In the lead up to RuPauls Drag Race Down Under, let Star Observer next introduce you to the fabulous Jojo Zaho.
Having grown up in Kurri Kurri, a small town in the Hunter Region of New South Wales, this 29-year-old queen, real name John Ridgeway, began drag as an act of defiance, making their debut walking down Dubbo’s main street wearing a dress he had made out of the Indigenous and gay pride flags as part of the town’s first ever Pride parade.
I guess the rumours were true after all 👑 #DragRaceDownUnder premieres later this year on @stanaustralia in Australia, @tvnz in New Zealand, and #WOWPresentsPlus in the U.S. and select territories. Full availability TBA! pic.twitter.com/nFO94WtVdT
— Jojo Zaho (@ZahoJojo) March 6, 2021
“It wasn’t until I was in the parade that I realised what I was doing was a lot bigger than getting back at a council member. Looking at the Indigenous kids on the side of the march pointing at me and my costume, that was the moment I was like, okay, I didn’t have this representation growing up. If there’s no one to fill that void then I’ve got to do my best to be that representation,” Zaho said at the time.
Zaho’s drag mother is the legendary Philmah Bocks who also made the wig she wore in her promo and entrance looks for RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under.
Zaho was featured in the 2018 documentary Black Divaz, which offered a glimpse beyond the make-up, the glue guns and the glamour of drag to reveal the complexities of a world that is little known or understood.
The documentary followed the inaugural Miss First Nation pageant in Darwin, held the previous year in 2017, where six Aboriginal drag queens from around Australia battle it out over five days for the coveted crown.
Ridgeway’s larger-than-life character has since graced the stage at Broken Hill’s Broken Heel Festival and even hosted Cher’s VIP pre-concert party in Newcastle- where Zaho now lives.
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Zaho has also been seen on the ABC, where she made a cameo appearance on Get Krackin!
Check out our profiles of other RuPaul Race Down Under Queens