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Slipping Into Bed With Imraan Vagar

Imraan Vagar is a name synonymous with South African television audiences from all walks of life, thanks to his journey on the South African television circuit. South Africans especially Indian homes, had a date with Vagar on the Indian lifestyle magazine show on SABC television on Sundays. The show called Eastern Mosaic now rebranded as Mela, would make a meal out of the latest South African fashion, Indian celebrity and entertainment news from India and other diasporic locations.

While engaging the world of A-lister Bollywood and mainstream celebrities, high fashion, food and everything South Asian, one would assume, we knew everything that there is to know about Mr Vagar. It was either that Eastern Mosaic was a hit for the latest celebrity news or Imraan Vagar did or said on air that tickled the fancy of viewers. Imraan’s enigmatic charm onscreen has women wishing their husbands would take Vagar’s fashion tips. And men would watch the debonair charmer wishing their wives could prepare meals like Imraan Vagar. Either way, he fulfilled everyone’s Sunday dreamscapes, especially with that Mmmmm at the end of his food segment. Whether – Vagar likes to admit it or not – his time behind the camera and in front of it had him tick off many checkboxes in a post-apartheid era of South Africa. He represents everything that was good about being a South African of Indian-origin creating that connect with South Africans of all walks of life.

Imraan Vagar Coming Out Edition An Examined Life
Imraan Vagar and life-partner Chris Smit have been together for 14 years. | Source: Imraan Vagar

Imraan oozes Bollywoodesque Frank Sinatra slash Bond charm whenever he pouted onscreen. One would assume that Vagar’s time in the limelight would have fulfilled everyone’s curiosities and interests however that was not the case.

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I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing this marvellous gentleman several times during my tenure as Eastern Mosaic anchor. Most notably, in London, when he was promoting his new movie at the time, “Devdas”, and then at the premiere of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Bombay Dreams” in the West End – and twice in South Africa, during his “Temptations” concert and later in 2009 (at the time this picture was taken), when he was in town to support his cricket team, the Kolkata Knight Riders, during the second season of the Indian Premier League. Like all the really big stars Mr. Khan is a consummate professional who offers very measured responses to interview questions but is always gracious and warm. He has that reluctant movie-star style of self-deprecating candour and charm that I don’t think is part of an ‘act’, though I did tease him about being very “media savvy” in my opening toast at the Temptations launch party. Anyhoo, the day of this sit down interview at the One&Only in Cape Town was particularly memorable because I too ended up being interviewed by an international TV crew who were shadowing Shah Rukh as part of a “Year in the Life of a Superstar” series – but the aim of the producers was to push the narrative that SRK notoriously shows up hours late for his interviews. Not in my experience, though it was certainly the case on this day – but I didn’t mind in the least because I knew how packed the guy’s schedule was that morning. Besides, I got paid to lounge around a luxury hotel, a stone’s throw away from the best shopping in Southern Africa, while I enjoyed a steady stream of complimentary drinks and starters from Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant as my crew and I waited for him to show – so no sweat. Of course, my relaxed indifference to the superstar’s lateness was not the response my interviewer wanted but frankly, I was more than happy to disappoint him. I won’t be baited for sensationalist spin. To annoy him even more I threw a fake tantrum after his cameras stopped rolling! 😎 Have a fab Thursday! #tbt #throwback #easternmosaic #shahrukhkhan #srk #baadshah #bollywood #moviestar #oneandonly #nobu #setlife

A post shared by Imraan Vagar (@i.vagar) on

It’s no lie that Vagar’s onscreen charm factor has oestrogen levels peaking with both male and female audiences. Indian mom’s daydreamed of cuddling gorgeous grandchildren who were forged from the loins of Vagar with their daughters. On the other hand, their sons were probably taking notes on everything from Vagar’s hairstyle, his fabulous wardrobe choice and his latest hand gestures. Everyone has a has at some point probably dreamt of a passionate Bollywood romance with him.

