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No, Mugabe’s love of Adidas didn’t get him this trendy body bag

Social media users, some with hundreds of thousands of followers, have shared a photo of a branded black body bag implying it was used to transport the body of former Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe.

The bag lying on a cadaver carrier has the distinctive three white stripes of sportswear giant Adidas on its side, sparking trending hashtags such as #adidas and #adidasbodybag. 

Mugabe died on 6 September 2019 aged 95. The posts’ sentiment is that even in death, he had “drip” or “swag” – and went out in style. 

But does the heavily shared image really show Mugabe’s body bag?

Image traced back to a creative studio

A reverse image search led us to a page on the site Sneaker Box Co. Titled Gone in Style, it has images of coffins and urns etched with the branding of famous companies such as Nike and Gucci. The image of the Adidas body bag is also there. 

The photos are dated 2 September 2019. Mugabe died four days later, on 6 September 2019.

The webpage attributes the images to FOREAL, a creative studio based in Trier, Germany. Its founders are listed as Benjamin Simon and Dirk Schuster. All their artwork focuses on illustration, animation and art.

‘Just a 3D rendering’

The image was also posted on FOREAL’s Instagram page on 8 April 2019 and has attracted more than 5,000 likes.

We asked the studio about the image. Schuster told Africa Check that he was surprised to see it used this way. 

The image “is just a 3D rendering, none of this physically exists”.

If Mugabe’s body was transported in a trendy body bag, this viral image certainly does not show it. - Eileen Jahn

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