Breast cancer is a word that most people dread. To dispel the stigma and bring more awareness to the disease that affects many women globally, Joburg Fashion Week will open with a powerful statement of support for survivors of breast cancer and raise funds for Reach for Recovery, an NGO that supports women through their journey with breast cancer.
A brainchild of the Motsepe Foundation Co-Founder and AFI Founder, Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe, the Design for Life Breast Cancer campaign has been held by AFI over the years in support of CANSA and other NGOs like Reach for Recovery. The medical doctor, entrepreneur, and philanthropist is a past President of the Cancer Association and is still its lifetime member. Dr Moloi-Motsepe has combined her medical background and her passion for growing the creative industry, specifically fashion, to continue her advocacy work through research, awareness building, and education on various cancers globally.
“Many of us have been affected by cancer in one way or another, either being diagnosed with the disease or having someone close to us being affected. Through this campaign, we want to celebrate the beauty of life. We want to celebrate the courage in vulnerability and to emphasise the importance of taking care of our health.”
The ‘Design for Life’ showcase will spotlight a thoughtfully curated collection, featuring select designers who have donated garments and have come together to create a meaningful statement.
The primary objective of this show is to raise awareness for breast cancer, a condition that profoundly affects thousands, globally. Notably, all items from this fashion show will be available for online auction, on the AFI website, allowing fashion enthusiasts and philanthropists alike to contribute to the cause.
The proceeds from the ‘Design for Life’ show will be dedicated to ‘Reach For Recovery’ a breast cancer support organisation with a unique focus on breast cancer support. It is one of the few organisations that provide a patient support service on a national basis. In a region where many breast cancer patients cannot afford basic essentials like bras or breast prostheses, Reach For Recovery strives to empower women from underprivileged backgrounds, helping them regain their confidence after diagnosis and surgery.
Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe has been a steadfast advocate in the prevention of cancer. She is also a recipient of the Elizabeth Tshabalala Award for her dedication to women’s health and cancer awareness. She commented:
"Cancer should not be seen as a death sentence anymore. There’s a full life after a mastectomy, and fashion can play a significant role in eliminating the stigma associated with cancer. This collection is an essential step for AFI to illustrate how fashion can be a force for positive change. We encourage fashion enthusiasts and supporters to contribute to this campaign."
Additionally, Joburg Fashion Week will feature a special exhibition of the ‘Ultimate Gold Collection,’ personally acquired by Dr Moloi-Motsepe. This will mark the first time this extraordinary collection, acquired in 2013 at the amfAR gala in Cannes to raise funds for the HIV/Aids research, will be displayed in Johannesburg.
The Motsepe Foundation and AFI have joined in the fight against breast cancer, to support vital research and take fashion beyond the runway and into the realm of positive impact.