"Handsome" vagabond wins cult following

15:36, March 03, 2010      

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An undated photograph of a homeless man, nicknamed Brother Sharp for his good looks and sharp dress sense, wandering the streets of Ningbo, Zhejiang province, was recently posted on the Internet. (Photo: China Daily)

A homeless man who spends his days and nights wandering the streets of Ningbo, Zhejiang province, has almost gained star status, thanks to his "good looks and sharp dress sense".

A growing number of Internet users are tracking the whereabouts of the still unidentified man, whose "fans" have nicknamed him Brother Sharp.

He is one of the most talked about personalities in Chinese cyberspace today.

Several netizens have dubbed Brother Sharp as the "most handsome underdog of this century".

However, a worker at the Ningbo homeless center said his colleagues contacted Brother Sharp on several occasions to offer him shelter, but had been refused.

Declining to reveal the identity of Brother Sharp, the worker said: "Homeless people are vulnerable. It is incorrect to use them for entertainment purposes."

In their online posts, Internet users write about the glint in his eyes and his "cool dude" attitude while asking for money from passersby on the streets of Ningbo.

Brother Sharp's dress sense has caught the attention of the pampered post-90s generation, who say they are now copying the beggar's rugged style.

"Brother Sharp is much better looking than the many so-called teen idols who are on television these days," a netizen, who goes by the online name of "dibannvwang", wrote on Tianya.cn, a popular online forum.

Brother Sharp has even caught the attention of many Internet users in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan, who say they find it hard to believe that such a handsome man could be homeless.

The person who first posted Brother Sharp's photographs on tianya.cn wrote that the vagabond "may be mentally disturbed" and asked netizens to stop trying to chase him.

"Please, just give him some food if you see him on the streets and then leave," the netizen ken119110 wrote.

However, Hu Shoujun, a professor of social psychology at Fudan University, felt some good could come out of Brother Sharp's media attention.

"The vulnerable need special assistance, which is improbable without public attention," Hu said.

Source: China Daily

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