Meet the Sapeurs, Congolese who wear expensive outfits though they live in poor communities
Some Congolese men and women wear expensive outfits.
The majority of its members are government workers, gardeners, taxi drivers, or day labourers, yet as Sapeurs, they dress in impeccable and colourful suits. After their day jobs, they dress up and walk around their communities in flashy outfits.
Although historically men have made up the majority of Sapeurs, nowadays women and kids have also joined this group. In these communities, whenever Sapeurs are passing by, they get hailed like they are celebrities.
The irony of the situation is that these people live in areas of extreme poverty where they do not even have running water.
The male Sapeur and the female Sapeuses will sacrifice anything including food to save money for designer accessories and spend more than thousands of dollars on a suit.
What exactly is the point of the Sapeur, and what do they do for the community? Well, the major thing they do is add to the joy and merriment of the community, they have a long colonial history.
In the 1920s, many men loved dressing like white men, according to Encyclopedia.com “men wore suits and used accessories such as canes, monocles, gloves, and pocket watches on chains. They formed clubs around their interest in fashion, gathering to drink apéritifs and dance to Cuban and European music played on the phonograph”
Like every other club, it offers a sense of community and belonging despite the outrageous monetary costs.
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