began modelling with Celia Holman Lee's agency in the city.
Ms Holman said that she was absolutely thrilled for Kamal.
"He is a great worker and put enormous time and effort into this," the modelling agent said.
"He was in the gym preparing for this for months beforehand and he got his just rewards at the weekend," she added.