So Auntyji, I hate to break it to you but, Imraan would have married into your family. It’s just that your son has a better chance of securing the package more than your daughter. So let us just make it ostensibly clear to everyone, Imraan Vagar is gay. Don’t take our word for it, here’s the man saying it himself below.

via GIPHY

In 2013, Imraan Vagar quit the professional life of Eastern Mosaic handing over the reins to a rejuvenated team. He swapped the glitz and glamour for an idyllic life in the Western Cape where he shares a gorgeous stretch of the Western Cape with his partner, Chris. As much as Vagar continues to connect with his fans on Instagram, social media users continue with their curiosity into his personal life.

If you follow me on the ’Gram you’ll probably be aware that in 2019 I lifted the veil of secrecy surrounding my notoriously private personal life and with that “came out” publicly as a cis gay man – laying to rest (once and for all I hope) the tiresome rumours and speculation about my sexual orientation and relationship status…

Imraan Vagar, An Examined Life

Just as he settled into the quaint country life leaving behind the allure of the East, he wrote, “And when I eventually retired from work in front of the lens, I just wanted to be left alone. Out of sight and out of mind, I figured that public interest in my personal life would eventually fade, along with my so-called ‘celebrity’ and relevance (such as they were). And that would be that”

When Imraan Vagar married and live in Actonville

At one point, Vagar was mentioned in hushed tones across gossip mills and especially among the Muslim community of Fordsburg. There were sightings of Imraan around Mayfair shopping at United Meat Market with his gorgeous Muslim husband. In his blog post, Wedding Schmedding, Vagar quipped, “But then, a week later, it was actually my mother who called to say that she’d started to receive phone calls from extended family members all around the country wanting to know when (not if) I’d gotten married – and why they weren’t informed about it.”

Vagar and his husband also ran a wedding planning business for high-profile clients. Vagar had prefered living the quiet life in the south of Johannesburg in Actonville, with his blue-eyed chef slash wedding planner husband who had a body to die for. Their alleged wedding was by far one of the most elaborate events that apparently outshone his sister, Saira Essa’s royal wedding in India. The Vagar wedding was hosted somewhere fabulous, intimate affair with close family and friends from the Eastern Mosaic team. Vagar’s former co-presenter Candice Moodley was the MC for the event as there was to be a whole show featuring the celebrity gay Muslim wedding. There there was just one problem with all of this, Imraan was never invited to his own wedding. “There were even a couple of menacing e-mails from folks angered that I had entered into a nikah (marriage) with a man,” he added.

“The next time you nice folks decide to throw me a wedding, please do me the courtesy of inviting me.” – Imraan Vagar

It makes sense when Vagar said, “So putting up a firewall around my superego and soul and jealously guarding my private space and relationships from the kind of invasive and dehumanizing scrutiny, not to mention morbid curiosity, that people in the public eye are uniquely subjected to – was my way of maintaining sanity and balance.”

Twinkle Twats

Curious onlookers also resort to Google searches in hope of finding out saucier details of Vagar’s personal life. In one blog post, he said, “I found myself wondering more and more, “Who the heck keeps asking – and why?” Are these a bunch of blokes determined to settle some juvenile bet? Were they admirers? Nosy-parkers or gossip-mongers? Wedding co-ordinators perhaps?”

The curiosity behind what Vagar got up to between the sheets was rather hilarious when you have a look at the series of search terms collated by Google,

Much ado about who Imraan Vagar sleeps with

Google Imraan Vagar

Imraan Vagar Gay

But after a while, I started to pick up on a mood of desperation behind a lot of the search phrases. Some, dare I say, almost sounded like cries for help. Which really got me thinking…

Imraan Vagar An Examined Life

Imraan Vagar isn’t just coming out, through his blog ‘An Examined Life’, he is once again, welcoming you into his home and heart, he is also reaching out to thousands of gay men and women. He wants you to reach out if you are struggling with your identity. Imraan Vagar is making a statement and a rather important one, especially for the South African minorities and those who identify as POC’s (People of Colour).

Vagar also has something up his silk sleeve, is he making a comeback on South African entertainment circuit? We really cannot reveal much but only ask you to check out his blog, An Examined Life here

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