It appears gone are the days Malawians were too shy to associate themselves with condoms. If the latest revolution in the fashion industry is anything, now is the time to start wearing the latex shield not only to protect themselves from HIV infection but also to stand out and shine when many are scampering for foreign labels.
Three Chancellor College (Chanco) students â€“ Godfrey Kambewa, Amanda Nazombe and Pacharo Mtonga â€“Â have embarked on a condom couture project which mixes and matches condoms with designs that revolt against stereotypes that hold condoms a shameful possession in the country, where 11 out of 100 people are living with the virus that causes Aids.
he designs, first showcased early this month at the constituent college of the University of Malawi, use different brands of both male and female condoms as laces and ornaments on the fabrics.
“Basically we want to promote pride in protecting oneself from HIV. We seek to break stereotypes and embarrassment in condom use, especially among females,” said Kambewa, a third year Bachelor of Arts (Humanities) student.
The Lilongwe-based student parried away perspectives that liken the emergence of condom wear to using mosquito nets for fishing or fencing vegetable gardens, saying: â€œThis is a new art form to teach about HIV in a manner that is suitable for urban youths who are the highest risk group.
Here are the models in condom couture during the June 1 parade at Chanco.