By Owami Sithole
Award-winning fashion designer Thembani Mubochwa who recently designed the condom dress which is meant to sensitise people to practice safe sex says he wants to take it to the global stage following a successful showcase in Egypt.
Mubochwa showcased the dress at the Egypt leg of the Africa Fashion Reception on October 28.
He said the experience had shown him the need to put this dress on the global platform because of the massive message it portrays in fighting against the spread of HIV and AIDS.
“The response I got from Egypt was quite an eye opener considering the huge interest which people showed in our dress.
“Not only were people amazed at the ingenuity behind the design but also the great message which this dress portrays. In order to reduce the number of people dying as a result of the disease, there is need to have such messages out there, hence in this case we are calling for safe sex,” said Mubochwa.
He added, “The main objective of the red dress is to make sure that we partake in contributing to the agenda of fighting and ending HIV by 2030 of leaving no one behind by mainly targeting the denial syndrome that has been an issue in our African countries when it comes to this disease and as a result we have lost many lives.”
The condom dress which turned heads in Egypt consists of flower detail constructed from male and female condoms emphasizing the key role protection plays in reducing the spread of HIV.
And it is Mubochwa’s prayer that the red sequins dress also makes an appearance at World AIDS Day commemorations in Rwanda which will also coincide with the ICASA conference.
“It is also my hope that it (condom dress) will feature on multiple red carpets to ensure the message continues to spread,” he added.
He attributes the success of this project to various individuals and organizations that he has worked with from the inception of the “Condom Collection” concept.
“A project this big can never be attributed to single handed management but I would like to thank people like Gumisayi Bonzo of Transsmart Trust, Collen Magobeya of Pech Media Trust and Tsitsi Ndabambi of Protection of Adults and Children Trust whose invaluable support led to the success,” said Mubochwa.
Mubochwa believes that the arts, be it music, fashion, dance or theatre all have a role to play in telling our societies stories and addressing key issues, issues that ordinarily may be uncomfortable or difficult to discuss.
This is not the first time Mubochwa has used his great talent to advocate for social issues, as he is also famed for designing the Elephant dress which celebrated the Zimbabwean Elephants while raising awareness on the various issues affecting them.
And most recently he launched the PVC collection worn most notably by songstress Cindy Munyavi. The collection is meant to bring to discussion climate change issues.