Features

Published: Saturday April 19, 2014 MYT 3:30:00 PM
Updated: Monday April 21, 2014 MYT 7:41:16 AM

Colour that rubber! Using pop art to make safe sex cool in Kenya

A Kenyan NGO has teamed up with controversial artist Michael Soi for a campaign to spread safe sex awareness among youths – by putting his funky art on condoms.

The Centre for African Family Studies (CAFS), a Nairobi-based NGO, hopes to encourage condom use in Kenya through a new campaign and a new line of colourful condom wrappers designed by Kenyan artist Michael Soi.

Safe art: A Kenyan NGO and pop artist Michael Soi (seen at work in the photo below) teamed up to make funky, colourful condom wrappers as part of a campaign to encourage safe sex behaviour among local youths. 

After seeing a positive response to the concept on Facebook, the NGO is currently seeking funds to launch production of the condoms alongside a campaign to lessen the stigma associated with buying them.

The designs on the eye-catching wrappers are taken from paintings by Michael Soi, whose work is popular but also somewhat controversial in his home country. Unlike many of his fellow Kenyans, Soi does not hesitate to approach the taboo subject of sex in his work.

“Most people are actually very afraid of going to vendors in supermarkets and chemists to buy condoms because we are a fairly reserved society,” explains Genevieve Imbali, communications and marketing officer at CAFS, in conversation with CNN.

“Most people aren’t very open to the idea that very young people might walk into a shop just to buy condoms because nobody wants to be known to be having sex. There is so much stigma associated with condom purchase in the country,” Imballi added.

The initial range of condom wrappers featuring Michael Soi's art, available for sale online via donation to the campaign's crowdfunding page. 

The NGO has its work cut out for it. To reach its goals of attracting the attention of young people with the funky, arty condoms, CAFS aims to finance its project through the crowd-funding platform Indiegogo. The goal is to raise US$10,000 (RM32,415) by May 4. – AFP/RelaxNews

Tags / Keywords: Lifestyle, Arts, Frame Up, Health, Entertainment, Arts, Frame Up, Health, Alternatives, Kenya, safe sex, campaign, artist, art, Michael Soi, Centre for African Family Studies

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