Most people in Sikkim who follow the latest fashion and lifestyle trends and news are not unfamiliar to the name Tseteej Shiwakoty. Hailing form Gangtok, Sikkim, Tseeteej, a former student from GD Goenka School, a graduate with a BSc in Health & Nutrition earning a gold medal from the Institute of Technology and Management University, Gwalior, and a three-time national medallist in Taekwondo, presently holding the third Dan black belt, he is nothing short of an exemplary male specimen.
Tseeteej started his career in modelling and acting after becoming one of the winners of Temi Tea Mr. Sikkim Manhunt in 2019 where he won Louis Phillippe Mr. Sikkim Kanchenjunga 2019 at the grand finale. After holding the title, he received a direct entry into the Rubaru Mr. India pageant, in which he was crowned as Rubaru Mr India 2020-21 at the grand finale of Rubaru Mr India 2020 pageant held in Goa securing a direct ticket to the Mister Global pageant to take place in Thailand, which is regarded as one of the fastest-growing male modelling competitions in the world. Tseteej is now all set to represent India at the upcoming Mister Global pageant held in Thailand on the 15th of March.
“I had to take several moments to really sink it in because honestly, I was speechless when they announced my name. I wanted it so badly and it was the last international title. My eyes were closed and I had blocked all the noise. When they finally called my name, I was shaking. I was so happy and excited that I directly went to the organizers and gave them a big hug,” Tseteej said recalling his winning moment at Rubaru Mr India 2020-21.
Talking about his journey with Sikkim Chronicle, he said that competing in Mr Sikkim Manhunt was a life changing experience for him. “Participating in Mr Sikkim Manhunt was a huge confidence booster for me. I had zero experience in modeling but the organizers of Mr Sikkim Manhunt took great care of me and helped me have faith in myself. I came out of the shell and once I had the taste of confidence, I knew I could do it. The competition helped me find myself and I will be forever grateful for that,” he said.
Talking more about what sparked the flame to drive him towards what he is working on now, he said that breaking free from the shell of self-doubt and insecurities was what drove him to working on himself and being the better version of his previous self. “When you decide what you want with your life, give everything you’ve got. Focus your energy on the thing you want badly. Don’t overthink and never juggle too many things because then your focus splits,” he added.
Tseeteej is the first male from Sikkim to represent the state and the nation in a Global platform, he is the second person apart from Peden Ongmu who represented the state and the nation at the Miss Supranational 2017 pageant held in Poland.
Mister Global is an annual men’s beauty pageant that is held in Thailand, the pageant been going on since it was founded in 2014. It is owned and organized by Mister Global Company Limited. Since its first edition, more than 60 countries have sent their representatives to this competition. Mister Global Company Limited licenses local organizations that wish to select the Mister Global National Contestants for their country, and approves the selection method for national contestants. Traditionally, Mister Global lives in Thailand during his reign, which is, for the two years after the title is handed. The pageant is also regarded as one of the most rapidly growing Global platforms, it is considered part of the “Grand Slam” of international male pageants, along with Mr World, Mister International, Mister Supranational and Manhunt International.
Tseeteej has been working hard on winning the title since he was first set to be competing for it, “I’ll give my best to bring the prestigious title to India and along the way I’ll try to learn as much as possible from the talented fellow contestants from around the world,” he said.
With the knowledge he possesses about such pageants from the prior competitions he has competed in, he says that he has been working on his physique from a long time, and has been working on the presentations in all the rounds, which he says he has been well versed in from his experience. The most important challenge for Tseeteej in Mister Global, as he shares, will be presenting himself while competing against contenders from different nations, which is a first for him.
“In my previous pageants the contestants I have competed with and against have all been from the same nation, and I have known about their cultures, languages, etc., but this time the challenge for me in this competition is adjusting to the Global scenario,” he said speaking about his concerns over his biggest challenge.
“There are going to be contestants from different countries, garbed in different cultures, speaking different languages, and I feel some concern about how am I going to adjust to that new environment, how I will present myself, and how I would communicate, this feels like a challenge and I want to work on it,” he added.
Furthermore, he said, “Other that than I know what’s going to happen in the pageant, the talent rounds and all that’s going to happen will be similar (to other pageants I have done), but trying to make them (judges and other contestants) understand my point of view will be an obstacle that I am working on to overcome.”
Tseetej shared how Health and Fitness and Academics also play a pivotal role in not just his career but in life in general. “I don’t think I will talk about anything else than what has helped me throughout this journey and that is health and fitness. I know first-hand what good health can do to a person’s mind,” he said in a previous interview.
He shared how in modelling usually people look up to models for inspiration, they look up to people in modelling fields on what they wear, how they look, and how their body is. He shared how he has always endorsed a good physique, and how it helps in garnering confidence to walk with authority, not just on ramps but in life.
“The most important reason why I focus in working on my physique is it gives me confidence to walk without restraints and without having to think about how my body lacks. If I have a good physique I won’t have that constraint in the back of my mind about shortcomings in my body,” he said.
“Having a good physique is not just about the outward appearance but it checks off boxes like having to eat clean, refraining from parties and bad habits, it helps in keeping one’s health and life in track, it makes one’s lifestyle clean” he added.
Talking about academics, he shared how education is also pivotal
“Academics is also really important, you don’t have to be a 90-95 percentile student, but even a simple gratudate, to have a back up or a safety net, because this acting and modelling line have an expiration date, it has a certain timeline. Also, if something happens to my health and I can’t pursue this career anymore, I need to have a back up for me, for which my educational qualification is crucial,” he said.
“In modelling and acting, there’s a lot of competition, a lot of obstacles, and not everyone makes it. I have had the fortune to go for what I wanted and it is in tandem with my career. My BSc in Health and Nutrition has helped me achieve what I have right now because my academics is parallel with my career, so I advise aspirants in all fields to have a certain academic qualification, may they be in tandem with their careers or not, along with working on what your passion is” he added.
Speaking on the issue of him being the first male to represent Sikkim in a Global modelling platform, he shared that he is extremely proud to be the first one to do so. Having been the first one, he shared how he feels like he is opening a door to international avenues in hopes more Sikkimese aspirants would follow in his footsteps. Seeing how even he is relatively new to the field and hasn’t had that much time dipping his toe in the sea.
“I feel really proud to be the first one to open up a door. Now I feel there’s a way opened, In the earlier days competiotions like Mr India, and national pageants were the final destination and after that they (modelling aspirants) did not have ideas about where to go, but now people know that even after national pageants there are Global pageants that we can make it to,” he said.
“Now having seen me go there, aspirants can plan accordingly, they can set goals, and accordingly work on it. It feels like I am opening a door for that, people will have more idea about it. Hopefully we can see more people get encouraged seeing me reach there, and getting confidence knowing if I can make it, so can they” he added.
Speaking on his future plans after the Mister Global pageant Tseeteej also shared that this will be the last of the pageants he will be going for, for the time being. He intends to now pursue career in acting and entertainment industry. He shared how he is planning on going for reality shows, how he has been contacted by a few of them and have held talks about how all of that is still in the cards for him but he can’t explicitly talk about it, yet.
“I feel like after doing Mister Global, I won’t be returning to try on Mr India, or other Global pageants since it is a particularly at the highest peak in the global scene, and this is for me the highest platform I am getting right now, but if there is an opportunity for a platform bigger than Mister Global, I’d be definitely trying for it. For now, I am going to be competing for the pageant and after that I hope to secure a career in acting, do reality shows, and work on off ramp freelance modelling,” he concluded sharing his plans for the future.