A rapper called Kro Barz has come to the rescue of South African parents, teachers, doctors and ministers (both religious and parliamentary) who have been failing in their efforts to get young people to embrace the coolness of the condom.
Or so says the gang at TB HIV Care, a Cape Town-based NPO that does amazing work among vulnerable populations – from people who inject drugs to prisoners and sex workers. And, yes, the term vulnerable groups in SA tends to include all girls and young women.
“We shouldn’t be ashamed to talk about the importance of wearing a condom,” says Michelle Carey, deputy communications manager at TB HIV Care.
“Being coy about discussing one of the most effective ways to stave off everything from sexually-transmitted infections and HIV to unwanted pregnancies is a luxury South Africa cannot afford.”
So let’s start talking about sex, which is what TB HIV Care is doing by releasing the rap song Condomise by Kro Barz:
The organisation is hoping South African DJs will throw their weight behind the campaign, play the song by Kro Barz, share it, and talk about the importance of protecting yourself.
It is hoped that the catchy rap song will soon have people singing out loud about “loving your life, doing what’s right”.
“Anybody can get infected, no exceptions, stay protected.”
Kro Barz raps about unwanted pregnancies, a consequence of unprotected sex that ruins so many young lives. Young rap fans might be surprised to hear themselves singing the line:
“Are you planning to be a mother or a father?”
The song, which was recorded to mark condom week, is being re-released for youth month.
Despite so many intervention programmes in South Africa, risky sexual behaviours among women, which makes them prone to unintended pregnancies and/or sexually transmitted infections such as HIV, remains a public health concern.
Somehow the message is not being delivered in a language/style that resonates with young people. Hopefully Kro Barz and TB HIV Care, with the help of DJs across the country, will start to change this.